Thursday, December 31, 2015

People in my Head

Some readers establish themselves so firmly to an audio book that when I hear the same reader on a different book, it seems as if the same characters and plot should be there. I really like the Outlander series, both in book and audio format. My husband is watching the television series and wants me to watch it, too. I don't want those people and voices in my head when I'm reading the books. I really like the reader of the audio books and if there were a button to push so I could hear all of my audio books in her voice, I'd click the button.
I'm currently listening to American Assassin. The reader is the same guy who read 1632, Ring of Fire. There is no similarity between the books, but the voice keeps me expecting it.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Orange Cake

The hospital put together a holiday cookbook. The first recipe was for an orange cake. It sounded good to me so I got the stuff and made it today. It was quick and good. I don't think it is on anybody's diet, but I'm thinking if I don't eat the whole cake at once, it won't be so bad for me.

Sound Track Update

OK. I deleted the sound tracks from my iTunes library and connected to the internet. Then I plugged in my iPod and moved the music cds onto the library. They now have names on them. Thanks!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Sound Tracks

I put four John Denver cds and 2 Billy Joel cds on my iPod today. Usually when the cds are imported, the titles are, too. This time they were all mixed up even though I entered them separately. They are all listed together as one Unknown. So I don't have song titles, album titles, or artists listed. I have no idea why it didn't work as it had before.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Boiled Peanuts

Larry loves boiled peanuts and I like them all right. For years we thought it was necessary to have green peanuts. So we could buy them but not make them at home. Finally Larry asked a guy at one of the Southern gas stations selling boiled peanuts how he did them. He said green peanuts are great but not always available. Just take raw peanuts and boil them with salt until the peanuts are cooked through the shells. It takes a while, but they are good for a snack.


The ambrosia recipe I grew up with was just oranges carefully cut so no membrane was included, sugar, and shredded coconut.
Our recipe is the same except we use splenda instead of sugar and add cherries. It is a part of Christmas food that takes a while to prepare because of the chore of putting just the orange pulp in it.
Some people put raisins, apples, and nuts in theirs. We don't.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Tomorrow's Plan

We thought we'd go to town Monday and look for after-Christmas sales on decorations. But watching the weather tonight, we have a flash flood warning until noon. I don't know if we'll go or not because sometimes that road has water over it.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

December Blooms

More camilla buds are opening. Some others are blooming now, but this is my favorite.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Unusual Weather

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I don't guess we'll be having a white Christmas. Tornadoes, thunderstorms and floods seem to be our possibilities. Maybe all of them took a different route as it seems to have calmed down here and the television signal is back on. For a while all we could get was radio. But the wind, rain, and lightning are at least taking a break here.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Eleven Hours in the Car

Today we drove to a farmers' market about five hours from here. With shopping time and return travel, we were gone about eleven hours. My feet are pretty happy now in my socks from WalMart. Right before Christmas, WalMart puts Christmas socks on sale for a little under $3 each. They are supposed to be aloe and vitamin E infused. Maybe they are, but they feel soft and comfortable.
 We got a box of Florida naval oranges, a 25 pound bag of peanuts, a basket of Rome apples and a couple of rutabagas.
I tried to convince Larry that the farmers' market in Nashville would have good stuff. He agreed to try it later. But today was really long.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Christmas Scene

 This is a scene like a German Christmas Market. It's inside a basket. Such a clever idea!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Messy Presentation

I had lunch at a place I'd seen advertised on a local television station. It has gotten awards and looked good on television. I ordered a bowl of chili and a couple of apple dumplin's to go. The service was poor and when the bowl of chili came, it was in a shallow bowl with a wide, flat lip positioned on a square plate. It would have looked really nice except chili was smeared along the wide lip of the bowl. To be fair, the chili tasted good. But if I want something that tastes good and looks messy, I can eat at home!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Discouraging Problem

I've had problems with my audible account pretty regularly lately. It took a couple of tries before their technical people were able to fix my ability to download. So a couple of hours and three different techs isn't fun for me. The years I've used audible with no problems at all seem to have ended about the time Amazon took them over. I love audible books, but I'm tired of waiting for somebody to fix things so I can download.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Relocating Ladybugs

I showed the fuzzy white bugs to a friend who likes plants. He thinks they are some kind of plant lice and said it's a shame I don't have ladybugs. Well, I do have them in the sunroom of the house. So instead of vacuuming them up, I carefully caught the ones I could reach and took them to the greenhouse. The lady bugs that were out of reach, I used the vacuum cleaner on.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A Former Student

Today I read the announcement of the death of a student I had in the fourth grade. She was a senior. Her parents were wealthy. I remember they rented a limo for her birthday party in the fourth grade. Today's announcement showed a picture of the twisted wreck of the car her proud parents had given her. I can't even imagine how they must feel. I feel bad at the waste of her life.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


I'm not very good at remembering to use coupons, or even looking to see if any are available. But this morning we stopped at McDonalds for sausage biscuits. The clerk said it was free for seniors with coupons and she had a couple of extras. That was really nice. Thanks to McDonalds and to the clerk.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Sled instead of a Tree

I have a big tree with lights but haven't put it up for the last couple of years. Larry decided that the sled would be a good place for our Christmas packages. We haven't used Christmas wrap for over fifteen years. I bought some pretty cloth and we just wrap the boxes in the cloth and then reuse it the next year.

Nothing Hurts Yet

 Roger harvested the soybeans a couple of nights ago. It is supposed to rain tonight so I guess he got it at a good time. Our yield isn't likely to be good. The green in the picture is where weeds were. The brown patches show where the soybeans were. It should have all been soybeans. The tree that is down is what Larry wanted help with. My knee wasn't hurting so I hoped helping would be all right since the area is pretty level. We have a while to clear up the debris before he plants in the spring.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Shopping not Buying

Today I went shopping. I went to the store, asked if they had a particular item. Yes. May I try it? Yes. OK. I like it and would like to buy it. Sorry, we don't have one in stock. We'll let you know if it becomes available. Fine. If it is over a month, scratch me off your list. That is so annoying, to find what I want, try it out, and not be able to buy it. Ho, Ho, Ho

German Christmas Goodies

German Christmas goodies are a favorite with Larry and me. I think I could make hot spiced wine, too. Maybe I could make a bread man. With no kids in the house, it is difficult for me to get very far into the Christmas spirit. I've put out decorations. I guess I need to start playing Christmas songs.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Ceramic Christmas Ornaments

 I made most of the Christmas stuff. The village took a long time because I scraped out the greenware windows.
 I didn't do the tall St. Nickolas.
 Most of the ceramic stuff I did started as greenware and went through at least two firings, more usually three.
The Nativity set I bought as bisque and just painted and stained it.

Another Camilla

 Camilla bushes are just bushes until fall. Then they are lovely with glossy dark green foliage and bright blooms. The buds are fat and frost doesn't damage them. Frost can burn the blooms that are open, but more buds open the next day and are beautiful.


The branches went into the burn pile but these pieces are large enough to donate to our neighbor who uses wood for heat. It wasn't enough to call them to come help with it. So, it's nice somebody can get some use out of it.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Clearing up some Trash Trees

The weather was dry enough to work outside some. The erosion washes still have water in them, but we didn't get stuck in the gator. Larry cut some small trees that are trying to take over one of the narrow fields and cut up a couple of trees that had fallen. We dragged the branches and sticks to the erosion wash and tossed them in.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Unattended Children

I saw a sign today that said unattended children would be given espresso and a puppy. 


My husband's mother had a can like this at her house. I never saw chips in it, but she had the can. Larry saw this one advertised in a catalog and ordered it with a refill. I ate one of the chips. I'm not a fan of potato chips (well, except vinegar and salt), so Larry gets the chips and will probably keep snacks in it.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Seasonal Fruit

 Satsumas are really sweet, easy to peel, and don't have many seeds. They ripen in the fall and are something to look forward to.
Lemons ripened on the tree are different from the ones in the bags at the store. Better.

Friday, December 4, 2015

A Bed of Lettuce

The stew I made was all right in a bowl. But no bread, no noodles, no rice! So I piled a bowl full of shredded lettuce and put the stew on top of that. The thing is, the first few bites were fine but then the heat of the stew wilted the lettuce and it wasn't crunchy any more. Maybe I'll have a side of shredded lettuce tomorrow.

Thursday, December 3, 2015


I was going to return a book I didn't like but nothing showed up as eligible for refund. I went to their live chat, wondering if the return policy had changed now that audible is part of amazon. My person helped me immediately and returned my credit:)


Today the rump roast turned into a stew. Low-Carb thickener kept it from being too thin. I cooked mushrooms in a little butter and added them to the stew. I put three stalks of celery and three carrots in a pot of water so the whole thing wouldn't turn brown. Then I wilted a bag of baby spinach leaves in the pot of water. I added the vegetables and water to the stew next and made sure it was still thick enough. Now I have healthy stew for the next few days.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Finally Sunshine

It has been rainy and gray for days. But today it was sunny...finally. I have a horrible cold and haven't enjoyed any of the weather. But the house smells like roast and mushrooms so my olfactory receptors are still working so far. I used a low-carb thickener and made sure only meat with no fat it in the mixture. Tomorrow I'm going to add celery, carrots, and part of a bag of oriental vegetables.
I brought up a bunch of Christmas stuff from the basement and plan to unpack stuff and put it around tonight.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Camilla Blooms

Camilla blooms are a welcome sight in December. We're mostly through with fall color, but these blooms open when nothing else seems interested.

Interesting Conversation

Did you sleep OK?

No, the weather is fine.

Usually I just continue the conversation he thinks we're having. Sometimes, though, I can't figure it out. Today was easy.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Charlie Brown Tree

I usually put these outdoor ornaments on the Japanese maple. But it doesn't lose its leaves in November/December. So this year I put the ornaments on a Cyprus tree. It loses its leaves for the fall and winter so the ornaments show up. It looks pretty pitiful, but Larry said he doesn't see anything wrong with a Charlie Brown tree!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Starting to Decorate

Larry has spent a lot of time trying to get the hangers to stay up and to decide how much drape to allow and still get the lights to cover the right amount of space. He has been much more patient than I expected. Those sticky things aren't staying up very well, but we bought a bunch of them. I suggested super gluing them (the hangers, not the lights) and leaving the little hooks up forever. I also suggested cup hooks. 
I helped untangle the lights. I wasn't very good at it, but some help was evidently better than none.

Friday, November 27, 2015


 I made a pie crust for our Thanksgiving mincemeat pie. My favorite thing about a home made pie crust is that it doesn't get soggy. I've seen prettier lattice topped pie crusts, but I didn't make them. This is about the best I've done.

Free Cell

My free cell average is up to 99.51%. It takes a long time to move it up a hundredth of a percent when so many games are on record.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Range Practice

I went to the law-enforcement range with the Protect Only instructor. My pistol shot a few times and then quit. The instructor got one of his pistols and it wouldn't shoot my ammo. So he got some of his bullets. His gun and his bullets shot really well. It was a competition pistol with one pound pressure on the trigger. It shot as smooth as silk. I did really well. The instructor said the gun needed to be cleaned and something was wrong with the ammo. I took it home and told Larry my sad gun story. He shot it about eight times and then it jammed for him. But, I passed my class.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Old Pond

When we first moved here, we lived in what is now Larry's shop. We had a plastic pond and little fountain with flowers all around it. After a particularly bad rain, the pond floated up on water that was gathering under it and all the fish floated out. Larry has been filling it in for the last few months. Some day lilies are still there in spite of my best efforts to relocate them. It's gradually filling in. There are a good many rocks and a couple of pavers we'll move when it isn't so wet.


We had rain and straight-line winds which knocked a hickory tree over taking a smaller oak tree with it. Larry notified a neighbor who has a wood-burning hot water heater and heater for his house. They came over and removed both so all we have left are a couple of root clumps and smaller branches that we put in an erosion wash. It's good to have somebody who wants to clean up the mess.

Monday, November 23, 2015


 My corn tortillas didn't turn out exactly as I'd planned, but I didn't have to throw them away.
This didn't make a bad breakfast, and the tortillas with cheese dip made a good snack.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Years Ago

A long time ago in a history class, the professor said that assassination and acts of terrorism are an attempt on the part of the few to influence the policy of a larger population. That was my first exposure to the idea that people who did things like that were something in addition to lunatics and morons. I've never gotten over the idea that people who do things like that are crazy. But now I've decided that people are able to snag crazy people and use them to further their own agendas. The people organizing the crazy parade aren't the ones strapping on the suicide vests. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Target Practice

I decided I wanted to try target practice. I wasn't very good at it and my husband kept yelling, "You're dead!" because I'm really slow at everything. I thought he must have a great deal of trust in me to yell while I'm holding a loaded weapon. It didn't make me want to shoot him, though. I just wanted to give him back the pistol and go eat ice cream.

Friday, November 20, 2015

That Worked

We changed gas providers. It had been two months and they hadn't come to get their old tank. Larry told them if they didn't get it within the next week, he was going to spray paint "For Sale" on it. They came to get it.

Harry Potter Books

Today the Harry Potter books became available on audible. Yea!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Free Days

Between the time I have lab work and the time I get the results, I have what I call "free days." This is Hagan Daz coconut pineapple, raisin rum, and caramel ice cream.I used my smallest bowl that isn't for condiments and a medium melon scoop.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

On My Diet

 This is just ice, water, and lime in a pretty picture.
A sausage with spicy mustard and turnip greens qualifies as a diet lunch...meat and something green.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Finishing the New Bulb Garden

The circle of hyacinths is around the outside of this oval and covered with mulch. To plant the tulips inside the oval, I've made trenches. I put the first trench's soil in my cart to save to cover the last trench. But the rest of the trenches covered the previous one. I tried to stagger them in the trench so they wouldn't look like little rows of tulip soldiers.
I waited to dig up the nasturtiums until the last minute. They've been really pretty. I planted them with the expectation of adding the blooms to salads. I haven't eaten any salads, though.
The lavender at the right of the bulbs gets to stay and the Japanese maple, too.

Payin' for my Raisin'

I heard a nurse telling somebody about her daughter's latest escapade. Both people laughed and then the nurse said her mother says she's payin' for her raisin'. I hadn't heard that in decades.

Monday, November 16, 2015


I was curious about the new television series Supergirl. When I was much younger, I enjoyed the comic books with superheroes, including Supergirl. But it turns out that I'm not interested in the television series. Larry wanted to know why I didn't like it. All I could come up with is that I'm not twelve anymore.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

I Want Mexican Food

I've been gathering up stuff so I can cook some Mexican dishes. I have the tortilla press. I have everything, I think, except the corn flour so I can make corn tortillas. It should arrive today:) It's a shame Larry isn't as excited as I am at the prospect.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

How Do You Want Your Eggs?

We had lab work done and then went to breakfast in a local diner. The waitress asked, "How do you want your eggs?"
I had already said scrambled, but I repeated it.
She said they offer soft, medium, and hard scrambled eggs.
I had never heard that offer before. So I ordered medium scrambled eggs and they were perfect.

Friday, November 13, 2015


I have fuzzy white insects that get on my flowers, especially in the greenhouse. I put some vinegar in a spray bottle and doused them a couple of days in a row. Unfortunately, one of the main ingredients in homemade herbicides is vinegar. I hope my plants survive my treatment of the fuzzy little wormy things.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Life's Good!

Some days I walk around smugly secure in how good my life is. Other days, nothing has changed except some small annoyance. I have to consciously remember that everything is still good, and I shouldn't allow small disturbances to disrupt my pleasure.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

No Problem

When I thank somebody who has done me a service that they are being paid to perform, I don't think that takes the place of a tip. But I also don't like it when that person says, "No problem" in response. The situation could arise where "No Problem" could be appropriate. For example, if I dropped the tall stack of newspapers I carry back to the gift shop and someone passing by helps me pick them up. I would say, "Thank you!" and they could legitimately say, "No problem," if they have some deep-seated objection to good manners represented by, "You're welcome." But they showed the good manners of helping me, so they obviously have no problem (ha) with good manners. So, why? I have no idea.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Dressing Up or Down

I usually prefer to dress casually, but the dress code at the hospital, even for volunteers, requires that we dress "professionally." So I dug out my "teacher clothes" and shoes to wear with my pink-lady smock.
But the patients don't understand the significance of the pink smock and occasionally tell someone, "She's a doctor; ask her!"

Monday, November 9, 2015


Bad language doesn't offend me but mean people do. 
I remember trying to get kids to not use profanity at school (yeah, yeah, ACLU, freedom of speech).
Now we aren't supposed to say "man up" or "You're crazy." 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Lady Bugs

I just got rid of the wasps and now we're covered over with orange lady bugs. I vacuumed outside for a while and finally gave up. I vacuumed up the ones I found inside off and on all afternoon and evening. They crawl under clothing, pinch, and generally annoy me.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

TV Annoyance

When I try to share something I've read with Larry, he is rude and lets me know he has absolutely no interest. But he records stuff on television or takes it off mute so I can hear stuff I care nothing about. Sometimes I get up and go outside or to the greenhouse. If he's very determined, he just starts it up again when I get back. He's started telling me how long it will take.
When he asked if I wanted to watch Ol Yeller and I said I didn't, he acted like it was grounds for divorce. I said I'd watched it every year for ten years when I taught fourth grade so the kids could get AR points for it. He has the strangest ideas of entertainment we should share.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Swimming Pool Smell

I wash a small load of whites once every couple of weeks. Yesterday my husband mentioned that I must really like the smell of clorox. 
Actually, I do. It seriously reminds me of YMCA swimming lessons when I was a kid.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Sherlock Homeless

I was listening to Personal, part of the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child. Reacher was referred to as Sherlock Homeless because he roams around solving mysteries with a passport, bank card, and folding toothbrush as his permanent possessions. He buys clothes to wear, tossing the dirty ones that he wore.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


This flower bed is right in front of the porch. I decided to plant 100 blue jacket hyacinths and 100 flair tulips. The ground was a driveway until we built the house and moved the driveway a little further from the house. Moving the driveway consisted of putting more gravel down and letting grass grow. But I keep planting things there.
This time I had to use a pick and shovel to dig the trenches. Larry said it is like trying to dig through a Roman road. That is hyperbole, because I don't think I could dig through a Roman road and I did manage to dig up these tightly-packed pebbles. Larry didn't like how I did it, so he took the pick away from me and did it. Then he took the shovel away and did that, too.
 I wish he'd been as happy about that as I was:)
All the hyacinths are planted around the outside (You're digging in the wrong place; that's where I spray round-up!)
The flair tulips will be on the inside. I hope the ground isn't as full of pebbles. But there should be good drainage.

Update on my New Bulb Flowerbed

Trying to plant bulbs where we had a driveway has been a challenge. I wanted it there. Larry decided there are easier places to dig. Well, I agree. But I wanted the flair tulips inside the blue jacket hyacinth ring. So Larry came up about a third of the way through the bag of 100 and pointed out that he wanted them somewhere else. I said, "I know. But I had my heart set on putting them here." He said, "I know." Today I'll try to get another third dug in.

Tempest in a Teapot

I was watching a clip from the news about a transgender problem at a school. I thought the school had done a lot to ensure the privacy and emotional well-being of the child. But then the child decided she wanted to be in the gym changing room with the rest of the girls. S/he obviously isn't emotionally a girl or s/he would know just how annoying girls can be. Staring, snickering, etc., would be the next part of that scenario. Girls can be protective and nice or not. I'd really not want to be the one who is "different." The ACLU may be able to make the schools conform to what will bring in the federal dollars, but good luck making girls different:)

Well, that should have been Tempest in a Teacup!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


 It's been eight months since the last time I had people come out and spray my art room for wasps. This time he said I had two kinds of wasps and also yellow jackets.
They are easier to vacuum when they are dead:)

Monday, November 2, 2015


This is a beautiful rose with an elegant shape. I caught a minute between showers so it was rain-drenched. Still, the cool weather helps the bloom last longer.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Do I Need a New Car?

I went for my yearly checkup for my eyes. I'm good, according to the doctor. What he actually means is that everything that is wrong with me is normal.
My prescription hadn't changed much for several years. He said I wouldn't be able to tell any difference if I got new glasses. Then he asked if I went in a car showroom and asked if I needed a new car! He said I could get new glasses if I wanted something different, but I didn't need them unless I couldn't see. I said he was fuzzy right then. He said it might be due to my eyes being dilated. So that wasn't an expensive visit:)

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Still Preparing for Fall

I'm still clipping things in the flower bed to prepare for fall and winter. I'm cutting off dead things, peony greenery, tomatoes, peppers, ragged iris greenery, and things I've decided shouldn't be there next year. I'm trying to picture next year's flower bed and prepare the spaces.
I've also called the pest people to come back and spray for wasps in my art room.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Fall Hickory

It's nice to look around and identify trees in the fall by their colors. The buttery yellow shading toward bronze means it's a hickory tree.
The short reds and burgundies are dogwoods. The bright red bushy type things are sumac. The golden brown leaves are oaks. Cyprus trees are lush green and start getting rust colored. The poplar trees are yellow and scattered with a narrower shape than hickory.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Fall Crepe Myrtles

 I love the colors of fall. I like crepe myrtles because the provide flowers in the summer with very little care.
I didn't really think about the bonus of the lovely fall foliage, but I'm thinking about it now.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Healthy Fried Chicken

 I got the recipe for this fried chicken from Just Bento. It's easy. Lightly coat chicken with kosher salt and let rest an hour in the refrigerator, lightly covered with plastic. The recipe actually calls for thighs:) Then blot the moisture and salt from the chicken, removing fat but leaving skin. Place skin-side down in a skillet and cook on medium until the skin is golden brown. Turn it over and let it cook until done. The first time I served it, I had slaw and broccoli with it.
The next day I warmed up the chicken in the toaster over trying to maintain the crispiness of the skin. I still had slaw but the broccoli was finished so I had spinach that time.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Order Arrived

Last week I placed an order for the gift shop. It was here today so I spent a lot of time checking the shipping list, pricing the new stuff, and putting it out. I will take the cardboard box and packing paper home to use under mulch:) I bought three things that have led lights. I hope they are as cute for others as I think they are.

Not a Good Idea

 I liked having the gardenias inside with lights strung on them, but they started dropping leaves. So I unwrapped the lights and moved the ones with yellowed leaves to the greenhouse. When I picked them up, they were very light so I guess I wasn't watering them enough.