Tag Archives: family

Thoughts on A Friday 9-13-2019

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

We are about to go to Lunch Bunch – our every Friday brunch/lunch with long-time good friends to enjoy sharing what has happened since LAST Friday, what is coming up, good news, bad news, lots of hugs and laughter. We have done this for some 17 years now and our friendship is priceless. Our son will go with us today, so it will be even more special.

I’m thankful for what should be a quiet day – a treasured thing now.


A couple of hours have passed. Our Internet keeps going down, so I gave up and we went to Lunch Bunch. We had a great time. We’ve now replenished groceries and I’m again trying to get a post off before the net goes down again. Challenging, to say the least.

I hope YOUR Friday is a good one, and that you have much for which to be thankful, too.




Filed under Family, Friendship, Thoughts on a ________

Thoughts on a Tuesday 9-10-2019



I’ve told you that my priority has shifted from ONLY trying to grind through my endless to-do list to making SURE I have some fun each day and getting exercise.  This is the latest therapy to come from my art room.  I wish you could see the sparkly nature of it. The leaves are done with clear glitter glue, but on the blue tee the paint turns a really nice, sparkly green.

I will earn my second gold star for the week, doing a nice long session of ‘old lady’ yoga stretching this afternoon. Since I sloughed off for so long, I have essentially started over, (starting again last week) but I AM beginning to feel a bit looser. I’m particularly feeling it in my mid-section (!) when I walk.  My husband sits in his recliner reading as I practice my stretches. We both laugh at my ‘Rice Krispies body’ – with all the audible snap, crackling and popping as I change positions.

I am MUCH happier since I decided that life is too short to only do fun things ONLY when the list has been accomplished.  Now I’m accomplishing a reasonable number of things, but also feeling better health-wise and happier in my heart.

I have told you that our son is here, having traveled to be with us from Thailand where he lives and works. He is helping us find our new normal since my husband’s stroke in July.  Even with the health scare, it’s a joyful time when he is here. I love our talks, his wonderful sense of humor, and his gold-medal-winning hugs that fill my heart to overflowing.

Mother Nature is still teasing us with HINTS of the coming fall, allowing us to enjoy having the doors open in the mornings to catch a wonderful breeze and then joyfully frying us like eggs in the afternoon with heat indices of around 100 degrees F.  My raised bed, square foot garden is breathing its last, even with our irrigation system. It’s just too hot for them. It’s too hot to start fall plants, as well, (it’s at least a gazillion degrees in our greenhouse) so we wait for relief. My husband wants me to try to grow strawberries next spring, so I’ll start reading everything I can find on that.

I  hope that YOUR Tuesday brings you something that makes you smile.






Filed under exercise, playing in my art room, taking care of yourself, Thoughts on a ________

Happy Saturday!

Art and Expression via 2 STAR art

Things are gloriously QUIET around here today! A few errands, a few chores. My husband is doing well, our son is home. We are happily surrounded by our two dogs, two cats, and four goldfish, plus three hummingbirds flying around the feeder this morning.

DAY 5 of my renewed yoga practice, time to play in my art room, dinner figured out.

Doesn’t get much better than this. I hope you’re having a happy Saturday, too.


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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.



Filed under Family, Mother Nature, taking care of yourself, Thoughts on a ________

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.




Filed under Cherishing the Quiet Day, Family, Friendship, Mother Nature

Good Morning!

Jeff Jett – Linkedin

Good morning!

I hope today finds you healthy and happy, enjoying a great Sunday.

Our main feeling here is thankful –

  • thankful that my husband doesn’t have to have surgery and can concentrate on improving his walking and talking after his stroke;
  • thankful that our son is here to help us through this;
  • thankful for insurance;
  • thankful for good doctors;
  • thankful for good test results;
  • thankful for caring relatives and friends;
  • thankful for good hugs.

We’re hoping that Mother Nature will cooperate with us tonight, allowing us to cook celebration steaks outside on the grill.

I hope your Sunday is filled with wonderful things, too.


Filed under Cause for Celebration, Cherishing the Quiet Day, Family, Friendship

Thursday Joy

Photo posted by Jeff Jett on LinkedIn

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Awe-Inspiring Photography, CUTE!, Family, Jeff Jett Photography, your 'awwww' for the day

Happy Saturday


We are enjoying a nice, quiet Saturday.  Our most stressful thing today has been trying to program our thermostats upstairs and downstairs. :0)  We THINK we have it done now.

We don’t have anywhere we have to be, so we can do a clean-up of details. I’m going to try to do a quick session or two of weeding flower planters and pruning roses, plus checking on the garden. I’ll keep the sessions short and drink lots of water in-between.

It’s good to be able to enjoy the calm today. Our son is with us. All is good.


Filed under Cherishing the Quiet Day, Family, taking care of yourself


About Signs

Having a health scare is just that -scary.  Trying to get help for it is a character-building exercise at a time you’re under great stress. Once the initial hurdles have been jumped over, another of life’s realities rears its ugly head – you have to take charge, doing whatever is necessary to get the help needed.

Yesterday was a case in point. I have almost no tongue left because of biting it so many times while I was on the phone making my way through the bureaucratic maze, trying to get tests scheduled and appointments made.

I had been told we would receive calls regarding where and when we should show up for tests and referrals to various specialists. I was given a card with a phone number to call in case that didn’t happen. I was to use it if I didn’t hear anything in a week.

When I called the number on the card, I found that the ‘referral department’ doesn’t actually handle referrals – they give you phone numbers to call – one of which was the ‘scheduling department.’ It turned out that the scheduling department didn’t actually schedule the tests, they ‘authorized’ them. I received another number to call to actually schedule the tests.  The finally scheduled group of added tests will help the specialists figure out what is needed and who should do it.

You get the picture.

It’s bad enough to go through the health scare. The problem is compounded when you finally realize that even though you HAVE TO go through the maze – endure the system – in order to get help, you are your own best advocate. You have to steadily, persistently, keep pushing until you actually get the needed tests scheduled, the actual appointments scheduled to see the specialists, get the results of those, the plan of attack to fix the original problem, the guidance on how to best care for the person who is sick and isn’t in a position to deal with this.

We are thankful. Our son – who lives and works in Thailand – wanted to come to help. He did and is here. He is keeping us calmer, more able to slog through the mazes, phone trees, delays, frustration, attitudes, and emotions, actually injecting some much-needed humor, as well as calm strength.


Filed under Challenges, Changes, character-building exercises, Family, taking care of yourself


Inna Kashkovar

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Filed under Attitude, Encouragement, Family, Friendship

A Son’s Love


Our son is giving me some lessons on how to get the most out of my iPhone.  I have access to a tutorial, but I never seem to give it first priority. Last night we sat down together and he showed me about six different things I didn’t know I COULD do –

  • I have moved the icons I use most to the first page where I can find them more easily.
  • I have learned to pull down from the top of my phone to access search.
  • I have now used Google Maps to enable the GPS function.
  • I can swipe from the bottom up to access airplane mode and other useful things
  • I learned to use the button on the side of the phone to switch my phone from ring to silence, and back again, rather than going about it in a totally more bumbling, laborious way.

We’re going to continue my lessons, and I have to say I am feeling empowered!

Besides my phone lessons, I’m getting my hugs bucket filled. I’m laughing so much my stomach hurts at times. He makes me feel calm and better able to deal with a health issue our family is facing. My husband and I are SO lucky to have a wonderful, caring son. We treasure every minute with him.


Filed under empowerment, Family, kindness, taking care of yourself

Humor as a Stress Reliever

Sometimes we aren’t sure which way to jump, which path to take, what is in our future.

One of the many things my dad taught me was to stand back and try to see the humor in any situation. He had a bad accident, falling off a horse when he was three, leaving him with a shortened left arm with an almost useless hand. He learned to use humor to keep kids from bullying him. He would make them laugh so hard they forgot his ‘disability’ and took him into their group. He used jokes and sarcasm to make his views known. An example of this was he would say, “Nice skirt” to me – when he actually thought it was too short and I needed to change my clothes. Whenever he was in a group, you would soon hear laughing. He passed his ability to see humor in most situations on to me. Just before he died, he scrawled on a napkin, “Remember me laughing.” Though it took me awhile, I do. What a strong, smart man he was!

I have used his lessons many times over the years. I can never win an argument, for example, because I can either easily see the other person’s point of view, or I ‘see’ us having a ‘discussion,’ see the humor in the situation – or the fact that what we are ‘discussing’ has little priority in what is important in life, and the tension dissolves.

Many times life throws us curves that challenge us on seeing the humor.

We’re in the middle of one right now, and things have been difficult. Our son is now home with us, helping with the situation. He brings CALM, caring, good sense, a healthy sense of the ridiculous, love, and lots of hugs. He has had us laughing several times already and he’s only been home a day.

I found this on the net this morning, and it made me smirk. A good reminder to keep my head on straight and be extremely glad my two guys are together. Together we will figure out in which direction we should go.


I Need Real Help

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, Family, taking care of yourself

Some Days

Bookish Buzz via Cathy Ruggiero

We got an email that the newest Nora Roberts’ In Death series paperback will be delivered tomorrow.

I decided to celebrate its coming by re-reading all the books in the series – 48 to be exact – before I allow myself to read the latest. I’m on book 7 right now, deep in Eve Dallas’ and Roarke’s world in New York City in the future.

Due to a health issue in our family, our son came home last night from Thailand. We picked him up at the airport about midnight, getting home about 1am this morning.

Two huge reasons to celebrate!


Filed under Family, Reading is FUNdamental


Terrance E Stock – LinkedIn


Filed under Attitude, Encouragement, Family, Friendship


Beautiful World via Marianna Bellantoni

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Awe-Inspiring Photography, Family

Happy Saturday

Inna Kashkovar – LinkedIn

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I Ain’t Dead Yet

via Jackie Lyons

I have to tell you I’m patting myself on the head right now. Why?

Usually technology does a great job of kicking me in the rear – to the point it’s difficult to sit at times. Today I received an email from the 16-year-old boy for whom we will serve as host parents for the next school year starting in August. He’s from Italy and he plays soccer. :0)

The email said he wanted to chat via Whatsapp and gave his number.

After panicking, I managed to find Whatsapp in the Apps Store on my phone and installed it. Then I tried to add Alessandro to my contacts there. No way, Jose’ over and over again. Finally, I emailed him asking if he could send me an invitation, since I wasn’t having any luck on this end. We juggled quite awhile and finally connected! We chatted awhile for the very first time. He sounds like a really nice guy and I’m looking forward to meeting him in person.

Meanwhile, I was able to assure him that Greenwood High School does, in fact, have a soccer team and that they would be happy to give him a chance to be on it. I think that was his most important concern.

I finally managed, after messing around with my regular contacts list on my computer, to edit his information correctly, so now we are truly connected. I made sure he knows that he can contact us any time with questions or concerns – and so – our adventure begins!

It’s good to know that I met the challenge and prevailed. I ain’t dead yet!


Filed under adventures, Challenges, Family

Maybe Not ‘Forever’


On the way back from the grocery store this morning, I asked my husband, “Will you love me forever?”

He said, “Maybe not forever, but I’ll go for the next 1,000 years.”

I’ll take it. :0)

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Filed under Attitude, Encouragement, Family

Poor Amber

Amber was slow coming back from her morning outing this morning. When I went to look for her, she was at the door in the garage – HURT.

We bathed her VERY carefully and checked her over. Besides the deep scrape on her head, she has scrapes on all four legs. She is limping a bit, but is getting around okay. She wanted to eat and drink and has kept everything down. I put antibiotic ointment on all the scrapes and gave her a doggie pain pill to help her calm down and rest.

So far, she’s resting well. We are watching her like hawks in case we need to take her to the vet. I honestly think we have done most of what the vet would have done and that she’ll be okay.

We have no clue what happened. I wish dogs could TALK!  Poor Amber.


Filed under Amazing Animals, Family

Our Dog Just Taught Us Something!


This is Amber, our 2-year-old, 94-pound yellow lab. I just let her in a few minutes ago. She was panting. She plopped down, legs splayed, chin on the floor. Suddenly, she lifted her head and panted a few seconds, then plopped her chin back down on the floor. She did this over and over.

LESSON:  You can’t pant with your chin on the floor.   :0)

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In Memory of Sweet Mona

A good online friend of mine, very talented Paul Miitaru of Romania, lost his sweet pet, Mona. I wanted to share a couple of his photographs of her to pay tribute to her memory.

“My Mona” – Paul Militaru Photography


“Mona” – Paul Militaru Photography

SO sorry for your loss, Paul. Mona definitely won the lottery when it came to finding you.

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Awe-Inspiring Photography, Family, Paul Militaru Photography


If you haven’t already, meet Amber, our 94-pound, two year old yellow lab “puppy.”

Sweet, huh?  Loveable, yes. But FULL of vinegar.

We were sitting in the office, each at our own computer, enjoying a rare day of having the front and back doors open to receive a nice breeze, when a truly awful smell permeated the room. It was SO bad I almost got physically sick.

I got up to find that Amber had found ‘something’ that had been dead for several days and brought it to the front door. Isn’t that SWEET.

I yelled, help – asking for my husband to get rid of the ‘something’ while I started handling Amber.

We chained her up to the deck, hosed her down, poured doggie shampoo all over her and I scrubbed, and scrubbed. We hosed her off, soaped her again… several times before we thought maybe we had done enough. We changed the chain so she was on the deck and couldn’t get off and left her to dry.

I went inside and was STILL smelling the awful smell from just walking her through the house from the front to the back door, so I sent around with Febreze – probably one of the biggest tests of its life, spraying everywhere as I walked through the foyer, the office, the living room, the back porch, the kitchen, the pantry, the two half baths, the dining area, several times.

Then I went to the sink and used the metal soap bar thingie that you’re supposed to use when you’ve been cutting up garlic or onions and can’t get the smell off your hands, then soap, then the metal bar again….

I then went out and toweled Amber off to the point that she could come in. I couldn’t smell it anymore, but maybe my nose died!

My husband didn’t say anything when I let her in, so maybe we’ve met the challenge.

I will never understand why doggies love to find something truly awful and roll in it.

Sweet doggie – BAH! HUMBUG!

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Stunt Woman

Doug Powell via email from Marsha Koenig

I went outside to clear my overloaded brain and check on the veggie garden.  I heard Amber (our 94-pound lab PUPPY) barking behind me, somewhere over by the greenhouse. I continued on toward the garden and all of a sudden, she bounded out of the shop and was running toward me a breakneck speed!

I averted getting knocked down flat on my back by making a quick turn and running toward a tree. She skimmed past me, then turned on a dime and tried to jump up on me, tongue lolling as she laughed.

I yelled, “DOWN!” To my amazement, she did it!  This is probably a fluke that will never happen again, but I feel empowered right now. :0)

(By the way, the veggies are doing fine.)


Filed under Amazing Animals, Challenges, Family, Funny Signs - Humor

Cats are a Quality of Life Thing

Alina Ciuciu – “Now I Need to Sleep” – LinkedIn


Vintage Dragonfly Mosaics via Cathy Ruggiero


Tetiana Shevchuk – LinkedIn


TheCatHouseontheKings.com via Cathy Ruggiero


Animal Wallpapers – Desktop Nexus


Our Abby


Our Smoke

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Family, quality of life

Living the Life

Our son sent this picture of the sunset in Koh Lanta, Thailand this morning. He can work anywhere, so he’s enjoying this beautiful island for a bit. We are so delighted that he can arrange to enjoy life while working!

He took this picture behind the workspace he’s using. This is a community workspace where you can go, spend the day, work by yourself on a computer or electronics, or whatever, or collaborate with others. The people there will bring you food and drink, and then you can take a break and run on the beach!

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Celebration of “NOT”


We are celebrating today that WE ARE –

  • NOT starting the brick laying on the second planter today
  • NOT working in the yard today
  • NOT cleaning the house

I –

  • AM posting happily on my blog
  • AM doing meal prep for our feast tonight – hamburgers, baked beans, cole slaw, potato salad and deviled eggs
  • AM taking the time to enjoy a good book
  • AM enjoying being able to have front and back doors open – enjoying a wonderful breeze
  • AM enjoying playing with our animals and spending time with my husband.

I hope that YOU can enjoy a “celebration of NOT” today, too!

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Filed under Attitude, Encouragement, Family, holidays

Sharing a Beautiful Day

I just enjoyed walking around the yard, taking stock of what’s what while marveling that it wasn’t raining! Right now it’s 70 degrees F.!  Just gorgeous.  I wanted to show you the results of my trying to create a bit of order from the chaos created by Mother Nature recently. Here is one of our Rio Samba rosebushes. I pruned the three we have so they’ll bloom again in a couple of weeks. You can also see the tarp that is hopefully preserving the potting soil we removed from one of the two planters that collapsed. We are trying to gear up for rebuilding these ourselves, since the only estimate we’ve been able to get from an actual bricklayer was WAAAAAY too high.

Here you see one of the planters I weeded, cleaned out, and pruned.  You can see I need to weed whack next….

The second of the trio planters between our front yard and the driveway.

And this is the third planter. These are end-to-end .


And another. We have 14 planters we built 30 years ago. We live on top of a ridge line, so what soil there is was trucked in when we had the house built.  With the potting soil and an irrigation system, we are able to grow the flowers we love.

This is one view off the deck. We have lots of wave petunias and periwinkles on the deck this year. You can see our view in one direction. We love to pretend we own all this.

Here’s a view the other direction.

Some Impatiens on the front porch.

and more. You can see this planter needs some work.

And finally, I my travels around the yard I found –




and Abby, all enjoying the screened porch on this lovely day.

I hope it’s really nice where you are, too!

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I let our sweet dog, Molly, in this morning after her morning run. When I came back to our office, our son’s face was on my husband’s computer!

Our son lives and works in Thailand. We chat almost every day on a secure chat program he set up for us, but today we also had a conference call with him!  This is similar to Skype, but a LOT better, with good quality video, good quality audio, and very few interruptions.

I’m prejudiced, I know, but there is little that makes me happier than seeing our son’s face, watching him smile, trying to make him laugh, catching up on what’s new. We can almost forget he’s across the planet from us.

We won the lottery on sons. He’s a wonderful communicator and we’re very close. The only thing we don’t get is his world-class hugs.  I’m lucky because when we saw him in December, he very generously filled up my hugs bucket to overflowing.

He has just moved to a new place and is getting settled, making the workplaces he wants, moving things around so he’s comfortable.

So – I’m still grinning from ear to ear, feeling extremely happy with my world this morning. I hope you’re happy with YOURS, too. :0)

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Your Sweet for the Day

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Awe-Inspiring Photography, Family, your 'awwww' for the day


Terrance E Stock – LinkedIn

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Filed under Attitude, Encouragement, Family, Friendship, quality of life

Poor Amber

Poor Amber was bitten/stung by ‘something’ yesterday. The whole side of her mouth was swollen, but she didn’t seem to be in any pain. I have no clue what we’re dealing with.

She is better this morning, with much less swelling. She had a good appetite this morning and drank some water. I’m monitoring her. She’s in Molly’s small bed, seemingly comfortable, sleeping off and on.

Since she’s somber (but still wagging her tail) I’m hoping she learned to stay away from whatever it was in the future that stung or bit her.


Filed under Amazing Animals, Family