Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or Treat

This is the first time we've ever had kids come for Trick or Treat.  We always buy candy, but people load up and go to subdivisions and churches.  I told this mom to come back later and get the rest of the candy:)  She sounded pretty pleased with that.

Thanks for the Silly Putty:)

Cutting Soybeans

Today Roger is cutting the soybeans on our property.  I have no idea whether it is a good crop or not.  I don't really think it is because there are patches where I see green so that has to be weeds as the soybeans are brown now.
We have about four fields planted in soybeans, but none of the fields are very big. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Funny Friend Story

I like flowers, bushes, trees, and grass outside.  My husband likes those things plus bird feeders, birdbaths, gnomes, and stuff.  He recently put a tall flag out front.  I asked if he was going to get one of those green Jesus signs next.
He said defensively, "I might."
I asked if he knew where they got them.
He said from church.  So I knew we wouldn't be getting a Jesus sign.
I was telling my friend that story and she said, "Come to church with me and I'll steal him one from the Baptists."

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Rum Diary

Today we ate at Pinera's and saw the Rum Diary.  Johnny Depp is a good actor.  He plays widely divergent characters well.  I don't like any of them, but he does do a good job.  I would like to see him play a part in a blow-up-the-bad-guys movie. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Annoying Day

My paints are old and need to be replaced.  My gourd books didn't arrive.  I have some pages I printed off a website and tried to clean a gourd I've already allowed to dry.  It is very difficult to cut a dried gourd.  I managed to find a saw and that eventually worked.  Then I found out I was supposed to have pushed a button when I opened it.  I tried, but it didn't push.  It wouldn't close back with the button or without.  So of course it was my fault that the saw wouldn't close because I had opened it.  I think the correct medium for my craft work is probably silly putty.  And I need a new ink cartridge in my printer. 
OK.  the new ink cartridge is installed.  That is one thing that I managed to accomplish today.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pebble Isle Marina

Today we ate lunch at Pebble Isle Marina.  They will only be open Friday through Sunday starting next week, so I guess it will be more crowded.  It is a pleasant, peaceful place with a view of the Tennessee River, boats and forest.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ongoing Stuff

Today I raked leaves for a while.  I don't think it counted as exercise because I didn't breathe hard.  I'm trying for leaf mold which I read has 300x the moisture retention of something...compost? concrete?  Anyway, I have been looking forward to gathering some up even though last year Larry took what I had gathered up.  I've tried to make it clear that I have plans for this.  Maybe not as he seems to think I eat from the garden therefore I care about it.
I vacuumed up a carpet of wasps from my art room.  Larry put a bomb in the attic this time.  Hopefully it will discourage them.
I painted some, but I brought a project into the sunroom so I won't have to share space with the wasps.  Too bad wasps don't make honey...we have lots of them.
I haven't done anything with the gourds yet.  I'm waiting on the books I ordered yesterday.  My email message said they've shipped them:)

Monday, October 24, 2011


The land where we lived is considered "marginal."  Some trees die because of drought.  Some break off when we have "straight line" winds.  Some tip over when we've had strong winds following lots of rain.  That means we constantly have a lot of debris.
 The tree that is down in the picture above is where we worked this morning.  Yesterday we cleared around it with the weed whacker.  Today Larry used a chain saw and extension tree pruner to tidy up what you see as a long trunk.  This is a hickory tree.  He took a couple of rather large limbs off of it and dragged it up with the gator.  Then he cut it up with the chain saw into about six or eight inch chunks.  He's split some of them and stacked them in the "finishing shop" in a rubbermaid container.  The back of the gator still has a lot of the chunks.  The chunks are for using on the grill or smoker.
 This tree blew over and landed on the old chicken house.  It doesn't have chickens in it now.  It has been insulated, closed in, painted, floored, and is used for storage.
 This is the east side of the chicken house.  The damage from the limbs of the tree is still visible.  Since the trunk is still on the west side, nothing will be done to repair the damage until they get all of the tree trunk off.
 This is the bottom of the tree that landed on the storage shed/chicken house.  The root with the dirt is because of high winds with water-saturated ground when the top is heavy with leaves. 
 This tree broke off and has been cleaned up some.
This is another shot of the same tree from a different angle.  It has broken off from southerly winds.  What doesn't show up as well is that another tree is very close to it broken off from northerly winds.
Some of the wood is useful.  Some of it is just a mess.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Today a kid was cutting grass with a power push mower and singing loudly.  When Larry came out, I pointed it out to him.  He said I used to do that when I cut the grass. 
"I didn't know I could be heard over the sound of the lawn mower!"
He said, "Oh, yeah.  The kids would ask, 'What's wrong with Mama?'"

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Wonderful video clip about Patrick Willis


The paint that will resist uv rays has a picture of a birdhouse on top of the bottle.  It does a good job resisting fading by the sun.  But it is thick and I can't make smooth lines with it.  I like painting with the regular paint better.  If it is too thick, I can just dilute it.  The birdhouse paint isn't supposed to be diluted.  It still looks ok as long as you don't get too close to it. That is pretty much true of anything I paint, though.

Friday, October 21, 2011


Today I exercised 15 whole minutes, sort-of-jogging on my little trampoline with my little hand weights listening to We Few.  
 Then it seemed reasonable to open the greenhouse and art room while I painted in the greenhouse.  Opening the door's window would have been better than just leaving the door open because then I wouldn't have had to get two birds out of my art room and clean up their mess! 
Buckets over my peppers protected them from frost.  They are loaded with blooms still, so I want to protect them as long as I can.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Larry went to check the live animal trap this morning.


I exercised eight minutes yesterday and ten minutes today.  I held the little hand weights in various positions and kept moving my feet.  Nobody could consider it "jogging," but I was moving and it was hard to breathe.  The health coach seems to think I need to exercise so that my heart beats faster.  I pointed out that I try hard to avoid anything like that.  But I am trying...for two days now.  I worked up to 15 minutes of jogging on my little trampoline several years ago...and then quit.  I have a problem with maintenance.
I thought about using the WII but I was listening to Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan. 
OK.  That is one of the obnoxious things on today's list.  Two more to go...paint, change my summer sheets for winter.  I decided to to the hardest thing first.  Exercise for ten funny is that...that's the most difficult thing I intend to do today:)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Well.  DIY has hit a new low for me.  I had stitches and went to the doctor to have them removed.  This is a pain because it takes about 40 minutes to drive there and another 40 to return home.  Plus the time involved with waiting varies.  The $25 copay was part of it, too.  But I ended up with some lumpy-feeling places so I was pulling out stitches even after all the driving, waiting, paying.
So this time I decided I would remove the stitches myself.  I used nail clippers to cut the knots off and tweezers to pull the bright blue stitches out.  Good job.  No blood, no lumpy places.
Now if I can just get Larry to remove the ones in back that I can't see.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

really nice day

It was rainy and cold outside, and I was able to sit in front of the fireplace with my Kindle reading a book that made me laugh out loud.
My husband had the window open and the fan going.  I told him any jury of thin women would say it was justifiable homicide if he didn't close the windows and start up the fireplace.  He looked pretty surprised, but very cooperative.


Wasps are in my art room...again.  The last time I had exterminators come spray.  This time they are awful but not as bad so I bought foggers.  We'll see.  I cannot paint in that room with even the possibility of wasps.  All I can do is stand there with a vacuum cleaner to suck them up as I find them.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Live Animal Trap

We went out to check the live animal trap this morning.  The can of tuna was gone, but the trap hadn't sprung.  I wonder what got it.


PBS television had a show about irises. The radio gardener guy said to transplant irises in the fall.  The pbs show said to transplant them in July or August.  I wanted to transplant in August, but I waited because the guy on the radio was so insistent about transplanting them in the fall. 
The pbs show said not to mulch the bearded irises.  Well, mine are mulched.  I guess I'll go pull the mulch away.  That will be a big job.  It said to not fertilize them.  I've been fertilizing pretty regularly.  The greenery is wonderful on mine, but I didn't get much in the way of blooms.
About the only thing it looks like I did right was to keep the dead stalks and leaves picked off.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Saw the Footloose remake

I don't remember liking the original one as much as I liked this one.  Plus it brought back memories of the kids bringing cardboard to school to do their spins and break dancing on.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Greenhouse Update

I had the greenhouse all cleaned out, wiped down with clorox, sprinkled with diatomaceous earth, new trays lined with new plastic.  Then I took cuttings of impatiens and angelwing begonias, and moved whole plants of strawberries and dichondra.  The empty trays are for planting seeds in February.
 Impatiens cuttings and dichondra that I'm trying to save will help me have the same things that I liked about my flowers this year.
 I liked the angelwing begonias and dichondra this year, so I am trying to save them for next year.  My greenhouse is about 10x12 so I can't just bring the whole things inside, plus, they get too heavy. 
 This shot shows three of my favorites, angelwing begonias, dichondra, and impatiens.  I tried cuttings of dichondra, but wasn't successful with them.  They produce seeds, but they are difficult to find and germinate less than enthusiastically for me.  My best success has been to get the roots and trim the long stuff off. 
 I saved seeds and cuttings for impatiens.  They are easy to grow.  They like shade, semi-shade, water, and fertilizer.
 This shot shows the baskets that I've emptied, replaced the liners, put starters of dichondra, and angelwing cuttings.  The shelves show the angelwing cuttings I plan to use in my flowerboxes. 
The baskets look sad at this time of year, but I have high hopes for how they will look in the spring.
We have visited botanical gardens all over the world and have gotten some really good ideas from various ones.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Well, That Was a Boring Story...Not Creative at All

I went to the dentist.  The assistant was wearing a leg brace.  I asked her what happened, and she said she fell in the shower.  I told her that was a boring story and she had to answer that question a lot so she should think up better answers, for example she was in the shower with her boyfriend and fell.  Everybody was howling by then.
Today I went back to the dentist and asked the assistant how she hurt her leg.  She said she fell when she was in the shower with her boyfriend.  Then the dentist said the assistant had told a college student that when she asked the day before and was saying, "I'm just kidding, another patient told me to say that"  before she even took a breath.
But again, everybody was still laughing...the gift that keeps on giving.

New Size

I'm replacing my clothes (gradually).  I'm changing out women's 2X to miss L.  This is a big deal.  No picture is available because I still have a band aid on my face from the biopsy (it came back clear, but the stitches are still in and have to be covered...oh, and allergic reaction to the adhesive in the band aid didn't help, either).
But the stitches can come out in three more days and I will STILL be my new size:)
The picture in my profile is XL top...not my new size.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ready for Frost

Today I finished with everything I intend to do about putting plants in the greenhouse.  I still have a few things to do in there, but when it freezes, nothing will be hurt.  I put one flower box with strawberry plants in the basement to see if they live through the winter with only that amount of protection.  If it does, it's good to know.  If it doesn't, I have plenty I put in the greenhouse already.  I'm not positive strawberries will do well wintered over in the greenhouse.  I know they are all right in the ground.  I have had some in the ground.  They did extremely well.  I didn't like bending over to pick them.  I didn't like squatting down to pick them.  I gave them to some Amish people who would come and dig them out.  Planting them in flower boxes is a convenient height, but I don't think they would survive the cold in just the flower boxes.  The guy at the nursery suggested putting the boxes on the ground and covering them with straw.  I had so many things planted in the same boxes that I had to separate the stuff anyway.  There must surely be a more practical way to be as lazy as I want to be.
I'm really happy that I have everything inside instead of waiting until the weather channel says that this is the night of the first killing frost and then having to dash around like crazy.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Another Flower Compliment

The lady who stopped today to compliment my flowers said she had thought about sending me a card to tell me how beautiful my flowers are but since she saw me outside, she would just stop and tell me.  She said I should take a picture and send it in to a magazine:)
It is nice to tell people when you like something they have done.  It means a lot even when you don't know them.

I'm a Customer

I'm a pretty reluctant shopper.  It has to happen and I try to make it pretty short.  So if I can't find something immediately, I look for an employee.
I want to be treated nicely, so I have to treat the employee with respect, too.  They are people with jobs, trying to take care of their families.  They tend to do what they think the job entails.
The employee may not understand that when he/she isn't actively punching numbers in on a machine, it is a good idea to be walking up and down the aisles checking to see if things are where they belong.  That way when a customer asks for help and is taken to the place they should be, they are actually there.  Customers tend to pick things up in one place and lay them down somewhere else.  Kids leave things all over the classroom.  The teacher tries to train them to put things back, but is constantly noticing when something is out of place and fixing it or telling somebody else to fix it.
The employee should be totally familiar with what is in the section he is responsible for.  I'm not very happy when I hear, "The computer says we have 15 of them, but I don't know where they are."  Well, I certainly don't know where they are and I'm not willing to go through an entire store looking at the top shelves trying to read the writing without binoculars.
If there are two people working a small store and they need to catch up on their gossip, they could both start at one end of the store, opposite sides, and still hold a conversation while picking up, putting, up, straightening up, and cleaning up.
As a customer it is also my responsibility to count my change.  I got home once and found I owed $20 more than I had paid.  To be who I think I am, I have to be honest.  I went back to the store and showed the mistake and paid the $20.  It was my understanding that the clerk might have to put that money in to balance the cash register or whatever they do at closing time.
I don't count my change because I think they are trying to rip me off.  I don't want to live being suspicious of everybody with whom I come in contact.  I'm responsible for myself, and I want to shop quickly and pay for what I get.  It is nice to be greeted with a smile and have someone say, "Let me know if I can help you." 
I buy more at a store where I don't have to hunt things. 

Cheap and Easy

Those clamps to close bags are great but I never have enough and they don't last forever.  I put a small container of paper clips in a kitchen drawer to close cereal bags, bags of coconut, whatever.

Monday, October 10, 2011


People keep saying exercise is good for me and fun.  Duh.  Well, here's one that is kind of fun.  Try stepping on a moth.  They're quick and not very smart.  You'd think they'd fly up to the ceiling, but if they are on the floor, they just flit to another spot on the floor.  So between laughing and jumping around trying to stomp one, that has to be exercise.  Well, not 15 minutes worth three times a week.  Still looking for exercise that is fun. 
I spent a long time looking for exercise that was easy enough to be fun.  Hurting myself isn't fun, so that lets a lot of things out.
I thought downhill skiing would be easy.  Let the thing pull me up the hill, slide down.  It only sounds easy.
Wind surfing sounds easy.  Stand on a board, let the wind blow me around.  Again, it only sounds easy.  Plus, if your instructor is dyslexic you can't just reverse left and right because they don't always get it wrong.
Snorkeling is pretty easy.  There isn't a lot of equipment to carry like with scuba diving.  You just lay on top of the water and breathe through that tube.  I'm not convinced it is exercise, but it is outside and not sitting down.  You can sunburn your entire back in just a few minutes and never notice until you're trying to wear clothes again.
Tennis is kind of fun if I can just play net...stand there and try to keep the ball from killing me.  I get so tickled when the ball is coming fast and often that it is dangerous.  Plus I've damaged myself with my own racket more than once. 


The trees are beginning to show color.  Brown is a color, right?

Sunday, October 9, 2011


I cooked Dreamfields penne paste (carbed blocked), then put it in a pan with rotisserie chicken cut off the bones, cut up peppers, and stirred the Philadelphia savory garlic cream cheese product.  It made a very good main dish.  For sides we each had mustard greens and 1/2 ripe banana plantain.  I considered it a healthy meal and Larry complimented it.  He made a face when I told him my plan, but he was pleasantly surprised:)

Busy Day

Today I put four quarts of mustard greens in the freezer.  It takes a lot for them to wilt down to four quarts.  I've also put three quarts of tomatoes, onions, and eggplant in the freezer. 
All of the flower boxes and baskets are off of the porch now, and about five of them have new coconut fiber lines, plastic with holes in it, and potting soil in, ready for planting.  I've planted two.  So five are ready to plant and four still have the flowers in them from this year.  But I'm going to use those baskets' flowers for the cuttings for the new baskets.  I'm almost finished with the greenhouse until February when I will plant seeds.
The weather has been gorgeous.  It has been really nice. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

If the Panties Fit

I gave my friend a few boxtops for education to take to school.  I had trimmed all of them except one.  She said that was all right, she didn't trim hers; it was enough trouble to check the expiration date.
I said that I trimmed them and checked the expiration date as the students turned them in.
She said, "That's very...."
"Anal," I offered.
She said, "I was going to say thorough.  I was, I was going to say thorough."
I said, "But if the panties fit?"

Friday, October 7, 2011

You Always Hurt the Ones You Love

You always hurt the ones you love...they're a lot handier.
My husband bought a box of pastries today.  This morning his blood sugar was 340.  He doesn't know why because he took his meds.

Eat to Live or Live to Eat

 I'm the one on the left.  I like food.  The whole "live to eat" wasn't the whole story, but still, I like food.  Then the doctor said "Type 2 Diabetes" and I decided the Atkins diet was going to be my best bet.  It is the diet with a loophole because it claims fat is OK, but restrict the carbs and sugar.  Well, sugar substitutes are out there.
The Atkins Diet has worked for me, but I still like food.  That is why there are so many postings about my diet.  I've been on this diet for several years and haven't had to go on any type of medication:)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Atkins Diet

The latest thing I've tried for my ham and cheese roll-ups involves less work than starting off buying a pack of pepper seeds.  I'm not saying I won't plant them again, just that trying to make a cream cheese spread has been disappointing until now.
I bought a jar of Mt. Olive diced jalapeno peppers and a jar on mild salsa.  I mixed about a spoon of each with some cream cheese and spread that on my ham and cheese roll ups.  Yes.  That is good enough to do again. And it's easy enough to do again often.
The next thing for my Atkins diet is a coke float.  I have a coke zero and carb smart ice cream (available at Kroger).
Kroger has a lot of things for my low-carb diet.  I recently found a jogurt that they put out under the name of carbmaster.  There were a lot of flavors available and is not only low-carb, but it's also low fat.  The low fat is not a necessity for a low carb diet, but they didn't offer a low-carb, high fat one.


Yesterday we were in the car for several hours.  My husband had the radio turned to a talk show.  There had been a Native American on the show the previous day who had answered a lot of questions about Native Americans.  A lady called in and said the Native Americans wanted to be buried with their medicine.  She said she didn't know why they'd want all those bottles with them, but that was what the Native American had said.
People can be listening to what is said, but still have a totally wrong idea about what they heard.
Another problem with communication is we want people to guess.  "I'm going to the appliance department.  Where do you want to meet me?"  This is an improvement over wandering off or both people going to every place in the store.  You can not imagine how uninterested I am in lag screws...even if I need some.  I don't look for them, I find somebody who works there, tell him/her what I want, they either point me to it or guide me to it depending on how bewildered I look at the time, and I'm finished.  But that is also how I look at appliances or anything else.  Find somebody to talk to about what I want, get it, and go.  There are times I know what I want and know where it is.  But talking to people is good.  Listening to what they say is good. 
"I'm going to get some trail mix, would you like some?"  That's easy enough to say and is polite.  There is nothing wrong with being polite to people who are around you all the time.  There's nothing wrong with being polite to people you're never going to see again.  It is actually a little faster than being rude.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I Love Hardware Stores

Hardware stores are like museums except everything is new.  When you go to a museum, the tools and implements are old; hardware stores contain what will be in museums later, but in much better condition.
OK, sporting goods stores and department stores are the same, but I'm not as interested in those things.
If you are ever in a foreign country, go to a hardware store.  You can look at what people have in their houses, handle it, and nobody thinks you are rude.
Bed and Breakfasts in the States are fancy.  In Europe, you are staying in somebody's spare room and eating at their table.  Another case of being able to go in somebody's house and look at their stuff. Did you know that if you weigh in Germany, it is in Kilos (2.2 to 1)?  If you weigh in England, it is in stones.
Picture the Rolling Stones as really fat people.  Anyway, I think I would maybe see scales in those countries, but I wouldn't be stunned by how little I weigh.  Everybody should weigh using an English scale...14 to 1!
But seriously, hardware stores allow us to see how other people solve the same problems differently.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Atkins Diet-Not

The doctor said I was Type 2 diabetic and I decided to go on the Atkins diet.  I've lost a lot of weight.  But, a three-month average of my blood sugar is an average.  So most of the time I do low-carb, but when I don't it is hardly ever junk has to be worth the carbs.
I think that last month's splurge was worth the carbs.  I gave one of the loaves away. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

"How Do You Get So Much Done?" Mama asked.

Mama asked me one time how I get so much done.
It was funny to me because I see myself as a lazy person.  An active person likes sports.  I like to sit and read.  So I put a table and chair somewhere that needs work.  Then I sit there with my coffee and book.  Every time I look up, I see something that it would just take a minute or two to do so I get up and do it.  Then I sit back down and read some more.  The next time I look up, there something else is.  So basically I sat down to read and the first thing I know I need to sit at a different place so something else occurs to me.  Almost everything I do is a series of minute or two steps.  If I put them off, they take longer.  If I do it immediately, it's done and wasn't a pain.
So getting stuff done involves a cup of coffee, a table and chair, and a book:)
Last night I sat in the guest bedroom for a while.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

I'm an Idiot

It is my personal belief that everybody is stupid sometimes.  I think that is because I know every stupid thing I do and I know that I'm no always stupid.  So I just extrapolate to the general population with that.
Here is the latest in a long line of things that struck me as really funny once I realized I was wrong.  I don't always take it well when I'm wrong, but it happens.
Do you see how the Tide bottle is positioned on the shelf?  I'd been using it for a couple of weeks with it on its side.  It didn't come out very well.  The bottle said it would come out faster if the blue lid was loosened.  Well, it came out really fast that way...out the blue lid.  Luckily it was over the washing machine.
I went in the laundry nook yesterday and washed a load.  When I saw how perfectly it worked, I started laughing and told Larry I really liked how he had the Tide.  He said he wondered why I didn't have it that way.  I wonder, too.

Jalapeno Peppers

Today Leigh said that Rick puts the peppers in some oil and cooks them slowly.  So I did that, then mashed one of them up with cream cheese and made my ham and cheese roll up.  No skinning, no seeding.  It was tastier.  Also, the oil is good, too.  I may have to plant two packages of seeds next year to get more peppers.  I'll still have more this season, but there's no way I'll have enough to last me until they start making again next year.  Maybe the market will have some in bulk.

First Frost Average Date-Stats

I've been focusing on getting my plants ready to hold over until spring.  It's getting cooler and cooler, though, so I wondered when first frost usually comes since "fall" is pretty general.
Then I went to and found out.  But it was like looking a word up in a real dictionary...lots of interesting stuff to read.  For example, I found out that the schools in our area are ranked above average according to test scores.  A few years ago that wouldn't have meant as much because the tests were not aligned with the national tests.  But things have been different for a couple of years now.  It's pretty interesting to look at the average income level, the numbers on free or reduced lunch, and the school rating.  Not as big on correlating low income to low test scores as one might assume.
Of course, I also wanted to look at the school systems, average income levels, etc., of other places, too.  Interesting stuff.
Oh, and first frost is usually between October 21 and 31.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Taking Cuttings

Today I took cuttings of begonias (144) and sultanas (impatiens, busy Lizzies...150). 

First I trimmed pieces off of existing plants.
Then I snipped the leaves off except the top three.  I also cut the blooms and buds off because I want all the energy to go to making roots.
Then I used a disposable plastic knife to make a place for the cutting and stuck it in.  It isn't difficult, but it took a while.  I loved how my flowers looked this year and I want to do them just that way next year with as small a monetary outlay as possible.
The begonias all started from three cuttings I got from Mama.  I've kept them year after year and took more cuttings from the ones that I grew from those.