"Getting rid of everything that doesn’t matter allows you to remember who you are. Simplicity doesn’t change who you are, it brings you back to who you are."

Friday, March 19, 2021

48 Hours

 The big storm that has wrecked areas of the South with tornado's, hail and high winds also made me suffer with one of the longest migraines I've ever had.

I've always been prone to headaches when the barometer drops but it almost seems that it's getting worse as I get older.

For me, the only thing that seems to help is heat. 
I have one of those sock filled, microwaveable bead socks that even now is wrapped around my neck.  

SM came in earlier and laughed because I had it draped over my head.

Anyway, that poor little sock has been working overtime these past few days. It somehow creates a bit of moisture when it's hot and SM swears it smells like cookies.  When I take a sniff of it, it smells like popcorn. Good thing it doesn't smell like burnt toast or I could say that one of us is having a stroke.

With the constant use these past few days, the moisture caused the threads to stretch at the seam. I had to stitch it closed with super tiny stitches because the beads are so small. On top of that I now have tiny random beads on the floor that roll around as I sweep.  I wonder if they will end up like glitter...always around.

Anyway, I am feeling somewhat better today as this storm finally makes it's way out of here.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021


 As predicted, today is an inside day as we are having a bit of a washout with temps in the 40's with rain on and off today and Thursday.

I wandered outside to toss some seed on the mulch for the birds who are fluttering around looking for my feeders which are temporarily washed out and empty on the back porch.

While I was outside I noticed that the peas are starting to come up but they are currently underwater with the ponding from the rain. That's one benefit from raised beds, nice drainage.

Anyhow, back to the topic of today's post.  

Hooves? What's up with that?

My feet, that's what.  SM had gotten into the habit of commenting on my callused bare feet by calling them "Hooves".  Heavily callused and cracked, my feet do what feet are supposed to do, take me from Point A to Point B without complaint.

To be honest, I hadn't given them much thought over the years. Yeah, I went through a brief "girlie" phase where I painted my hand and toe nails and while they are very attractive, seriously...who has the time or money to fuss over such things?

Anyhow, I had my feet propped up on the coffee table a month or so ago, chatting with SM who was visually right in the line of fire with the bottom of my feet when he called me out on "my hooves". 


So I thought I'd better do something about them. Feet are terribly important after all.

I went online and searched Walmart for Heel and Foot creams and bought myself a new foot-sander.

It's been a month and I can tell you my feet are completely different. The cream I used was amazing. I started rubbing the cream into my feet then I put on socks so I wouldn't smear the stuff all over the floors. I would do this once or twice a day.  After a week of moisturizing, I took the scrubby foot sander thingy and gave them a going over. I still had cracks but things were improving.  

I kept up this pattern for about a month and my calluses and cracks are pretty much gone. I'm now in maintenance mode only moisturizing and scrubbing once or twice a week.

The stuff I'm using this.

Look it up if you're interested. 

Profoot Care Heel Rescue

Made in the USA. About $6.50 for a tub at Walmart.  (Amazon is $10) I went to my local Walmart to get more but they didn't have it. Not sure if it's online only.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Spring Breaking

 If I've been a bit absent in posting this week it's because it is FREAKEN GORGEOUS here this week.  

I have been outside pretty much all day from my early morning exercise laps around the hood to mid-morning gardening and cleanup. In for lunch then out again hanging on the back porch reading with my legs stuck out in the sun sucking in all that good vitamin D.

So while there's not really anything specific to discuss or ponder with you this week, you should be aware that I am making the most of it while we have it.

Yes, Spring is breaking here in the Carolina's but I'm sure some soggy cold days will
 catch up with us eventually.

I planted some lettuce in pots like I discussed last post.  

It's 10am as I'm posting this and already 63 degrees.  I'm heading back out now. See ya later!

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Peas Are In

 Our forecast is for nothing but sunshine and temperatures in the 60's for the next 10 days!  Let's say goodbye to gloomy February and welcome Spring in the Carolina's by planting peas.

I went out and pulled away a row using the hoe. The soil was nice a crumbly (shock) until I got to the last 5 feet which seemed more water slogged.  I'm pretty happy with how good the soil looked. Seems like my one year on / one year off is working.

I love any kind of pea but my absolute favs are sugar and snow.

So excited to begin the gardening season.  

Next up?  Lettuce.  I'm undecided if I want to plant in-ground or in pots that I can move around. Lettuce bolts by mid-May because of the heat.  I'm wondering if I plant it in a pot and move the pot to the cooler side of the house when things start to heat up, if I can extend production.  


Sunday, February 28, 2021

Rainy Day Roasting And A Seed Save

After three days of a glorious spring-time tease, Mother Nature decided to get back to her regularly scheduled programing and gave us a wet, raw, day that encouraged a girl to turn on her oven and stay indoors.

I had various veggies in cold storage that needed to be cooked and figured nothing tastes better than a good roasting.  I tend to boil the "bleep" out of vegetables most days.  

So I turned the oven on 350, pulled out my big bowl, knives and cutting board, oil and seasonings and started to process each veg one at a time. 

Wilted Broccoli?. Check. 
Softening Idaho potatoes? Check. Check.

When SM found out I was roasting he ran to the store and got some of his favs.  Peppers, mushrooms and carrots...Everything had its turn in the oven.

Saving the best for last, I grabbed the two butternuts that my brother-in-law grew up in NH that had been hanging out in the garage these past few months.

I gutted those suckers for a seed save to plant later this year.

When you roast a butternut they taste kinda like sweet potato fries. Yum.

So that was my rainy day. How about yours?

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Weed and Feed

 I follow a group on Facebook called "Grow, Share Charlotte" which keeps me in the loop as far as what my local peeps are up to with their gardens. Lots of good posts with answers to great questions and problems that we are all likely to be experiencing at the same time locally.

Anyway...This past weekend there was a post about people planting their peas, carrots, lettuces and potatoes in their gardens. 

When I mentioned this to SM, he laughed, looking out at all the ponding in our backyard and said "They'll be replanting soon enough. All that seed will rot as wet as it is."

Still, just reading that people in my locale are putting seeds in the ground is enough to make my fingers itch.

The past three days have been sunny and 65+ degrees with a fair amount of wind to help dry out the yard.  

I put on my "Boo-tays" this morning and walked around to check things out.

Lots of Weeds popping is a sure sign of Spring.

Some parts of the yard are drier than others. Here's how mucky it still is close to the garden.

Our feeding area for the birds. There is another (hard to see) green feeder closer to the house.

My garden is big enough that I've taken to "swapping" sections each year and letting the other rest.  Last year I used the raised beds so I've got them covered for this year.

Here is the "in-ground" section that I'll be planting this year. I built this walkway out of scrap deck board that SM had stacked back by the fence.  Might as well do something with it.

With the weather warming up, I thought I'd give you all a tease of what things look like here in NC.  

I expect even green weeds look good to those of you stuck in cold and snow.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

23 And Me

Well, technically I should say that it's "23 and My Younger Sister" but her results would me mine as well so when she texted me that her results were in, I was very curious.  Her daughter had purchased the kit for her as a Christmas present.

My sister emailed me the link to her results and (after creating my own account) I was able to view our DNA ancestry results.

As expected, we are 99.5% European.

80% of which comes from the North Rhine-Westphalia region with a dash of Scandinavian and British-Irish tossed in. (Now I know where my Rosacea comes from.) We also have hints of Portuguese to add a little flavor.

The report was an interesting read to be sure but it didn't really offer up any information that we didn't already know.  

Some people are really into their family trees. SM's brother was into Ancestry.com and took their Maternal side back into the mid 1700's in Poland.  

My sister says she wants to work on our family tree now.  

She has also said she wants to do the Health Predisposition Report at some point.

We chatted about the "do you want to know" aspect of it.  Health-wise the only big drama in our family is Dementia-Alzheimer's in our later years. We have it on both sides. The chance of this report having any other earth-shattering data is unlikely, but it's possible.  I've read stories of women who found out they had the BRCA gene from 23 and Me. 

So the question I ask is "Do You Want To Know?"  

My sister says yes. 

Would I want to know? 

Yes, if SM was no longer around, it would be nice to have things situated in advance with a relative I trust if I knew Alzheimer's was in my future since I don't have children.

My sister says "23 and Me" can provide her with her health report if she pays an additional $125.  She is saving up for that. I'll be curious to see what her report says.

Will I jump on genetic testing anytime soon? Probably not. But if my sisters results come back with something surprising, then I'm sure I'll reconsider. 

For now though, ignorance is bliss so lets eat, drink and be merry!

Saturday, February 20, 2021



I have a secret to tell you.

I have a "girl-crush".  

I was flipping through my Netflix feed the other day and saw that Nadiya Hussain has another show.  This one is called Nadiya Bakes.

I first saw Nadiya on The Great British Off - Season Six.  She won that season and has never looked back. 

Even back then, her personality was undeniable. She has that "it" factor that rockets mere human beings into stardom.

You can find her other shows on Netflix too. I enjoyed The Big Family Cooking Showdown and Nadiya's Time To Eat.

She's infectious and has never failed to make me smile.

Now don't get me wrong...Martha and Ina, Duff and Valerie.  Paul and Mary and Prue...I love all your shows too. 

But Nadiya is my new crush.  

So who are you crushing on? 

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Color Explosion

When I just can't take the gray dreariness of winter anymore, I whip out a puzzle. 

I have bought about 15 puzzles from Springbok Puzzles over this past year.  I like Springbok because of the size of their pieces.  

I'm older now and wear readers for close up work so I'm not interested in those teeny tiny puzzle pieces anymore.  Plus the quality of their puzzles is very good.  

This one is just what I needed.  

"SpringTime Cookies" by Rebecca Weld is a 500 piece puzzle with lots of color and patterns.

I was curious about Rebecca Weld and so I Googled her to find out more.  
Oh My! 
Check out her portfolio. The Cookie Architect

I have never tried cookie decorating although I am fascinated by the HGTV shows on cookie and cake decorating and gingerbread houses.  

I even watched a show about a National Sugar Artist Championship and Wedding Cake Championship held in Tulsa Oklahoma. The artistry is amazing.

There is a part of me that wants to order a bunch of piping bags and tips and give it a try.  
Maybe I will.
But I probably won't.  
Too much work.
In the meantime, I will enjoy my puzzle.

Have any of you tried cake or cookie decorating?

Monday, February 15, 2021

A Life Saved

 When a hawk decides to visit our bird feeding area, it's like an explosion goes off. 

Birds fly in every direction and sometimes one will hit our windows.  This happened the other day and SM went to the window looking out at the ground to see what stunned bird had taken the hit.

It was a female Cardinal.  She lay just below the window.  We watched, waiting for her to recover.  She was breathing, we could see that but did not appear interested in moving.

Then the Blue Jays started up calling loudly at each other. Clearly the Hawk was still around somewhere.  We looked to the sky and saw him flying by.

SM put his shoes on and went outside, gently picking up the Cardinal.  He went towards one of the big holly bushes intending to place the bird underneath when "BAM" another hawk burst out of that bush into one of the trees.

I watched as SM came back up onto the porch with the Cardinal still cupped in his hands. I stepped outside with him while he decided to place the young Cardinal on our porch swing, nestled up against pillows for protection.

We could see the bird from our window and SM would check every so often.  The Cardinal sat in that protected nest for two hours before finally venturing forth, hopping up on top of the cushions and flying to the nearby Maple.

"Wouldn't it be nice if she comes by sometime and perches nearby to let me know she appreciates saving her life?" SM asks me.

"I'm sure she will." I told him, my heart melting just a little.  Like most men, he acts tough but he's got fluff in his middle.  

My Twinkie.

Saturday, February 13, 2021


Last night, I watched the local weather man explain how we were on the "right" side of this polar vortex. 

We would get lots of rain (up to 3 inches) but would maintain relatively normal temperatures compared to the rest of the country.

Interesting how when a line is drawn, like on a weather map, "sides" become evident. 

No matter what "side" you are on, I hope you have an enjoyable day.

Friday, February 12, 2021

These Boots

It may sound strange to all of you but a few months ago I purchased my first pair of muck-around boots.  

And I am in love.

I have wanted a pair of muck-around boots FOREVER but could never quite take the leap.  


Because this girl owns eighty million pairs of tennis shoes, that's why.  

Technically they are athletic running shoes because I walk a lot. Around and around the neighborhood I go, making laps to get my 10K steps in.  These shoes look good even after they have broken down to the point where my feet start to hurt which is my clue to order another pair.

Since these tennis shoes still look like they are in good shape, I move them to the back porch or garage to be used for "work around the house" shoes.  

Which is fine. Except for one little thing. They aren't waterproof.

I can't walk across the yard without them getting soaking wet.  

I can't putter around the garden without getting half an inch of mud up and around and into them. 

Weeds slice at my ankles. 

Bugs and skeeters nibble up my legs.  


And so I said that I had had enough.  

Now these boots proudly sit beside my back door waiting for my dainty size eleven's to slide into their cozy dryness.

I clomp out to the bird feeders and clomp into the shed.  

I clomp taking the trash out and clomp back up the steps and admire the reflection of my boots in my door window.

I can even get the neighbors dog to bark at me as I clomp by him.  "Hello Huck!"

Most times, I have on my house-shorts on as a make a quick run outside clomping around in my muck-boots.  
I'm sure the neighbors are taking notes as a pirouette around my yard like a go-go dancer in a strip bar.

Too bad these are basic black.  

I might need to get a pair that are a bit more Bedazzled.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021


 To all my neighbor suffering during this polar vortex...

We were 65 degrees yesterday.  A surprise for sure!  

I sat outside and enjoyed a taste of Spring.

Imagine...You could've been in that empty chair with your shorts on and we could've had a nice chat.

Except for Covid and the fact that our polar vortex will hit this weekend.  

Oh well.  

It was nice while it lasted.

Monday, February 8, 2021


 It was nice enough yesterday to sit outside on our Southern-facing back porch and enjoy some sunshine on our faces.  SM had the TV on but that never stops us from having conversation about life, thoughts and (ugh) feelings.

"I feel like I'm becoming a dinosaur." I said.

"How so?" SM asked with a confused expression on his face.

Poor man.  He's been married to me for 34yrs and knows that strange things pop out of my mouth with alarming frequency.

"You know, with work. How I see the world. Interacting with the world in general."

SM isn't one for philosophy so he seized on the word "work" and asked me to explain further.

"I guess I mean my chosen career path. Would I encourage someone younger to make the same choice I did 30yrs ago?" 

I was flailing around trying to put into words my insecurity about jumping back into the job pool after nearly a year of being unemployed.  I suppose I would feel the same way about trying to learn how to date again after all these years.

The world has changed since I was a puppy and now that I'm outside looking in, I'm not feeling like joining the party again. 

It's tedious. It's underappreciated. 


I'd rather "retire" than jump back in.

I came across an interesting article on BBC that sort of highlights my feelings about being a dinosaur. 

The Computers Rejecting Your Job Application