Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Considering Resolutions

I'm trying to figure out what I can do to make my life better. Well, something that I'm willing to do. There are lots of things out there that just aren't going on my list. So far I'm dithering about it. I need to come up with at least one because I'm pretty sure things aren't as perfect as possible.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

ATF (After the Fact)

There are people who wait until I've done something and then complain. They watch me do it, waiting to see if I'm going to guess right.
"You didn't save me a bite of that."
"You ate the last piece of candy."
Stuff like that. Well, it makes better sense not to think I can read minds. You want the last one? Get it. Don't wait to see if I'm going to toss it out. You want that last piece of candy? Take it. Whining after I've eaten it is silly.
You didn't offer me any coffee. You didn't ask for any. Communication is all well and good unless you wait until it is too late just to see if I'm considerate. I must not be.

Monday, December 29, 2014


"Why do you think you need a countertop oven?"
"I spent $3,000 on propane. I'm trying to use less gas. It perturbs me to spend that much."

Papers and Boxes

We got rid of a lot of boxes and papers today. Larry complains that I dispose of stuff incorrectly. A lot of what I burn could be put in the garbage. But that would require thinking, evaluating. I'd rather clean off my work area by putting what I'm finished with in a bag without trying to decide if anyone could gather useful information from it. So some of the stuff is still in the envelope when I toss it. So today I stood out in the damp air and ruffled through the piles until I was sure that every page was burned and every spark was extinguished.
I still have a pretty good stack of papers and boxes yet to dispose of. But the biggest pile is gone.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Soy Beans

The guy that plants our fields usually harvests right before Christmas. It is almost the New Year and he still hasn't done anything. It's too wet, still. I don't know if he'll get anything or not. The soybeans didn't look all that great, but we usually get enough to pay a lot of our taxes. Ouch.

My Printer

My printer hasn't worked for at least a month. I figured it was something to do with the power cable since it wasn't showing that it was getting power. But I'd pressed on the connection cable several different times with no results.
Tonight I decided to try plugging it into a different receptacle. Well. The cable fell out of the power box thing. So when I stuck it back in, it came on and printed a couple of things I'd tried to print.
That is such a relief!

End of the Year Stuff

Today I spent a while going through old papers, letters, cards, and pictures. Sometimes I save cards because it is awfully hard to toss them with the loving messages. Sometimes I save stuff because I think I'll use it as a pattern to paint something. So I also have old calendars, etc.
It's great to look at my mementos.
But we're going to burn boxes tomorrow so I can also burn check stubs from 11 years ago. Probably won't need them again. I'll have to fish out the metal spirals, but I can do that.
Anyway, getting rid of the boxes, paper, etc., means that is done for the New Year:)
I hope it doesn't rain tomorrow; I'm ready to git rid of some of that stuff. 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Product Placement?

The second book in the Three Sisters trilogy by Nora Roberts has a character named Mac Book. I wonder if Ms. Roberts uses a Mac.

Trying to Decide

 I'm digging out stuff I've gathered for painting projects and putting them all together instead of one stuck here and another there. The painted watering can was a gift and I painted one like it and gave it away. I was going to try to paint using that pattern. So far I haven't found the pattern. I have another pattern I found. I might use it.
 These are all boxes with sliding lids. Some I bought and some Larry made.
These are boxes from a library that went from card catalog to a computer version. The boxes are nice but the metal thing needs to be removed.
But the reason I decided to go through everything and reorganize projects is that I want my garden books, cookbooks, and painting books all in the art room. I browse through the cookbooks while I'm in my art room.
I guess cooking is a hobby, too.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Why Did You Stop Going to Exercise Class?

Larry wanted to know why I stopped going to exercise class. I told him I didn't want to go. He pushed it. It was annoying to me, probably because I feel like I ought to go. But I'm seriously uncoordinated and decided I would just have to figure something out that didn't involve going somewhere in awful weather to do something I'm bad at. I'm pretty sure I'll have some other excuse when the weather is better.
But it isn't like Larry exercises. He has started walking since I've quit. My feet and knees are better without a lot of steps. I still walk on the porch some, but I'm not interested in checking on steps.

Merry Christmas!

Our pyramid gently turning, Mannheim Steamroller, warm apple cider...I hope your Christmas is happy!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Warm Spiced Apple Cider

While I was in Germany, I went to an evening class making German Christmas cookies. As we walked into the large home ec area of a school, the aroma was wonderful. She said to fill a pot with apple juice and throw in some whole cloves and cinnamon sticks. How much would depend on home much apple juice. The juice is high in sugar, but it is fine with me to only drink a cup of it and just leave it simmering on the stove to make the house smell wonderful.
I looked up some recipes online and ended up making half a gallon of it in our coffee maker, putting the spices in the coffee filter. There were some other things in that recipe, but just putting the cloves and cinnamon sticks worked great. When we'd had some of it, I put the rest in a quart container to cool. I'll refrigerate it and microwave it tomorrow.


Larry called Dish and pointed out that some of the channels he watches aren't on it during negotiations. He likes Turner Classic Movies. It was off for about a month during October. He also mentioned that Fox is currently off.
They said that Fox news and business channels are tied in with the sports and entertainment channels and Fox wants more money.
But they gave him a $10 reduction for five months because of the Turner Classic Movies one month outage.

Not Deaf

Today I opened new earbuds and ordered my next pair. I don't know why the left ear always goes out, but it does. I've paid different prices and gotten different results, but never have I had a pair that lasted long. It may be because I drop them, put them in a pocket and bend frequently, or they just aren't very durable, but when I start a new pair, I buy the next.


I used to think Christmas cards were pretty pointless. If the only time I heard from a person was at Christmas, it wasn't a very close relationship.
So, I have come to realize that the relationships are there whether I see them or talk to them in between, or not. So the cards are nice.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Is It Healthy?

It is pretty surprising to me when Larry wants to know if something I've made is healthy since he has spent so much of his time cutting me off when I'd try to tell him what I'd done to make something healthy.
No, it isn't healthy so I used the small melon scoop and tried to make the portions small. They aren't all that small, actually, but smaller than using the next size up melon scoop.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Planning for Spring

I order my seeds for spring in January. Plant in February, and transplant when the ground warms up.
So that means I'm making my list of seeds to order now. It's cold and gray outside, but I'm thinking or what I'll put in my flower boxes, baskets, and flower beds in the spring:)
I've also started thinking about next year's birthday presents. At a time when people are thinking about Christmas, I'm thinking about next year.

What Happened to Fox?

I don't care for any of the news channels as they seem to me to be expressions of whatever opinions they have. Even if something is a fact, which facts they present constitute opinions. I don't have confidence in the media...any of it.
But. Is Fox's disappearance an example of censorship? If they think taking Fox off the air will turn conservatives into liberals, I don't think that will work.
I am concerned with the direction our media appears to be taking. Where is the choice for viewers? The choice for me is pretty simple. I read.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Odd Smell

There was an odd smell in the kitchen which had me sniffing around trying to find it. It wasn't a good smell. I checked fruit, potatoes, compost pail, garbage can and refrigerator. I finally took the garbage out and maybe that got it. Larry is no help. He doesn't smell it. So, of course, I start wondering if I have a brain tumor. But I don't smell it everywhere.

Dark Witch Trilogy

The Dark Witch trilogy by Nora Roberts starts off badly. But I like Nora Roberts. I don't like it when she dwells on the sexual details. But I like it that family counts and sometimes friends are like family. But the first one had a narrator (yeah, audio book) with a speech impediment. Well, that's what I thought at first. After a while I realized the characters spoke English like someone for whom English is a second language. The "th" sounds had silent "h." I guess my favorite was "third" which came out as "turd." So the first two had an unexpected entertainment factor.
The third book in the series was better. The plot was better, the sex wasn't detailed (thank you!), and the narrator had achieved the "th" blend.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Cleaning Cooked-on Grease

Today I cleaned out the turkey fryer. It was a pretty big job as I hadn't done it for a while. When all the pieces were clean and back together, I noticed the lid was sticky with cooked on grease. I tried soap and noticed no change. I tried vinegar. No change. I used alcohol and it wiped right off. So it now looks clean and feels clean.


When I buy a large package of bacon, it goes bad before I use it all. So I separate the bacon into stacks of two slices, freeze them, and then cut each stack in half. Then I freeze the pieces and pull out however many I want. I can microwave them for a minute to thaw them out, or just let them sit a minute and they thaw.
Nothing goes bad.

Chicken Enchiladas

 I used the last of the rotisserie chicken to make chicken enchiladas. I couldn't find my tortilla press so I had to use a rolling pin:(
I just made a half recipe of the tortillas as I only wanted enough for the chicken enchiladas.
It might have been a little better if I'd had Monterrey Jack cheese or the Mexican mix, but I used cheddar as I had it.
I usually do a red sauce but this was tasty. Butter, flour, chicken broth to make the sauce. Then turn it off and add a can of green chilies and a cup of sour cream.
Inside the tortilla is chicken cooked with onion (the chicken was already cooked as I used leftover chicken) and a tablespoon and a half of shredded cheese.
Slaw finished off that meal...pretty light but I still have a lot left.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Screeching in my Ears

The narrators of some books are seriously annoying. I can like the book, the characters, and hate a female reading an action part in a high-pitched voice. The Egyptian Series by Rick Riordan has a person doing the girl's part who has a great voice and wonderful accent...when she is speaking calmly...which is almost never. It's a fast-paced series and delightful, except for the excited screeching. When I turn the volume down, the other characters' voices are too soft. That series may be better read than in audio.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Today I Noticed

Today at the store I noticed that I'm not tall enough to reach some of the stuff I want. I went looking for a tall guy and asked if he would mind getting it for me. He very kindly did. His wife was nice about it.
I'm not a dwarf. There are a lot of people shorter than I am, which means sometimes they can't even see what is on the top shelves. I saw one short woman walking around with a magnifying glass. I'm pretty sure that limited what she could actually see to what was right in front of her.
In some stores I ask the manager to get things that are on the top shelf. But today's store didn't have any tall guys working. How do they even stock those shelves?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Really Easy Holiday Snacks

 Peanut Clusters
Everybody isn't on a low-carb diet so it's great to have some easy recipes to put together for small gifts or snacks for guests.
Microwave six ounces of chocolate chips and 11 oz of butterscotch morsels for about three minutes. When you stir it, they blend together.
Then stir in a can of Spanish peanuts.
Drop onto waxed paper.

Hot Crackers
Put 1 box of crackers in gallon Ziploc bag.
Mix 1 1/2 cups canola oil, 1 package Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix, 2 Tablespoons crushed red pepper. Pour mixture over the crackers. Let stand several hours or overnight, turning over every half hour or so until the crackers are well-coated. They are better the longer they sit.

Sauce for Hot Dogs or Meatballs
1 can cranberry sauce (jellied or whole)
1 cup ketchup
4 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 T Worcestershire sauce
Put in crockpot; mix well. Add meat and cook on low until heated.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christmas Cards

The last of my Christmas cards will go in the mail tomorrow. I hardly ever write anything except my name because of the year I did everything (including stamp them) except mail them. I found the stack several years later and had to throw them away because I'd written so much stuff in them that no longer applied!
So, this year I'm not too busy to have a clue what I'm doing. That's good.
Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Saturday Stuff

I changed the sheets, washed three loads of clothes, and baked  two loaves of banana nut bread. Easy day, good stuff done.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Rotisserie Chicken

I put the rotisserie together, washed all parts, and put wrapped the chicken up with a tie so no parts would hang out. I tried to get the weight distributed so it wouldn't clunk when cooking. I put cajun seasoning on it after patting it dry. Then I set the timer for thirty minutes longer than the table called for.
Success! No clunking, no sparks, no smoke, just a quiet sound as it cooked.
Everything fit nicely.
The chicken was great and cleanup was easy.
I lined the drip pan with foil, but it probably would have cleaned up just fine without it.

Thursday, December 11, 2014


People play games. My husband and I play Free Cell, but we play it differently. He plays. He doesn't look at statistics.
My current winning streak is 938 games.
I had a winning streak of 1,035 but I had so many games on it that I couldn't get my percentage to move up. So I erased the statistics and started over. I have won 8,749 games and lost 79. My percentage is 99.11%. I don't play with anyone or against anyone, except myself.
I undo and keep trying. I use the hints. But the hints are only useful for one step moves. For several moves, the hints don't help.
It is awful to be so obsessive about it, but I hardly ever annoy anybody else...unless they want to play free cell on my computer or kindle.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Only One Patient

Today there was only one patient. How can a hospital pay to keep staffed adequately with only one patient?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

299 Days--I'm the Man

It is annoying to me to listen to or read a book that assumes that being a man means he's right. The main character keeps saying he's the man so he's prepping. Well, if I think prepping is a good idea, do I have to be a man? Wanting your family to be safe and have food in an emergency isn't gender specific. The state web sites have a fema link that encourages having emergency preparations. It doesn't mean a person has to be nuts (like some of the tv preppers), but it is only reasonable to be prepared for emergencies. I've been through two category ten hurricanes and been without electricity and water for a couple of weeks. My dad was several hundred miles away and was without power for a couple of weeks because all the power workers went to the hurricane area and couldn't fix their problems. So he bought a generator, a gas stove and gas heater in case it ever happened again. They were cold and didn't have any way to cook without power.
Last year we had an ice storm and couldn't get out of our driveway for a week and then it was because a neighbor came over with his tractor.
The story in 299 Days is interesting, but I really wish there were more strong female characters. I like sci-fi and fantasy.

Caffeine Struggle

Caffeine in my breakfast coffee is still all right, but I decided my afternoon coffee needed to be decaf. While my husband was away it worked well and I was able to get to sleep. When he returned, I told him not to make me any coffee unless it is decaf. So for four days he made it with caffeine and dumped my mug. Today he said he made it with 2/3 decaf and 1/3 high test. So I tried it. If I get to sleep tonight, fine. If not, I'll use the other coffee pot and the big pot of decaf I bought today. I really like sleeping better than high test coffee.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Satsumas, Kumquats, and Pecans

Larry made a trip to Grand Bay and returned with a box of satsumas, 25 pounds of cracked pecans, and a bag of kumquats.
He picked the kumquats, but bought the rest.
We've spent a couple of days taking the shells off the pecans. We aren't finished.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Sleeping 12-5-2014

My most recent attempts to get a good night's sleep:
1. No caffeine after lunch.
2. A melatonin tablet at 10:00 pm
4. Start getting ready for bed at 10:20
5. Put lavender on my feet (to combat diabetic neuropathy burning)
6. Listen to sleep tape.
So far this is allowing me to get to sleep. This is pretty involved, but after four nights of not getting to sleep until 3:30 am, I was ready to try other steps.
So far, so good.

Enjoying Christmas

I packed my Christmas socks in with the Christmas ornaments. When I start to decorate, there are my socks. Some of them are $2.97 variety that claim to be aloe infused that WalMart has for sale right now.
Zero carbs.
Manheimm Steamroller is also zero carbs:)
I've been looking through my Southern Living Christmas Cookbooks for low-carb recipes. They don't call themselves that, but if the ingredients are right, they are still low-carb.

OK. I Made Turkey Soup

What's that?
Turkey gumbo. It's healthy and you can eat all you want.
Does it have rice?
No, rice isn't a requirement, okra is.
If it doesn't have rice, it isn't gumbo.
OK. I made turkey soup. 
It's delicious, it's healthy, and it doesn't have rice.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Tomato Stakes

It has drizzled enough to show up in the rain gauge, but not a lot. I took the shovel down to try to dig out my wooden tomato stakes but a neighbor dropped by and pulled them out for me. Yea, neighbors! They also brought some fudge made with dark chocolate that was really, really good. Who knew?
I cleaned off the coffee table to put my runner and pyramid out. The coffee table looks excellent, but the couch is pretty full. It isn't my stuff so I'm not willing to go through it.
I also put up the little optic fiber Christmas tree that I bought for school. I am going to have to wait until Larry is in the mood to help me with the big Christmas tree. It's the kind in three pieces with the lights already on it. I can mostly do it by myself once the box is out and open and I'm just dealing with one section at a time.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Still Decorating

I have the Nativity set I made a long time ago out, the Christmas village I made put out, but the bess is still there. I don't have all my stuff out of the basement yet.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Decorating with Hershey Kisses

I think the Hershey's Kisses make a pretty decoration alone
or sprinkled around other decorations.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Started Decorating:)

This spot isn't finished, but it is getting there. The artificial fruit doesn't look real, but it does look festive. I brought in some paint in case some of it needed touching up, but it's fine. The peppermint candles are a favorite of mine. I wish I felt impelled to decorate for other holidays, but only Easter gets any effort at all, and it's only because I love my scratched eggs. As soon as Christmas is over, well, maybe New Year's, I'll start on eggs. I have some egg gourds this year that should be dried out enough by then.

Yesterday Was Too Warm

I have already put the warm, fuzzy sheets on the bed. It's supposed to be cold. Today it is. Last night it was 66 degrees. It still was at 3 am. I was in my fuzzy sheets sweltering. I finally got out of the everything except some of the sheet and turned on the fan. Part of the problem is my feet burn. I really don't know what to do about that.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Holiday Decoration Pieces

An arts and crafts store went out of business and I bought a bunch of stuff at a great discount. I've done that before. I'm not sure it's cheaper than buying what I want when I want it, but I like having bits and pieces to play with.

Southern Living Christmas Cookbook Party

One year I sent home a letter requesting information about what the parents would send for our Christmas party at school. Not one student brought one back. So I took my Southern Living Cookbook to school and passed it around. These were second graders. I told them to pick something they thought would be good at our party but be sure not to pick out something with alcohol. They put sticky notes on the pages. I went through the book looking at the sticky notes with them. They told me which recipes they wanted. I bought the ingredients and took them to school. I told them I needed their parents to either bake things or be in charge of the groups putting the recipes together and decorating them. We spent all that morning working on punch, cupcakes, cookies, and sandwiches. When it was time for our party and we had arranged everything, putting out our decorated placemats, etc., a bunch of parents showed up to enjoy our "party." They had dressed up and acted like I had invited them to the party instead of asking for them to send party food in. I hurriedly told the kids to claim their parents, put chairs next to their desks, and serve their "guests." It was the strangest school Christmas party I ever had. Looking at the Southern Living Christmas Cookbook with stuck-together pages reminded me of that year.

It's All Over but the Leftovers

Thanksgiving is over except for the leftovers. When all the side dishes are finished, I'll use the rest of the turkey for gumbo:) 
So now is when I start getting ready for Christmas. I have ten Christmas with Southern Living books. I stopped getting them because there are more recipes and ideas in these ten volumes than I'll ever use. Plus, our county library has them.
I love looking at them.
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas music is also wonderful.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Not Sleeping

I'd been sleeping pretty well with my sleep tape. But the last two nights I've been awake until after 3:30 am. I stay in bed, get up, crawl back in and try again. It seems that I should be able to transfer dropping off to sleep with the sleep tape to dropping off to sleep without it.  It isn't working very well.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Last Saturday

Last Saturday I called my pharmacy to get a prescription refilled. I had four refills left and didn't notice that that prescription date had expired. Today is Friday and I still haven't gotten my new prescription. I called the doctor's office to ask them to look for the prescription request from my pharmacy. The recording said, "This clinic is closed. If this is an emergency, call 911." Not helpful.

Suzanne Collins

I'm revisiting the Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay. I enjoyed them when they first came out and am enjoying them again. I liked them so much the first time that I bought the Underland Chronicles series. The Hunger Games was recommended to me by a fourth-grade girl who was reading it with her family. She wasn't a happy reader, so it impressed me that her whole family liked the book, including her.
But the Overland Chronicles was disappointing. I frequently like everything an author writes if I like anything. Not this time.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Getting everything prepared for Thanksgiving is a big chore because I have the whole "feast" thing in mind. There are only two of us but we both like leftovers. So the refrigerator is stocked with good stuff, the kitchen is clean, and we enjoyed the day.
I hope your day was wonderful with many things to be thankful for.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Another Favorite Series

The Janet Evanovitch and Lee Goldberg series, The Heist, The Chase, and The Job is another favorite. The main characters don't remind me of Stephanie Plum or Monk (individually their characters that I like). Instead, the characters sort of remind me of Eve Dallas and Roark (J.D. Robb) in the In Death series, or maybe It Takes a Thief (an old television series). There are a couple of short stories in the Janet and Lee series with the same characters. I'm sad I just finished the new book, The Job.

Working on Thanksgiving

I have seven brownie pans of dressing made (five in the freezer), sweet potatoes, strawberry jello salad made. We've almost finished the sweet potato pie I made so maybe I'll make the mincemeat pie if I can find an apple. I think I have everything I need for what we want except the manual for the turkey fryer. I have a turkey that isn't frozen. I haven't tried to put it in the basket to see if it fits. If it doesn't, I'll trim off whatever doesn't fit and use it for making gravy:)
I guess I'll try to find directions for the turkey fryer online. I don't know why my printer isn't working so I hope whatever directions I find are easy!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Janet Evanovitch and Lee Goldburg

I liked the Stephanie Plum series for a pretty long time but eventually got tired of it. But the collaboration series with Lee Goldburg is good.

Sweet Potato Pies

I made the pie on the left using my mother-in-law's recipe (with ginger, apple pie spice, nutmeg, and cinnamon) and the one on the right is mostly just sweet potatoes in a pie shell.

Sunday, November 23, 2014


All cuttings don't survive. The impatiens drooping over the side probably won't make it. Impatiens grow readily from seeds, but I take a few cuttings to try to insure I have all the colors I want next year. With seedlings, the colors aren't a foregone conclusion.


I have a resident frog in my little greenhouse:)


I wanted to put herbs on this spiral flower stand. I intend to plant seeds so I'll have lush layers, but I couldn't wait. I buy my seeds in January and plant them in February. But I wanted them now so I bought plants at WalMart. I only have mint and rosemary, so far. I may have basil in a few days. I'm trying to grow some from seeds I gathered from my garden.

Food Prep

I decided to make the broccoli bacon cheese salad similar to what I'd tried and liked at the hospital. I put a cutting board across a sink, put the bowl for the broccoli pieces above the cutting board and the compost pail to the left. It localized the mess. As soon as I put the broccoli in the boiling water to blanch, I emptied the compost pail and it was cleaned up without having to clean several places. I have several cutting boards, but this is my favorite because it fits over the sink so nicely.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Have Spacesuit Will Travel

I read this years ago. I'm listening to it now wondering why I ever read another Heinlein after reading that one. I can only guess that I didn't spend much time on the mechanics of the spacesuit. I have found that books I liked a long time ago don't always still appeal to me, but I'm enjoying this one.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Exercise Class - Day 3

My shoulders felt better after the first class and continue to improve. The stiffness is better. I find that I am fairly flexible compared to the others in the class (including the least in the activities she has us do), but I have trouble shifting my weight, doing anything with more than one set of body parts at a time...legs and arms, really? And I have very little core strength and upper body strength. I knew about the upper body strength limitations, but I didn't know about the core. Staying upright and walking doesn't really address the core.
Also, I'm worried I'll make my knees worse. I guess I should ask about jumping jacks and knees. There is a woman there who has had knee surgery and I've been watching her adaptations, but she did do some of the jumps so I tried it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

New Diet Idea

I think a new diet idea would be to just make and buy food I hate. I have done that by accident before, and I'm able to leave the table hungry because I just can't choke down another bite. If I just decided to do that on purpose, I'm pretty sure to lose weight. It would still be low carb because I couldn't order high carb stuff because I like it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

JD Robb's In Death Series

This is a really long series. A New York detective falls for a billionaire who started off on the wrong side of the law. I like it that the detective is embarrassed by his wealth but loves the coffee he stocks. It is set in the future so it has that going for me, too. Both the detective and the billionaire had really rough childhoods but made something of themselves...different somethings. She wants rules and he wants stuff. The detective stories are interesting but the characters are great.

Monday, November 17, 2014

But I Like Monet

The view out my windows in my art room is hazy. That means I need to wash them. I have a gas space heater that makes things dirty pretty fast. My clue that it's time to wash them is the view begins to look soft and hazy. But it's really easy to put off washing the windows because I like the soft, hazy look:)

Saturday, November 15, 2014


I've let the perm grow out and my hair is longer than it has been in a long time. It needed some help to look better. So I looked for my old hair rollers. Evidently I threw them away years ago. So I've tried to find something I could use. I found some hair rollers that got so tangled up in my hair that I threw them away. It hurt to get them out of my hair. I'm not sure what to do next.


Yesterday I couldn't get my computer to connect to wireless. So I couldn't blog and I had to put the knee pads on for the second day in a row and carry a flashlight as I crawled under the house to turn off the water. The first time I thought it was turned off. The next morning there was a dribble of water coming out of the porch faucet, with some frozen on the porch. So the second time, I got Larry to stand outside to make sure nothing was still coming out. I wish I had done that the first time.

Thursday, November 13, 2014


I took my cuttings for my flower boxes for next year last month. They are doing well. It is pleasant to sit in the greenhouse with my flowers, and all the light when it is cold and blustery outside...Plus, I'll have the plants next year:) I have more than this, but they showed up nicely just trying to get a bit in the picture.
Gardenia cutting from last year
These cuttings are starting to put on more little branches. Usually I put them outside immediately, but I decided to give them at least one more year inside so I will hopefully get some blooms next year regardless of the weather. I have eight of them.
I also have eight azalea cuttings that lived, but they are still tiny.

New Year's Resolution

Seen from one point of view, a new year starts each day. Today I went to an exercise class. The instructor said I'd think she's really mean after a few sessions. I told her I haven't known her long, but I hate her already. She was pretty happy with that.
It meets twice a week and I think it may be good for me.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Monday I went to a couple of places trying to get somebody to make sure I have antifreeze for the coming cold weather. I waited at both places only to be told they didn't do antifreeze any longer. Today I went to WalMart and talked to customers about antifreeze. A nice guy walked over to the antifreeze section and showed me which one to get. Then he and a woman customer both said to go to the co-op. Nobody was behind the counter and they were waiting in line.
I went to the co-op next. They checked my antifreeze and said it was fine. They checked my air filter and said it could wait a while but if I wanted it changed, they'd do it. I waited while a worker went and bought an air filter that would fit my car, came back and put it on. They put a little brake fluid in, checked stuff.
I had gone to WalMart auto section Monday and only ended up with some of what I wanted done.
Next time I'll go to the co-op and let them do all of it. They were nice and didn't just tell me they didn't carry an air filter that would fit my car! They went to get one:) It took two days to get everything done I wanted. If I'd gone to the coop first, it would have been one day and probably cheaper...certainly less annoying.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Keep Doing What You're Doing

"Keep doing what you're doing," are my favorite words to hear from my doctor, and today I heard them again:) I should have heard them last time but he went off on me about taking medication in sprite of my lovely lab report! My ldl went down, my hdl went up, my blood pressure was good, my blood sugar was good, everything was good. Low carb, high fiber, high fat...sounds strange.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Dwelling on Crap

I noticed a while ago that I tended to hash and rehash things that bothered me. It prolonged the annoyance that I was feeling. Sometimes I could talk it through with a close friend. But I finally decided that I just wouldn't think about it. It was over. I was ruining time that could be good by wallowing in what had made hash of my peace of mind.
So I tried to concentrate on sensory intake. Instead of stewing over something, I'd put it from my mind and concentrate on flowers, leaves, the feel of the breeze, the warmth of the sun, a hot bath...a fragrance.
Getting past the crap is faster for me if I dwell on something that brings me pleasure. I think that I must be pretty shallow at times, but really, wallowing in misery doesn't make me deep, just unhappy.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Shoe Rack

Larry made a shoe rack for me. I wanted to tidy the closet floor. Larry gave it to me this morning:)

Saturday, November 8, 2014


We tried to set the gourds up as they grew so they would stand when dry. It worked with some of them, but today I tried using my hand sander to flatten the bottom of one to allow it to stand. It worked:)

Friday, November 7, 2014

Verizon Wireless Device

I like my upgraded Verizon wireless device. It tells me when it needs to be charged and when to unplug it as it is charged. The charge lasts a long time compared to my other one. I can tell how much data has been used.
But this afternoon it wouldn't turn on. So I went to where I'd gotten it. She took the battery out and then put it back in. It worked. Evidently that is how to reboot it. She also said the device has a one year warranty but must be returned in the box. Well, I've had it a couple of weeks and still have the box, but it's a wonder. Packaging material becomes trash when it is unpacked. Keeping an empty box for a year isn't something I would guess. It should have big block letters on the box!

Oreck Vacuum Cleaner

I have several Oreck  vacuum cleaners.  I needed a replacement hose so went to the website. It said it was down, to call the phone number provided. I called it and got a recording that said to use the website.
So I ordered my replacement part from Amazon, paying $10 less than Oreck listed, with no additional postage.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


Because of my knee, I'm going to stop using the fitbit. It wasn't registering all my steps today. I'd walk awhile, but when I checked my fitbit, no steps would have registered. Instead of taking it apart and trying to get it back together better, I decided that I walked way more than my reduced goal today, just trying to get it to look like I got the 5,000 step reduced goal.
I am going to just go with biofeedback as a clue to when I've walked enough. I'm in the habit of pacing, so I don't think I will stop walking just because I'm not using the fitbit.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Vacuum Cleaner

Well, I'm spending quality time vacuuming up lady bugs and wasps. I managed to tear the hose on the arm. The next time I go to town, I'll try to get that piece replaced. Meantime, I still need the vacuum cleaner to work. So again, I used black electrical tape for a repair job. It works so far.

Monday, November 3, 2014


We had a hard freeze last night. I was curious to see what would survive. The cilantro looked just fine and so did the snapdragons. The annuals are all wilted. The clematis blooms survived, several others did, too. The roses that were open looked bad, but the buds look fine. I spent a lot of time vacuuming lady bugs and wasps.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Fitbit Goal Change

My knee has been bothering me. I got a prescription for it. It appears to be working. I decided to cut my fitbit goal from 10,000 to 5,000 for a while. I thought about just blaming it on the weather. Then I decided to blame it on my knee.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Shadow Box

I painted the alphabet in the compartments of this shadow box when I was still in Germany. I kept change from different countries in it so when I was going back to a country, I could take the change with me without having to go through all the change.
When I got back to the States, I started putting cute little things in it and small things I use. So needles, thread, tape measure, and now, essential oils are in the little compartments. There are a few decorative things, but the little things I didn't want sitting around or messing up a drawer are easily organized and found.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Essential Oils

I used peppermint oil in Germany to treat headaches. It worked. When we came back to the States, I tried it with peppermint oil I could find over here. It didn't do anything except make my eyes water.
Then, recently, I found some that does work. It is therapeutic grade and works nicely.
But I also wanted to try scents. I'm allergic to a lot of fragrances, but not from real flowers or herbs. So it seems that it is something else in fragrances that make my head hurt and sometimes makes me sick at my stomach.
I've gotten some oils at WalMart and Hobby Lobby for scents, not for putting on myself or consuming internally. I even still have apple and cinnamon from our stay in Germany.
But I decided I wanted something Christmasy to use in my diffuser. I stopped at a place called Sensational Scents and got several small containers. I hope I like them.

Blackberry Wine

We sampled some blackberry wine our neighbors made. It was very good. Maybe we could try that some time...if we ever get any blackberries from our vines.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Early Voting

Last year was the first time I voted early. I did it again this year because there was no line last year and I was hoping to hit the same this year. There were a couple of people there already voting, but absolutely no waiting!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Free Magazine

I was in a drug store waiting for the pharmacist to talk to me about my medications when I saw a couple of free diabetes magazines. I picked one up and was reading through it. The name of the magazine is Diabetes focus, fall issue. An article in it by Michele Stanten mentioned a new study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine reviewed data on about 32,000 women. It said that in women over 30 are at a higher risk for heart disease through inactivity than being overweight or having high blood pressure, or smoking.


I picked peppers today. Then I decided if I split one of the medium-hot ones (tiburon), and filled it with cream cheese, it would be a decent snack. I usually make poppers out of them, but I didn't want a big production because I had washed the storm doors and the exterior walls around the doors and just wanted something easy to eat. I was a little worried that the peppers might be too hot to eat raw, but they were good. Not as fancy or as good as poppers, but easy and on my diet:)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Shop Vac

I brought the small shop vac to the porch to vacuum up those orange lady bugs. It turned cold and the lady bugs went somewhere else but I still had the shop vac on the porch. So I vacuumed the spider webs and other junk from the porches and carport. Then I took the shop vac back to the basement before I was tempted to do something else useful.

Verizon Upgrade

My new wireless device lets me see data usage! That is a big deal to me. I want to keep my bill in a certain range and guessing how I'm doing isn't easy. This device doesn't involve calling a Verizon worker to check for me. Yea!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Computer Mess

I accidentally downloaded a mess. I took my computer tower to a computer repair person after trying hard to undo what I had done. I got it back today and have spent a while trying to get bookmarks back on my computer. Finding my blog was one of the longest issues. Another was trying to get back into my audible account. Their service people have always been helpful and today was no exception. I think I have everything conveniently accessible now:)

Don't Upset Them

I have a lot of orange ladybugs. I had more yesterday, but a lot today. I read about them because I don't like them sitting on me, pinching me, crawling around in my house, whatever. The thing I read said they are looking for a place to hibernate. They put out a smell to attract others when they think they have a good place. They will live in the walls. The thing I read said they don't hurt anything, but I don't like them anyway.
The article said not to upset them as that causes them to release that smell along with blood. It also said that since they don't harm anything, just set them free away from the house.
I've been vacuuming them up. I hope they aren't upset by that. But I'm not releasing them. I think they would come back.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Hickory Tree

Hickory trees are among the first to change colors around here. This one was softened by the morning mist this morning.

Cool Days

 This camilia bush is in full bloom.
 Since the temperature has been cool, the blooms are lasting for several days.
This is a very double rose. Both roses have a lovely fragrance.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


When a place advertises that is open 24/4 but tells you that you've contacted it outside of their normal working hours, my first thought is they aren't smart enough to have a good business. I know this isn't always true, but still.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Dress Code

Today I found out volunteers are supposed to observe the same dress code as the employees. I can dig out my school clothes. But I really like my Teva hiking sandals. I can wear closed shoes, but it seems to me that unless I show up in my housecoat and slippers, they should just say, "Thanks for coming!"
What do I know? I've already had one person tell me she is willing to not wear jeans, but if they say tennis shoes are out, she's gone.


I really have trouble getting podcasts onto my iPod. Today, for the first time with my new iPod, I managed to get some of Nathan Lowell's Solar Clipper books to actually sync with my iPod. Not all of them, but several. Why am I so bad at it? I don't have a clue...really.

Happy Halloween!

I did this ceramic witch a long time ago. The mushroom put itself there:)

Monday, October 13, 2014

What's the Point?

I was reading somebody else's blog. He was mentioning depression and said he felt like, "What's the point?"
It sounds awful to tell somebody else what the point is because nobody knows how somebody else feels. But I have considered the "What's the point?" question.
I finally decided that some days I really don't feel like there's much of a point. But the question is, how do I want to be remembered? Well, for my family, friends, former students, I don't want to be remembered as a loser. I want to be thought of in positive ways. So, for me, sometimes that's the point...not for me but for those I care about.

Pinched Nerve

Yesterday I had a pinched nerve in my neck. I couldn't bend over enough to keep from scraping my head on the car when I got in. I couldn't turn or bend or lean to one side or the other. I used the electro therapy and a heating pad off and on all day.
Last night I slept in whatever position I managed to collapse into. This morning it was fine! I don't know if I did something that helped, or if it just worked its way loose.
I was really happy to have some flexibility back.

Sunday, October 12, 2014


I'm putting eucalyptus oil in the diffuser trying to combat allergies. 

Electro Therapy

I have a pinched nerve, I guess. I bought this a while ago for the next time I felt like I had a crick in my neck. I got it at WalMart for about $10. It's like a TENS unit. Today is the first time I've used it. I'd go to the chiropractor tomorrow except it's a holiday:(
So this little electro therapy unit, a heating pad, and Aleve is getting me through.

Cute Gourd

I took the picture with the peppers so the size of the little pumpkin would show. But it isn't a pumpkin, really. It's a gourd. I gave it a couple of coats of orange acrylic paint after trying to sand the lumpy bits off. I'm going to paint a face tomorrow.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Jana Deleon

Leigh loaned me an ebook by Jana Deleon. It was the first in the Miss Fortune series. It is light reading, like a book sit com. The first one is free on Amazon. She has another series with a free first, too. I've downloaded it, too.
The Janet Evanovitch books are funny to me, too. I like books with action but these are nice to read between the scary stuff.

Bow Hunter

A guy was bow hunting on our place for a few hours this morning and longer this afternoon. He came back empty-handed. He said there were deer all around but he just kept scaring them away. Yesterday he said three were running right toward him but he shot too soon and missed. He is evidently very pleased to hunt. He said this is his second year bow hunting and he got one last year. He thinks maybe it was luck.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Plan for Tomorrow

Tomorrow I'm going to cook down the tomatoes and peppers I have sitting everywhere. I'm going to try not to put so much pepper in that the mix will be too hot for Larry. So I'll probably put some peppers up diced, make some poppers to eat tomorrow, and make the tomato/pepper mix.
If it dries out enough, maybe I'll weed whack the rest of my rose strip that runs parallel to the road. I did half of it yesterday. I might have finished but I managed to choke it and couldn't restart it because my arm was shaking like crazy. I don't ever notice it while I'm using the weed whacker, but when I stop, it takes a while to recover the use of that arm.

Althea Cuttings

Today a friend brought me four althea (aka Rose of Sharon) cuttings. I'm not sure fall is a good time to try to root them, but now is when I have them so I stuck them in with some other plants I'm rooting.
My friend said they are small, double pink. I hope they root.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Candle Simmering Pot

I made this simmering pot in ceramics a long time ago. Today I went to Hobby Lobby looking for a diffuser. I didn't find one, but I bought sweet orange essential oil because I thought it would make a nice fragrance in the kitchen. I used it with a tea candle in my little simmering pot. The fragrance was light and pleasant but totally overpowered by the apples.
The apples are from our tree. The bowl with water in it also has salt to prevent the chopped apples from discoloring.  This is about half of what we picked from the tree. We got about two WalMart bags of apples from the ground and took them to a kid who has chickens. They are cute puff-headed chickens...he said they are Polish chickens.

Larry's Ribbon

Larry's pony tailed palm got this blue ribbon at the county fair. When I brought it home, I took the ribbon off and put the plant back outside.
Well, it's going to frost sooner or later, so I've started getting stuff in. Mostly plants go in the greenhouse, but I had this one inside last year so I put it back yesterday. 
Larry hunted up his ribbon and put it back on the plant! He was proud of his ribbon:)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Odd Idea

Another volunteer at the hospital said his optometrist told him he needed reading glasses. He said he didn't, but got the glasses because the doctor said he needed them. He then decided that since he couldn't read without them now, the glasses caused him to need glasses! I told him he was probably used to figuring out what the words were without glasses. Once he started reading with glasses, the words were sharp and his brain rebelled against interpreting the fuzzy words. Getting glasses doesn't make you need glasses!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Cornbread Patties

Larry made a soup today and I decided it really needed cornbread. There are various ways to make cornbread and we pretty much like all of them. Today I decided to chop up three cayenne peppers, and an onion to add to the mix. I put them on the griddle like pancakes. They were excellent. I didn't really expect Larry to like them as he doesn't like hot peppers nearly as much as I do, but he raved over them. I can't have cornbread very often because it isn't low-carb, but once in a while is fine:)

Volunteering Today

The ice machine was down today so I had to put on a bonnet and push my little carts into the kitchen area to get ice for the patients. There was only one patient in isolation so one box of disposable gowns was enough. One county newspaper was delivered so I handed those out to the patients. Then one of the departments gave us some papers to make into packets to use when swing bed patients are admitted.
It's nice when there's something to do when I'm there.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Sorry Home Tech Support

Larry's new Kindle Fire arrived today. He didn't know how to do anything with it as it is a step up from his old one which wasn't a fire. I didn't know how to do anything with it either, as it is a step up from mine. When I got mine, I thought it was interesting to fiddle with it until I figured it out. His lip started twitching when he tried to do anything. So he asked a question, I held out my hand, I found whatever he wanted and handed it back.
I thought this was going to be intuitive and interesting for him. Wrong. I can't even offer to let him have mine and I could take the cool new one...he doesn't know how to use mine, either. Rats.

Little Things

Some days little things go right. I tried to return two bottles of pickles. I had the receipt. Walking up to the door of WalMart, I dropped the bag. One of the jars broke. I retrieved the unbroken one and the pickle-juice spotted receipt in one hand and dropped the dripping bag in the trash. I went to customer service, put the damp receipt and a jar of pickles on the counter. I said that she probably wouldn't reimburse me for the broken jar currently residing in their trash. She asked if broken glass was left on the ground. I said it had remained in the bag. She reimbursed me for both jars of pickles! Way better than I expected.
The other little thing was the garbage truck. The driver saw me headed for the trash container with more trash. He waited for me to put it in before he dumped the container.
Nice people today. Both of those people would have been totally justified with leaving me with my mess.

Sunday, October 5, 2014


I took a lot of cuttings from my hanging baskets today. The baskets went into the greenhouse once the trimming was done. I put the cuttings in little soil plugs for next year's flower boxes. The baskets will hold over and go out in the spring. I did it that way last year and they filled out nicely.
I still have plenty of cuttings to take from the flower boxes.

Saturday, October 4, 2014


I always think of when my children were born on their birthdays. Lately I've been thinking that there's nobody alive who remembers me from then. I don't even have pictures from that early. 
The birth of a child changes your life forever. I wanted that, so much. We both did.
Thank you, God.

October Flowerboxes

 The flower boxes on the south side have the gardenia cuttings I took last year. About four of the cuttings have already been given away. I don't want the impatiens saved, so I spent time cutting them off and taking them to the compost places.
Now I have this one trimmed down enough so that I can see the cuttings. It took a while to get them out of the mass of roots so I could plant the cuttings individually in large pots for next year.
I got four out of this one. There are two more flower boxes with some successful cuttings.
I have eight azalea cuttings from this year to replant, too.
The coleus and angelwing begonias will go into the greenhouse as cuttings so I'm just sticking them in the greenhouse plugs.

Houseplant Pineapple

This pineapple is from a top Larry planted. He could plant this top and get  a pineapple at some future date. He has stopped doing that, though, and I'm glad. The plants take up a lot of room in the greenhouse.

Friday, October 3, 2014


Today I got the last of my perm cut off. My stylist showed me how to use the odd heat wand I'd gotten at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. She said she thought it was going to be difficult to use on the left side because the barrel turns by itself...up. I guess I'll figure it out. Or maybe I'll wear my hair turned under on the right and flipped up on the left. It won't make much difference because my hair won't hold a curl anyway. I'd just like it to blend together instead of sticking out like straw on the ends. It has been so long since I haven't had a perm, I really don't remember much about fixing it.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Hair Appointment

I called today to make an appointment for a trim. I asked if I could bring a thing with me that is supposed to curl my hair so she can show me how to use it. She agreed to try. When I know how to use it, that is no guarantee that I actually will. She thinks it is funny that I'm only willing to spend a couple of minutes on my hair. If this thing takes very long, I've wasted that money. But I've had it a couple of months now and am evidently not willing to experiment with something hot near my face.

Apples and Soup

I had all this stuff I'd picked. Then I picked a basket of tomatoes this morning.
So I made a vegetable beef soup with lots of tomatoes and peppers, the left over white beans in the refrigerator, an onion, some ground chuck, and some elbow macaroni noodles.
Then I peeled and sliced most of the apples and sauteed them in butter with artificial sweetener and cinnamon.
It all turned out pretty good. 

Does it Matter?

I wish it didn't make me crazy when somebody tries to tell me what to do. I try to consider whether it makes any difference and let a lot of it go. I've gotten to the point where I don't go ballistic over it. But really, why should anybody micromanage me? I'm not sure staring at somebody coldly and then doing what I wanted to anyway is better than a fit...on the other person. But it's better for me.
I'm not talking life changing matters. Do you peel the carrots before cutting off the tops and bottoms? I don't. I cut the tops and bottoms and peel what is left. Do I think it makes any difference? No. Do I think I should be treated like an idiot? No.
Why are you going that way?
I want to.
 It takes longer.
 You drive the scenic route all the time.
 Blah, blah.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Tried a Music Tape

Last night I thought I would try listening to an Enya tape, but use the tips from the self-hypnosis tape. It was working well until the second one was a Christmas song and the drums started up! Evidently I like the drums better when I'm planning to stay awake.

The Long Way

We went to the doctor today, about a forty-minute drive. On the way back, we found they had dug all the way across the road. We had to drive back the way we'd come, and return home by a different route. It was an extra two hours. We couldn't see why we were stopped. After a while the people in front of us started turning around and then we could see we weren't going to get through any time soon. Sitting in the sun waiting...nobody telling us

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Walking in the Parking Lot

This morning Larry had his second cataract surgery. While he was inside, I walked in the parking lot. An SUV pulled in with an overweight angry young woman driving. She went around to the rear passenger seat, keeping up a constant abusive stream of language. She opened the door and started to haul out the fat old woman from the rear. The woman had trouble getting her legs to cooperate. The driver continued to berate the old woman. I couldn't tell if the driver was a vicious sitter or vicious relative.
Then the old woman leaned over and kissed the driver's hand. It was awfully sad.


I needed my wheels aligned. The first place I called offered me one October 12. The second place offered Thursday of this week. I made the appointment for Thursday. Then I went to a third place, also recommended by a friend. I said I wanted my wheels aligned. He asked if I had an appointment. I said I had one in a nearby town on Thursday but was trying for sooner.
He said, "I have several to do, but I can take you now."
When I got home I called and cancelled the Thursday appointment.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Fall Stuff

Several kinds of peppers, apples, and tomatoes were ready to be picked today. Larry had a doctor's appointment in Memphis. I decided to be helpful and pick stuff so he wouldn't have to come home and do it. He won't get home too late to do it, but I'm pretty sure he'll be happy enough not to.