Tag Archives: character-building exercise

Character-Building Exercise – Patience?

I received the paperback The Becoming, Part 2 of the Dragonheart Legacy trilogy by Nora Roberts about a week ago. I reread, The Awakening first, then dived into The Becoming. I finished it and now I wait.

The hardback edition of The Choice is out this month. I don’t know how long I’ll have to wait for the paperback, but I’ll pre-order it as soon as it shows as available to do that.

I’m really caught up in the characters and story of this trilogy and I really don’t want to have to wait to find out what happens. That’s where the character-building comes in. You’d think with as old as I am, I would have developed more by now…

Meanwhile, The paperback edition of Desperation in Death (# 55 in the series) by J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts) will be arriving at my door around December 27th, a wonderful Christmas present for me. I may decide to reread all the previous books before the new one comes…

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Filed under Favorite Authors & Books, Reading is FUNdamental

Wednesday 10-19-2022

Live Science


Can you hear me gnashing my teeth?

I changed some pricing in my Etsy shop this morning. Then I noticed that when I went back to my home page, the old pricing was still showing. When I clicked on an item, the new pricing showed on the NEXT page. So TWO different prices are showing for the same item depending on what page you’re on.

After a long time on chat (at least I got through to a service agent) she told me that others have mentioned the same problem, and that a work-around would be that I go to each item I changed, deactivate it, and then reactivate it to see if that solved the problem. I did, and it DOES solve the problem, but it’s going to take a long, tedious time to do this.

At least I CAN do something to fix it, though it’s definitely a character-building exercise that I didn’t feel I needed this morning.

Verywell Family


On a good note, I’m finished cleaning out and weeding the iris planter now. Today I’m planning to try to get the tomato supports in and wire them to the center pole and then to each other to make them as sturdy as I can.

My husband mentioned again what a good job I’d done, but that it “was a waste of time because it wouldn’t STAY done, and I would just have to do it again.” I asked him to name something that I did that DIDN’T fit in that category….

Final Fantasy XIV

I thought that we might do Lunch Bunch today – rather than Friday when Kay can’t be there. Her daughter just called and left a message that they hadn’t heard from Linda or Patty, so we won’t go today.

I’m going back now to finish the work on deactivating and reactivating on Etsy…

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Character-Building Exercise

I pre-ordered this paperback in February, (#54 of the J.D. Robb/Nora Roberts In Death series) knowing I would have to wait until the end of July before it was delivered. Since I wanted it for my permanent collection, it would be worth the wait.

Yesterday I got an email from Amazon – “We’re encountering a delay in shipping your order. We’ll send a confirmation as soon as it ships and communicate the expected delivery date. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Bah. Humbug.

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Filed under Challenges, character-building exercises

“Because I’m Happy…”

quotespedia.org via Rebecca Kanner Kelman

“Here come bad news talking this and that (Yeah)
Well give me all you got, don’t hold back (Yeah)
Well I should probably warn you I’ll be just fine (Yeah)
No offence to you don’t waste your time” ~ “Happy” ~ Pharrell Williams

I received some scary news through the medical portal on a test I took recently. I’m a wimp, so I essentially decided my life was over, started worrying about my husband (he doesn’t know what day it is half the time, what our schedule is, etc. – he has a wife to worry about the details.) I cried, couldn’t sleep, stayed up half the night…

I finally decided to tell my two best friends via email. I’m very lucky to have two such great people who care about me. Both got back to me right away with care and support, plus some much-needed guidance.

My doctor’s office will probably contact me this coming week with what the next step is. I’m much calmer than I was. Although I’m a wimp and would rather just stick my head in the sand and go on in ignorance, acting as if I were immortal, I need to be an adult. I want to be here to help my husband – even wanting to be here to fuss at him when it’s needed.


Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Changes, character-building exercises

The Hunt is On


The hunt is on for two things:

THING ONE – The spray container of the stuff I bought awhile back to kill mold/algae/fungus/elephants.

THING TWO – the actual gallon container for the rest of the magic stuff.

I bought this ‘stuff’ particularly to treat some of our yard art – and in particular, the “Greeter Robot” at the bottom of the driveway. He is much too big and heavy to bring in for any type of refurbishment, so cleaning and repainting will have to be done down there.

It would SEEM that a gallon container of something – anything – would be easy to find. ALSO easy would be the finding of a large spray container. And yet the ‘elves/gnomes/and other mysterious critters have made finding whatever you’re looking for a character-building exercise around here.

We came through our severe storm last night well. It’s truly gorgeous outside and I haven’t found any damage yet. It’s a PERFECT day to drive down to the bottom of our hill and hose down the robot -IF I could FIND the magic stuff….


Filed under Challenges, character-building exercises, Lewis Art, Lewis yard art

Good Girl!

Getty Images

I’m a good girl.

Yesterday I saw that the weather people were forecasting a cold front and rain overnight. My husband had mowed the lawn recently, but I had been putting off my part of it, weed whacking, for several days. I finally got out there, even though it was really hot and humid, taking two sessions to make my way around the house, cleaning up the areas that he can’t reach with the mower – along the sidewalks, around the edge of the front porch pad, the garage pad, under the deck, the steps on both sides of the deck, around the planters, etc.

It took me about an hour to finally cool down after I came in. I drank lots of water, rested, and finally jumped into the shower before fixing dinner. I really don’t handle hot weather as well as I used to. The cold front and rain did, indeed, come overnight. It makes me happy today to see that it looks like someone really does live here and care about things. :0)

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Filed under character-building exercises, Gardening

Yet Another Character-Building Exercise


I wrote recently of keeping priorities straight and focusing on the good happening in the world. That doesn’t keep me from being aggravated that the book I ordered – that was SUPPOSED to ship yesterday – did not.

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you know that one of my favorite authors is Nora Roberts /J.D. Robb. “Faithless in Death,” the newest paperback in the In Death series by J.D. Robb, was supposed to ship yesterday. I had pre-ordered it, then re-read the 51 previous books in the series to be ready for the new addition.

I received an email from Amazon yesterday, saying the shipment had been “delayed.” No explanation as to why, or when it WOULD be shipped. Arrrgh!

To help myself wait for the new addition, I bought and read her “Sign of Seven Trilogy” – Blood Brothers, The Hollow, and The Pagan Stone.

Patience is not my strong suit. I am TRYING to keep my bubbling personality, but you may be able to hear my teeth gnashing…

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Character-Building Exercise


My Facebook page got hacked. Not only that, but I’ve had this for YEARS and I started it with a then-current email, so I cannot just change my password. They want to send the code to my old email address. There seems to be no way to reach anyone to help, so I am starting over with a new account, current information, etc.

If you get a friend request from me, it IS really me. I’m having to delete the old account. Please consider adding me to your list again.

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Cautionary Tale


I am in the middle of yet another of life’s character-building exercises.

I told you about the money order a customer was going to send for a huge (for me) order of plaques.

The order was supposed to be for all five of the plaques I painted using Unicorn Spit.  He said his administrative assistant messed up and sent the wrong amount in the money orders. I told him I would refuse delivery of the package and that he should send another for the correct amount. He then said he wanted to increase the order, wanting 40 (FORTY!) plaques in all, 8 of each of the five designs. We went back and forth, but I asked him to stick to the original order, and then, if he was happy, he could order more.

The money orders for too much money were delivered by FEDEX while my husband and I were out doing errands. :0(     My husband was angry. I ended up taking them to the bank in order to ask them how long I would need to wait to be SURE they were good before I filled the order. She said 14 business days, and then noticed a number you could call to verify the money orders. She called, putting it on speaker phone. It was an automated system, asking for the number on the money order and then the number of the post office issuing it. She keyed them in and we were told the numbers didn’t match anything in their system – and so were fraudulent.

SO – I am pinning them up on the pegboard on the wall in front of my computer to remind myself that I do NOT need yet another character-building exercise. At least I wasn’t dumb enough to ship the plaques I had ready, or buy wood for the 35 more plaques my husband and I would have been cutting out, finishing, and putting hangers on as quickly as we could to fill the order within the time frame.

I did NOT deposit them. I am out only –

  • the delight of the biggest order in my life
  • the time I spent with the customer who turned out to be a rat
  • the anguish of my husband getting angry over the whole thing

I am considering myself lucky that I had a big sense of ‘too good to be true’ and did what I could to make SURE it was legitimate before getting my family in financial jeopardy.

A cautionary tale…



Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, character-building exercises

New Venture

I’m opening up a second shop on Etsy. This one will be called, “Totably Yours” and will feature large and small hand-painted, one-of-a-kind tote bags in canvas or denim. This one is called, “Flower Basket.”


This one is “Happy Penguins” and is one of my Christmas totes.


“Embrace Your Life” either reminds you or someone you care about to enjoy every moment.


And this one is a Spring bag called, “New Digs.”

I uploaded the images and descriptions yesterday. Today I’m going to try to design a banner to go across the top of the page. Then some details remain before I can open the shop.

A new venture is an exciting thing – sticking my neck out, challenging myself to overcome doubt, technical obstacles, etc.  Character-building exercise with fingers crossed.



Filed under Bright Ideas, Challenges, character-building exercises



I discovered, to my horror, that about half of the data on the spreadsheets I started this year to keep up with bookkeeping and taxes had mysteriously ‘poofed.’ The data was also gone from two backups!

So, yesterday I entered the data from August and September. Today I re-entered the data from June and July, and then went through our credit card statements from January through September to check to make sure all the items from them was included on the spreadsheets.

I printed each spreadsheet, just in case gremlins enter my computer again and eat the data.

I am NOW making a backup and will make a second after I check the first to make sure nothing was lost in translation.

I wasn’t really in the mood for such a long character-building exercise….


Filed under Challenges, character-building exercises

We’re Back!


We had a bad storm a few days ago. The power was going off – our generator came on – the regular power came on — over and over and over again in quick succession. After we went to bed this continued. I had to reset our alarm clock and restart the fan at least 6 or 7 times.

We got up to find no power in our office. All the on and off again had finally caused a circuit breaker to trip, so when we moved that back into position, we thought we were okay. NOT SO!

The short version of the story is that the network card in my computer gave up the ghost. Our modem was dead. Our 24-port switch that controls everything was gone. Our TV was gone.  I finally got a few things added to my phone – something I basically use for emergencies, so that I could communicate at least a little. No computers, no TV, no movies. I was able to order replacement stuff mostly.  We got a new modem on the way via our regular phone.

We kept finding ourselves trying to go look something up in the office and were reminded that we couldn’t do that anymore.  It’s a good thing we love to read.

This morning we received the new network card and the 24-port switch. We ran errands quickly because we wanted to be home to receive the modem. We got that before noon. My husband worked and worked, and then I worked and worked and we are finally back up on our computers have have Internet again!

Our TV should be ready for pick up Friday or Saturday.

We’re still not sure whether we were hit by lightning or the rapid on and off of the power did us in.

It’s a real culture shock to find out how dependent we are on computers and Internet. And devices. And how spoiled we are.

I couldn’t write on my blog, and that’s the thing I missed the most. I also couldn’t continue work on my new Etsy store. I was pleased that I could add email and Hangouts to my phone so I could let people know what happened.

I’m more than delighted to be able to write to you again!  Forgive my delayed replies to your comments, please.

This has been one of life’s character-building exercises, for sure.

NOW we concentrate on why the spin cycle is causing problems on the clothes washer, and find out if anything else related to the TV is gone, too….



Filed under Challenges, Changes, character-building exercises

Character-Building Exercise

Mindfulness Training

I have probably indicated that I HATE preparing our stuff for taxes each year. I have probably also admitted that I excel at procrastination – championship level, I might add – modestly, of course. :0)

Today is the day –

I have run out of even the most feeble excuses for not at least making the first pass at our stuff.

Our office is beginning to look as if a bomb exploded in here.

STEP 1 – I have gone through the ‘helpful packet’ our CPA provides. So I feel a BIT better about myself at the moment.

STEP 2 – I’m now slogging through our monthly receipts, grouping them according to categories. I’ve made it through 3 months so far.


STEP 3 – is going through our credit card and bank statements for pertinent information.

STEP 4 – is totalling the various categories.

STEP 5 – is putting the receipts where they belong in the ‘helpful packet’

STEP 6 – is waiting until we get our official Schwab statement – the thing that is the most important and always takes the longest to receive.

STEP 7 – is bagging it all up and driving to Fort Smith to dump it on our wonderful CPA.


My goal is to be finished with Steps 1-5 by the end of this month or before. I’m going to take a break now, but will return to do another session this afternoon after we eat some lunch.

Did I happen to mention I HATE tax prep?  UGH!

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Filed under Attitude, Challenges, character-building exercises

Whine and Cheese

Fluent in 3 Months


There are few things I hate more than preparing our records for our wonderful CPA. Legal and financial documents make my eyes glaze over and give me the creeps. I have irrational fear – thinking ridiculous, paranoid thoughts that I’ll miss something, make a mistake and end up in the slammer.

I am a champion of one skill in particular – the art of procrastination. I have taken it to an art form.

Grammarly via Cathy Ruggiero


Each year I make improvements in my record keeping, and each year – as we age – our records get more simple. I used to have my own website with over 100 artists at one time, and THEN the record keeping was time-consuming and complex, plus we both had full-time jobs, were trying to raise our son, were buying and selling houses, cars, etc.  Now we are retired, the business is closed, and I have my artwork on ArtFire, so the records are simple.

The main thing is to go through the booklet our CPA provides listing all the pertinent information he needs and what we recorded last year. He has helped us as much as possible, so why do I make so many excuses for not getting started?

Part of it is that it is TOTALLY my job.

My husband ignores the whole process, chauffeuring me to the CPA’s office when I have everything together. I have a small pity party, get a bit hostile, slog through the process, and then we dump it on our CPA to once again put it all on the forms and make sure everything is good. (This has been the ‘whine’ part of this post.)

The ‘cheese’ part is that, once I finally get my rear in gear and get going, the process goes faster and more smoothly each year. By the time they kick dirt over me, I’ll have it all down to a science. :0)

The ‘cheese’ part is that usually, I get a nice lunch out somewhere when we’ve gotten rid of the tax stuff!

So much ado about very little – but I think I’ll put it off, once again, until tomorrow….


Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Changes, character-building exercises

A Vette Can Be a Character-Building Exercise…

You Tube

This picture shows you a clean, non-scratched, non-cat-print-pawed version of my husband’s 2003 Vette. He bought it online, flying to Kansas City, I think, with a cashier’s check and letter and phone number from the head of the bank in his pocket, prepared to drive it home or get on a flight home. Happily, he was delighted with it and drove it home and has been grinning ever since. This is truly who he is, and our life has been full of ‘six-months-without-another-speeding-ticket-and-it-won’t-go-on-your-record’ to prove it. The last such ended in mid August of this year, and he’ll be 75 in November….

I’m telling you this because he took our truck and is now in downtown Ft. Smith at an auction, hoping to find good-priced tools to bring home. This leaves ME with the Vette, and I’m going to Lunch Bunch in 25 minutes.

I really don’t feel comfortable driving this car. MY favorite vehicle was a Jeep Cherokee Sport. I don’t go off-road, but I loved that vehicle. Now I’m comfortable in the truck. I find, when I’m driving the vette, I sneeze and am suddenly going 90 mph. I have to admit I spend lots of time in the Vette while HE’S driving bracing myself as we fly through traffic. (I’m uncomfortable because he puts on the gas when I would put on the brake in any given situation.)

So, this morning will be a character-building exercise.  My first inclination was to call my friends and tell them I wouldn’t be there this morning. And then I was disgusted with myself for being a wuss. I KNOW I can drive the Vette. The fact that I’m uncomfortable driving it, particularly going down our 650+ bumpy driveway and back up again, as well as trying to figure out how far the nose of the car is from anything, are annoying details, rather than a reason for not doing this. I know lots of people who would ENJOY getting to drive the Vette.

So. I’m HOPING that the rain that is coming down now will stop in the next 15 minutes, the sky will lighten, and I can go and come back without incident. I’m too old to be such a wuss.

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Character-Building Exercise


I haven’t flown since 9/11 and the advent of TSA. I haven’t flown ALONE since I was a teenager flying nonstop to Mexico City.

This past week I flew from Fort Smith, Arkansas to Dallas and then to New Orleans before we rented a car to drive the rest of the way to Thibodaux, Louisiana, and then returned.

I’m such a wuss. It’s pathetic really, but I must own it. I didn’t sleep the night before and was a bundle of nerves at the airport in Fort Smith. It’s a cute, ‘baby airport’ with only 3 gates. I was there early enough that I had to wait to check in. I had already printed my boarding passes. I then went through the TSA checkpoint for the first time ever.  I put my hoodie and purse in one bin with my cell phone on top. I didn’t have to remove my shoes. I just walked through a metal detector and that was that.

I waited at the gate, and then they announced a delay of 25 minutes. I checked to make sure that wouldn’t mess me up for my connection to the DFW to New Orleans (pronounced ‘Naw-lens’) and then texted my sister-in-law, Mary Lou, that I might be late.) She knew I was a wuss and would be nervous, so she arranged to fly to Dallas to meet me, rather than taking a much nicer non-stop flight from Charlotte to New Orleans, so that we could fly together from DFW to NO and then rent the car for the rest of the trip. I knew that once we met at DFW, I would quit worrying so much. If we were lost, we were lost together and would figure something out.

She was waiting at the gate when I got off the plane in Dallas. I had built up so much adrenaline by that point, it took me a minute to recognize her! We took the SkyLink (first time for that, too. It wasn’t there the last time I was at DFW.) We figured out what gate we needed for the flight to NO, rode the SkyLink to that region, found the gate, confirmed that we had the right place, and then went to eat a very nice lunch of soup and salad. All the places are set up to serve you quickly, thank goodness, so another of my worries was unfounded.

Mary Lou had been through the New Orleans airport before, so we got our bags without incident and proceeded across the airport to the car rental area. Happily, since it was a LONG way to the car rental place, we were able to snag a shuttle with a wonderfully friendly guy who helped us with our bags and dropped us off.  We rented the car, and drove out of the airport into an on and off driving rain. Since Mary Lou was able to plug her phone into the car, we had a talking GPS lady helping us, so the big thing was to try to SEE THE ROAD for the hour and a half drive to Thibodaux.


On the way back, our plane left a little after 9 in the morning. We got up and left the house by a little after 5am. Of COURSE, the sky opened up again, making it REALLY hard to see the road – a very tense time for sure. We lucked out toward the end of the driving, following a big truck the rest of the way. We thanked him – though he never knew it – when we got to the airport.

We had to check our own bags there, but a nice lady helped with attaching the long sticky strips to our bags, and then showing us where to take them to another lady who put them on the conveyor belt. TSA screening was more serious this time. Mary Lou, who flies a lot, had done pre-screening stuff, including providing fingerprints and information, paying for not having to go through this, but was rejected! We found out from a man behind us that TSA randomly picks people who have been pre-screened to have to go through it again. “I” was TSA precheck approved! Go figure. Anyway, I put my purse and hoodie in one bin and my shoes and cell phone in another. I went through the x-ray machine, and they wanted to check my right shoulder, which had lit up the screen. They checked me, found nothing, and so I was through.

While we were waiting for the flight to DFW, they came and asked for anyone with our flight number. For some unknown reason, they led us all to another gate with a flight leaving earlier than the one scheduled for us. We got new boarding passes, and the nice lady was able to find two seats together! for us.  My flight from DFW to FS was delayed (imagine that!) but got back 25 minutes late.

My husband was waiting for me, showered, shaved (around his beard) with a dress shirt, clean jeans and suspenders, as if we were going on a date night. Was THAT a sight for sore eyes! I fell for him all over again. We picked up my very wet suitcase and he took me to Denny’s for a nice meal before we went home.

I was greeted profusely at the door by both doggies, and both cats. The doggies both came to make sure I was still home several times that evening. The fish didn’t seem to care one way or the other. My husband fed them while I was gone, so they were happy. I felt welcomed home in grand fashion.

So – even though it was really nerve-wracking, with the help of my kind SIL making the arrangements so we met in Dallas and flew together to New Orleans together, guiding me through airports, bag claims, car rentals and returns, including helping me find my gate from DFW to FS and then going back on the SkyLink to go back to HER gate to Charlotte for the way home, I made it through my first flight since TSA.

I’m not sure I’ll become a frequent flyer now, since my husband refuses to fly now, but I’ll have a much better idea of what to expect, what to look out for, and more the NEXT time I fly.

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Another Character-Building Exercise

Fabulous Traveling

I was incommunicado all day yesterday because the new motherboard for my computer arrived. My good husband worked on things all day, getting us to about 2/3 up now.

Almost everything that COULD happen – and more we hadn’t thought of – were obstacles. Just one example – the new power supply was wired “backwards.”

We did all we could do yesterday, finally getting so my husband could finally see his email. We contacted a person who bought a book from us on Amazon, apologizing for the delay and telling him his book would be mailed Monday…  We got our Password Safe program and data back, thanks to my husband hooking up his hard drive to my computer until things pass for some kind of normal around here. We made a DVD copy of our data so we won’t be without it again.

Being without a computer is a character-building exercise. Being without TWO computers and access to passwords has been really challenging. We’re thankful we had the laptop from the shop, but I hope I won’t have to use it – except for loading pics of what new mailbox decoration I’m trying to paint – for a long time, if ever again.

My husband is taking a well-deserved nap now. He even got it so I can print something!

Remaining problems are mainly that my data and storage drives aren’t showing on the computer. I’m really thankful we regularly back my main data drive on a couple of external drives. I’ve been using that while on the laptop, and am using it now, as I type.

It’ll be a LONG time before I start taking my computer, keyboard, access to passwords, etc., for granted.

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes, character-building exercises

Trying to Learn Patience


Our son kindly arranged for a box of mangosteens to be sent to us from a company in Florida. We ate one small one the other day. My husband said, “Good, but I wouldn’t travel far for one,” with his usual exuberant attitude toward most things. I found it really interesting to peel (our son sent a video he made of peeling and eating the fruit), and was delighted to find out SWEET the sections were – kind of like eating a super-sweet orange. I wish I could describe the taste better, but it’s really nice. Our son says he “eats them like candy.”

We’ve been waiting for more to ripen. All of them were like billiard balls when they arrived. That’s good, because you don’t want all of them to ripen right away and waste much of the fruit. We’ve had some on the island in the kitchen, but they weren’t ripening. A good friend suggested that we put them in a paper bag. I did that and I’ve been checking them each morning. So far, still billiard balls.

I think this is yet another character-building exercise – waiting for the mangosteen to ripen. It’s a good thing we weren’t depending on these for sustenance….



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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, character-building exercises, Healthy Eating