Thursday, July 31, 2014

Neighbor's Dog

A neighbor has a pit bull. Today it broke its chain and escaped the fence taking up a position in the middle of the road between its house and mine, barking its head off at me. The woman came out behind it, telling it to come back home. It ignored her and continued to bark at me. I warned her that if it came onto my property still barking aggressively at me, I will shoot it. That was an empty threat because I only had small snips for headheading flowers. She said to go ahead. She said she would go buy another chain today. Finally the dog followed her back home. She lives alone with three small children so she says the dog makes her feel safer. I would worry about the safety of the little children if I were her.
In Tennessee it is unlawful to allow a dog to wander at will without a leash unless hunting or engaged in some lawful activity. Mostly I recognize dogs belonging to neighbors and do not feel threatened. That one was scary, though.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Messed Up

We had a new volunteer buyer for the gift shop. Our regular buyer had a hip replacement and is undergoing several weeks of therapy.
I left a message on the phone machine of the new volunteer and said she should check expiration dates of things purchased at a particular store and not get them if they have expired or are really near expiration.
Well, that made her angry. She came, went through all the stuff, paid for the expired stuff and turned in her smock and key. She also vented a bit on her sister who is the hip-replacement volunteer.
Now. It is nice to feel appreciated when volunteering. It is also important not to get hurt feelings easily. I know this for a fact.
The sister said not to apologize, she was wrong. I said to be who I am, I need to apologize for hurting her feelings. Whether she accepts the apology is who she is and I can't help that.
Anyway, today was a big mess for me. But yesterday I made a big mess for somebody else. So I apologized. 


I hardly ever get a picture of myself being happy. It's really nice to get a picture somebody else took of me:)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

New Magazine

I recently discovered Tennessee Gardener. I liked my first permaculture book and the ones I've gotten since. But the first one centered on Australia and Australian plants. So I found great ideas in it, but the plant recommendations were meticulously noted for Australia.
This magazine has references to permaculture and is specific to Tennessee. I looked online and discovered it is available for each state.
So far I'm reading back issues of the magazine from a friend.
I had decided not to subscribe to magazines because they pile up and even if I want to look back for something, it's hard to find. I tried cutting out the articles and filing them, but that wasn't as easy as doing an internet search on whatever I was curious about.
I may have to reconsider and get this magazine.

Monday, July 28, 2014

My Tire Garden-July 2014

It doesn't look like it did this time last year since Larry accidentally burned the southern half of the tires. The ground is still sooty. I'm still throwing away socks that are so blackened I'm unwilling to put them in the washer with other clothes.
But the raised bed Larry built to replace the burned tires works great and is much easier to keep filled with dirt. I spent a while today poking dead sticks into holes in the tires' soil and then putting soil around the sticks. The sticks are supposed to hold moisture better so watering won't be such an issue.
I'm spending some time weeding a few patches of weeds. Originally I had put cardboard and newspaper down and then put mulch on top of that to prevent weeds. I think the fire burned all that off on the southern side where the fire was hottest...but it didn't kill the day lilies. When I get some of these weeds dug out, I'll put more paper and mulch down.
My plants might do better if I didn't have so much shade, but I know I wouldn't work down there at all in the sun!

Flower Strip

 This was originally my rose strip. I haven't been very successful keeping my hybrid tea roses alive. So I've gradually stuck a few other things in, just to fill in spaces. I still have a few hybrid tea roses, and I've decided that until I manage to get the ones I have left to thrive, I'm not buying more.
 The new growth on these roses is encouraging. I've put lime and fertilizer out and am watering every other day.
This crepe myrtle is at the east end of the rose strip. I rooted it several years ago and it is doing great. I like crepe myrtles; I just wished I liked them better than hybrid tea roses!

Sunday, July 27, 2014


 The day lilies are about gone, but these are beautiful right now.
These lilies come up like amaryllis, but they are winter hardy.

I spent a while today cutting the dead bloom stalks from day lilies. I haven't done the ones along the road yet.


Today the hay was baled. He got ten round bales.

Saturday, July 26, 2014


I think I've made arrangements for somebody to check the roof leak in my art room. I think it must be where the roof of the greenhouse connects to the other part of the roof. I'm hoping it just needs screws to be tightened.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Lunch at the River

 The marina built a bar and put stools along the rail. It is harder for kids to feed the fish. We got a regular table so the kids could see and feed the fish and turtles.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

This Time of Year

 The fruit is wonderful, but not very cheap.
 So I made a pinto bean
Peanut butter on toasted low-carb bread is another cheap meal.
Both beans and peanut butter are good for lots of meals, and I like both of them.


I'm not positive that walking is much exercise as slowly as I do it, but at least it is movement. Today I added more movement...a small, light ball that bounces. So my arms are getting a little movement, too, as well as my torso.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Vitamins and Snack

I put my three vitamins in the condiment dish I use for my snack. I crunched through the roasted, salted, almonds and noticed I'd eaten one of the vitamins without noticing! I'm supposed to take the vitamins with food. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack work fine. I don't necessarily eat all those meals, but I am trying.

Fitbit Fix

The small piece of plastic on the fitbit cover broke off and it wouldn't stay on tightly enough to make secure contact with the battery. So I taped it down with black electrical tape and stuck it back in its little jacket. I lost 5,000 steps that I got at the hospital this morning but still got over 8,000 after I stuck my fitbit back together.

Fitbit Holiday

Well, my fitbit decided to not stay together so I lost the almost 5000 steps I got at the hospital today. I thought maybe I needed to replace the battery. When I took it out of its holder, it showed the back wouldn't tighten. I'll get another one, but it will be a few days.
It isn't a cool excuse. It is just another problem with keeping a fitbit from falling apart. I don't see how I could be abusing it as I didn't take it out of the cover.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Phone Calls

I get my fitbit steps in better when I'm on the phone. I wonder if I should start accepting robo calls and just annoy the callers to further my health plans.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Clean Pores

I have a few places in my face that are pits from large knots that I got a long time ago. Now they want to make blackheads. I read about oil cleansing treatment and decided to try it out. It calls for three parts castor oil, seven parts another oil (olive oil or grapeseed oil). I used warm water on a washcloth to open the pores and then put the oil on and rubbed it gently. Then I used the sonic cleaning thing with the oil on it. My pores and skin in general feel good and appear to be clean. I tried the sonic cleaning thing with facial soap and didn't notice any difference. I tried the OCT and again, it wasn't what I was trying for. Together, they work well for me.


This is sugar-free jello pudding, the kind that is cooked. I made it with half and half so it is lower carb than made with low-fat milk.

Christmas Butterbeans

These are running beans (and huge). They just started maturing so I blanched them and included them with some silverskin peas in a pint container for the freezer. We both like colored butterbeans, but neither of us is willing to pick them off bush beans so these were the running beans he found.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Not Much Corn

We've only put up about five quarts of creamed corn, so far. That is five more than I thought we needed. It isn't on our diet so it seems like a lot of trouble to go to.
We haven't put any up in a couple of years and I can't find our corn cutter so I've been having to cut it off with a knife. It takes longer, but not as long as looking for the corn cutter!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Semi-Successful Day

I didn't get my steps in, but I went to the store, cooked, picked strawberries, fertilized roses, lazed around on the porch with coffee, watched an old movie...the only thing I didn't feel good about was the steps. So, mostly good:)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Amazon vs. Amazon?

Well, Amazon bought out Audible and has now come out with Kindle Unlimited. The monthly subscription fee is cheaper for the Kindle Unlimited but those don't go on an iPod. A Kindle doesn't hold its charge as long as an iPod and is larger. So is Amazon trying to get everybody to do everything on the smart phones?
Did Amazon buy Audible to choke it off? I don't see why it couldn't have done that without buying Audible.
This isn't a case where they seem to have merged their libraries.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Olive Garden

Today we ate lunch at the Olive Garden. I usually have soup and salad but today I had Chicken Parmigiana. It reminded me strongly of veal parmigiana I used to get at an Italian restaurant in Worms, Germany. The salad and garlic breadsticks were great, as usual, but the fried chicken flattened and covered with the tomato sauce with parmigian cheese and spaghetti on the side, same sauce, was sooo good! I ordered another to bring home to Larry. I knew he would love it and he did!

Giant Hosta's Progress

The blooms on this hosta are beautiful! I now have seven bloom stalks on this wonderful plant. Last year I only had one bloom stalk.

Fruit Salad

The strawberries and blueberries all came from our plants:) I had a banana I added. It isn't as good as adding a pineapple, but I didn't have a pineapple.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

More for Me

I tried out a new recipe today. I think there would be some differences based on what kind of brats are used. I picked up Texas spicy brats. We hadn't tried them before, but it sounded good.
Larry ate about one bite of the brat and pushed it over to the side. He said it was too hot. It was hot. To me labeling something "spicy" doesn't mean "hot." "Hot" means "hot." I might have bought them even if they'd said they were hot instead of spicy. There are a lot of spices out there besides the hot ones.
Anyway, I had three containers left over. Guess whose they are:)
He liked how the onions and apples had picked up the flavors of all the stuff. Well, so did I, but I liked all of it, including my choice of brats.

Monday, July 14, 2014

No Need to Water

I was going to water the little lilacs I'm trying to grow, but it has rained pretty much all day (2.3 inches) and still coming down.

Uncaged by John Sandford and Michele Cook

This is book 1 of the Singular Menace. I liked it and will get the next one in the series. It has young people as the main characters. The young people have had difficult lives but are still caring and take on big problems. Larry likes the Virgil Flowers series by John Sandford better than the Lucas Davenport series. I like both series all right, but basically it gives me a sad view of the world when I read them. Yeah, I like it that the good guys win, but the bad guys are sooo awful I don't want to think they are out there getting away with stuff. Uncaged is a little more hopeful to me.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Hot and Humid Fitbit Steps

Today I finished my 10,000 steps inside on the little trampoline I got from WalMart several years ago.  If I'd gotten two more minutes on it, I'd have gotten 30 active minutes today thanks to jogging/walking on this. The air conditioner made inside much better than outside.
With the heat index it was 99 degrees today.


The roof developed a leak in my art room but the acrylic paint caught it.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Nostalia Binge

This yeast bread is made from a recipe that I used when we first got married. I have a picture cookbook that a college friend gave me totally aware that I didn't know how to cook. I love that cookbook but I've lost some of the pages over the years. This yeast bread recipe is one that I'd lost.
My daughter found a copy of the book and bought it. She recently sent me a copy of the recipe. I had to make it to see if it is as good as it was. It is. 
I made this and some other yeast breads because they took a long time but were seriously inexpensive and absolutely wonderful. They were pretty easy once I learned the difference between self-rising and plain flour. And it doesn't call for bread flour. I made it using water for the liquid.
Flour, yeast, water,  a couple of tablespoons of sugar, one tablespoon of salt, a little Crisco...that's all!

New Mail Carrier

I thought the new mail carrier had had a stroke or heart attack. He pulled up to our mailbox but was sitting slumped over toward the center of his car for a pretty good while.
I walked out to see if he was all right. He sat up and said it was his first day delivering mail alone and would I mind telling him what road this is and what's the name of the next road. He said, "You might have mail, but I can't find it."
I said I thought he'd had a heart attack.
He said, "It might have been easier."


 It's pretty easy to tell my tomatoes have hornworms. It isn't easy to find them. They eat the leaves and just leave stems sticking up. They also eat green tomatoes.
I picked five of them off two plants.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Front Porch

 This giant hosta is actually on the ground in front of the porch. It has three bloom spikes. One isn't showing color yet. The other two are just atarting.
 This fern isn't mine. I kept it in the greenhouse for a friend. It grew a lot over the winter. I really expected it to die.
I was late getting my flower boxes filled but they are finally looking like they may live.
And Larry's dog is guarding it all:)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Where'd You Get the Man?

The head nurse gave him to me.
She said he was driving them crazy in admin and they couldn't get any work done so she brought him to the gift shop and said keep him until lunch and then take him to lunch.
You aren't supposed to take care of patients.
I don't think he was a patient.
Why was he here?
They didn't tell me. We were hitting a balloon around and he didn't much want to play. He said they do that at the nursing home for therapy. But he did try to keep the ball from hitting him. He also tried to get the young girl to be his designated defense.
At lunch the other two volunteers left so I took him to the lunchroom. He asked if he should sit down and I would get his lunch. I said I wanted him to come tell me what he wanted to eat. So he did and I took him to the cash resister. He held out money until she said it was enough. I carried his tray and cut up his meat for him. But he wasn't eating, just talking a blue streak so I told him I had to go.
I asked if I should get somebody to call for his ride and he said he'd aggravate somebody into doing it for him when he was finished eating.
He doesn't live in a nursing home. He lives with his daughter. So I don't know what the nursing home comment was...maybe just sharing interesting information.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


I was worried that without the sleep tape on my iPod (now defunct), I wouldn't be able to get to sleep last night. My plan was to figure out how to get it downloaded on my Kindle Fire if I didn't sleep last night. But I was able to think the stuff on the tape and went right on to sleep:)

Monday, July 7, 2014

iPod Died

It didn't actually die but I can't pick something and listen to it. It silently goes to the next book, stays a bit, and moves on.
I will replace it, but not until I have money. So my big concern isn't that I don't have something to listen to as I walk or garden, or whatever. I'm worried about not being able to use my sleep tape. I've managed to take several naps without the tape, but I haven't tried getting to sleep at night without it. I hope I can use what I've learned without the tape running.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

My Favorite Sweets

 I got this recipe from Mrs. Shaw so that's what I call it.
1. Mrs. Shaw's Pound Cake
1 stick butter
1/2 cup Crisco
3 cups sugar (reserve 4 T)
3 c cake flour
1/2 t each: salt, baking powder (I forgot those yesterday)
1 c milk (I used half and half)
1 t vanilla
6 eggs
Put butter and Crisco in mixer and cream.  Add all the sugar but the reserve.
Add 2 eggs to the mixture.
Separate the last 4 eggs and add 1/8 t cream of tartar to whites.
Add yolks to mixture one at a time.
Put vanilla in milk.  Add flour mixture, alternating with milk.  Start and end with flour; separate bowl: beat egg whites until stiff.  Add the reserved sugar  to the whites gradually.  Then add to batter mixture.  Pour into Bundt pan sprayed with Baker's Joy.  Cook in preheated 325 degree oven for 80 minutes.

I got the next recipe from a parent of a student I taught a long time ago.
Pina Coloda Cheesecake

Pecan Sandies—crush
Pile in bottom and about an inch up the sides
4 eight oz. pkg. of cream cheese  (room temp.)
¾ c sugar
4 lg eggs (room temp.)
Mix thoroughly.
Fold in:
8 oz. carton sour cream
16 oz. can cream of coconut
15 ½ oz. can crushed pineapple, well-drained
2 T cornstarch
1 t vanilla extract
1 t run flavoring
1 t lemon juice
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hr 20 min
¼  c butter
½ c flaked coconut
½ c finely chopped nuts
¼ c sugar
Melt butter, add rest, sauté until golden, stirring frequently.
After cheesecake has baked 1 hr. 20 min., turn oven off. 
Sprinkle on topping; return to oven for 1 hr., door closed.  Remove and let cool to room temperature.

Another favorite recipe for something sweet is the chocolate oatmeal stir and drop cookie.

Strawberries with sour cream is also great.

New Little Rose

I planted double pink knockout roses. They are doing well. I was weeding this long flower bed and noticed I have a single red rose growing. I don't know how it got there, but I didn't plant it. I think in the fall I'll transplant it to a flower bed that isn't already full of pink roses.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

My Feet

The bottoms of my feet hurt. I can't really decide if walking makes them worse or not. So I decided to walk less and see if they feel better.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Fake Flowers?

I got a new cleaning person. She asked if my porch flowers are fake...her family thought they were because they looked so good. I looked at my flowers and said I thought it must be some other year because this year they look bad enough to be real. The first year I bought silver falls dichondra and got my angel wing begonias out early enough for them to be full. This year they are still struggling because I got them out kind of late.
I thought it was funny that she thought they looked too good to be real.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Banana Bread

Not diet, but interesting. Tomorrow is a holiday and I've had a few overripe bananas that I've tucked away into the freezer waiting until I had enough for banana bread. I've been told that freezing the overripe bananas is a good idea. When I thawed them out, I was concerned because it thawed to mush, but that made it really easy to mix into the batter. It looks good and smells better. I am anxious to have a slice with cream cheese for breakfast:)
I used to throw away the overripe bananas. I like a slice of low-carb bread toasted, with peanut butter and half a banana. But eating bananas half per day sometimes means they get overripe before I finish.
I am really pleased. Hopefully it won't do anything drastic to my blood sugar.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Sleep Tape

I've had trouble getting to sleep as long as I can remember. I couldn't take a nap in nursery school (I guess that's what they called kindergarten back then). Being tired didn't help. Nothing seemed to help except about three nights in a row of not sleeping. That next night I could sleep.
But I bought a sleep tape through audible so it's on my iPod. I get to sleep pretty quickly most of the time with it. But one of the things he says on the tape is that sleep is handled by the subconscious. That idea has helped enormously. I've been able to stop taking OTC sleep aids which only helped sometimes. I tried a prescription sleep aid which didn't help at all.
But I've managed to take three naps in the last four days without the tape, just thinking the subconscious is in charge of this so I don't have to do anything except relax and let my body take charge...not my mind.
I haven't gotten up enough nerve to try to sleep at night without the tape, but I may be getting there.
I love being able to sleep.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


I haven't gotten my steps in two days in a row. I did get a nap, though. I don't usually have any luck with naps even when it feels like I should. So I'm not planning to beat myself up over the steps. I don't know if it is the heat or if I'm just really lazy.