Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happy December!!

It’s December,

a month full of Christmas parties, 
shopping, baking, decorating, candlelight services, 
and celebrating the birth of our Lord with family and friends….

In fact, it’s already so crazy, 
that I’m giving myself an early gift:  the month off!

I’m actually taking a break from blogging.
The other day I realized I've been posting
almost every other day for two years!  
{whew and yikes!}

So!  J

I hope you all have a fabulous holiday and Christmas season…
I hope you get the gift of your dreams….

And I’ll see you in 2012…!!!!

Lucky Dog

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Quote o' the Day

“You don’t marry a person you can live with. 
You marry the person you cannot live without.”

-- Unknown

Monday, November 28, 2011

Recipe-- Pecan Pie!


1 cup of white Karo corn syrup
1 cup of dark brown sugar
1 cup of pecans, heaping
1/3 cup of melted butter
3 eggs, beaten
 a dash of vanilla
a pinch of salt

Mix well and pour into unbaked 9” pastry pie shell.

Bake at 350°F. for 45-50 minutes.
Top with whipped cream or ice cream.

So easy and delicious...

Lucky Dog

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday Scripture

Psalm 145 verse 8  

The Lord is gracious and merciful; 

slow to anger and great in lovingkindness.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Holidaze!

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

We're about to finish up some leftover pecan pie,
but something's missing...

Some of us enjoy a little pie with our whipped cream.

Have a fabulous weekend, everybody!!

Lucky Dog

Monday, November 21, 2011

Quote o' the Day


"Just think how happy you'd be if you lost everything you have right now, and then got it back again." 

-- Frances Rodman

Happy Thanksgiving!

I saw this on FaceBook this morning. J
You know, sometimes I feel like that turkey!!

It's gonna be a busy week:
with lots of cleaning and cooking and baking.

Most of all,
counting our blessings.

We have so much to be thankful for!

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Lucky Dog

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Scripture

Proverbs 4 verse 18

The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn,

     which shines brighter and brighter until the full light of day.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Favorites: Calcium gummies

Today I am sharing with you my newest favorite product
 that I just happened upon at the drugstore: 

it’s my calcium pill. 
Except it’s not a pill, it’s chewable!

And although the bottle says “gummy bites”,
I have found them to be much much better than that. 

My One-A-Day vitamins say they are gummy,
like gummi bears, and they are. 

(Oh, and you have to take two-a-day, not one-a-day. 
Don’t think I didn’t notice that!  Aarrrrgghh!)

But these chew up much more nicely and easily,
and have a really good fruity flavor.


A calcium supplement that I can live with
and that isn’t as big as a horse tablet!! 

‘Cause a girl needs her calcium!  J

Lucky Dog 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Quote o' the Day

“Every good painter paints what he is.” 

-- Jackson Pollock

Fall Foliage Fotos

Lucky Dog

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sunday Scripture

Psalm 37 verse 7 

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Favorite Product: Nailtiques 2 Plus

I know, I know, I’m probably the only person who cares about having long fingernails and painting them, especially at my age. 

But you see, I never got to have long nails growing up, what with all those crazy piano lessons.  (!)  Anything past the quick “clicked” on the piano keys.  So I have especially loved having them as an adult. 

But growing my fingernails out, and keeping them from breaking has been a challenge, to say the least.  Especially as hard as I am on my hands.

I haven't ever had a professional manicure...  I paint my own nails, and use stuff from the drugstore.  I use whatever color I like, plus a speed drying product, like Sally Hansen’s Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat, guaranteed to dry any color in 30 seconds.  Or Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat.

(After all, I can’t sit around waiting for wet nail polish to dry...
I’ve got stuff to do, for cryin’ out loud!)  J

But my poor nails were absolutely giving me fits this time last year.  They had really paid for it the previous summer when I was working in the flowerbeds and putting out mulch and doing all sorts of yardwork.  And even though I wear garden gloves, I just scratch and claw so much, and am generally so hard on them, that my nails had just had it.  Peeling and breaking--it was a constant and vicious cycle.

The fact that the H1N1 scare the year before had caused me to become an absolutely manic Purell-user probably didn’t help them much, either!  Ha-ha!  

Should "Purell-user" be hyphenated?  Oh well.  You get the drift.  Alcohol... drying... breaking.  (But I didn’t get sick that year, so Purell on!!)  J

The worst, of course, was my poor right index fingernail.  I’m right-handed, so it just does all the work and takes all the damage.  I thought I had pulled out all the stops in trying to help it along, but I was still having trouble with it.   In fact, come to think of it, that one nail has had problems for a few years.

Anyway, I realized that I had tried everything I knew of except for one product.  So I decided to try it:  it’s made by Nailtiques and called Formula 2 Plus, for difficult nails.  And I found it at CVS Pharmacy, no less.  (I’ve also seen it at Ulta.)

They have 3-4 formulas to choose from to match your needs.

I paint my nails with whatever color I want, wait 2 minutes and use the Insta-dry.  And then later that day I will repeat that, because I need 2 coats of color.

After that, ideally, you use the Nailtiques every day as a topcoat.

And, you know what?  It’s worked!!  It’s actually worked!! 
And it dries almost instantly, which really helps.

Now, here’s the real secret… 
You can’t just buy it, you have to use it!   

I know, I know, where do I come up with all these deep insights?  hahaha  But that’s the tricky part, isn’t it?  J   Following through consistently, and making it a new habit.

Seriously, though, if I put that stuff on like a topcoat every morning -- and I’ll grant you, that’s a pretty big IF -- but if I put it on faithfully, it actually works! 

Yay!  Happy dance!  J

And after awhile, when your nails are thicker and stronger, you can cheat and use it less often, and then even less often.  But a nice benefit to applying it, is having super-shiny nails.  It looks like you just painted your nails, but you didn’t.  Cool!

Sooooo, if you’ve always wanted to have longer fingernails, there’s something new for you to try.  And in your very own home.

And believe it or not, I have to cut that right index fingernail now, it’s doing so well.

For what it’s worth…!

Lucky Dog  ♥

p.s.  And if you ever do get a break, use the paper from an unused tea bag and Super Glue to mend it.

p.p.s.  It’s kinda funny…  I usually, like 99.9% of the time, use a Mauve cream nail polish, but purple and mint green are fun, too.  Those colors are from CVS, too:  Milani 3D Holographic Nail Lacquer.  J

[Edited to add:  I'm sad to report that Milani has discontinued their holographic colors in an apparent fit of insanity.]

p.p.p.s.  Tomorrow's 11/11/11!  Do something special!!!!!!  ♥

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Quote o' the Day

“The first step towards getting somewhere
is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.”

 -- Unknown

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sticks and String II

Here's another version...

I wrote my quote out
with a white Zig chalk marker,

added some pastel color,

and got out my toothpicks
to knit up a tiny swatch!

(I used a novelty yarn
so you could see it against the color.)

It's just another experiment
and havin' fun!

Lucky Dog

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sunday Scripture

Revelation 7 verse 12

“Amen!  Blessing and glory and wisdom
      and thanksgiving and honor
 and power and strength belong to our God
      forever and ever!  Amen.”

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Favorite Product: Wrap Master

Well, I just have to share this absolutely innovative
kitchen product.  (gadget?)

It’s called a Wrap Master,
and basically it’s a plastic wrap dispenser.

The great thing about it is,
the crazy wrap stays flat and behaves!

You pull out the plastic wrap,
and it doesn’t get all stuck to itself or folded back on itself
and become a twisted mess that you have to throw away. 

(Don’t you hate that?  Aarrgghh!!)

It was a set, and I got mine from

I have the set of 2, the other one is for foil,
and I guess it’s handy enough. 

But the one for plastic wrap is worth its weight in gold!

I don’t think QVC sells them anymore,
but you can buy them from

And you don’t have to buy the set. 
You can just buy the one for the plastic wrap.
How perfect is that?  J

It’s so easy to use. 
Here… in lieu of a video, here I am covering a mug.


Place item in front and pull wrap over.

Close lid to cut off plastic.

Done.  With no craziness.

Cool, huh?

It’s another good thing that I wouldn’t want to be without.  J

Lucky Dog

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Quote o' the Day

“If people sat outside and looked at the stars each night, I'll bet they'd live a lot differently.”

-- Bill Watterson

[Believe it or not, Bill Watterson is the creator 
the Calvin and Hobbes cartoon series.

My husband loves star-gazing
and Calvin and Hobbes.
Coincidence?  Perhaps not.  LOL]

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy November!

I love Fall
but it's way too short.

We're expecting our first freeze this week.

Who do we need to talk to
about making Fall last longer??

Oh well!
Happy November, everybody!

Lucky Dog

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday Scripture

Romans 8 verses 38 and 39 

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Favorite Product: Forever Cool

Today I am beginning a new feature on my blog: 
sharing one of my favorite purchases.

(Just think if we all had a Top Five List and shared it with each other!)

ANYway…  I stumbled upon this in Walgreens.  It’s kinda like a Chillow, only there’s no water, hence no leaks.  And that’s always nice.

It is a gel-filled mat that has great heat transfer qualities.

Walgreens had 2 sizes:  small for $20, large for $50.  I got the small, which is about 11X15 inches.

It feels chilly to the touch in the middle of the night, and helps me when I am having a “power surge”.  LOL

I keep it up between our pillows and lay my arm on it for a minute or two if I need to cool off.  You might want to put it inside your pillowcase or tuck it down near your toes.

If you ever get hot when you’re sleeping, maybe it could help you, too.

It really is a good thing.  J

TGIF, everybody!!!!!!

Lucky Dog  ♥

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Butterfly Palace

Here are some of my many photos of the butterflies
at the Butterfly Palace in Branson.

You really should click on them
and view the larger sizes.

I quickly learned that butterflies
do not stop and pose for the camera.

Right when you get ready to snap the photo, they fly away!
How rude!!!   

So, just like with the raccoons on our deck,
I got a lot of blurry photos. 

Ah, well, that’s why you take a million pictures. 
Thank heavens we don’t use film anymore, right?

And of course, the prettiest, brilliant blue swallowtail,
the one that the Butterfly Palace uses for their logo
and uses on a lot of their merchandise…

It outwaited us and our patience many many times.
It just wouldn’t open up for us.

But finally we were rewarded with this shot:

The place was 83ยบ and 70% humidity. 
But to have the butterflies literally flying around you 
-- it was soooo worth it.

You have to watch out,
because sometimes they fly right into you. 

Oh, and they also they said to be careful and not step on any.

So here are a few of the millions of photos that I took.
Hahaha  Not really, but almost.   

I absolutely wilt in the humidity and heat
that they maintain for the place,

but I just love seeing so many butterflies flying around in person,
that I enjoy going again and again.

Lucky Dog  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Quote o' the Day

"How do you know if you're an artist?  

Simple.  You do it despite." 

-- Allan Goldstein

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday Scripture

Ephesians 3 verse 20

Now all glory to God, Who is able,
through His mighty power at work within us,
to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or even think.

Friday, October 21, 2011

I Play with Sticks and String

For all the knitters out there...

I made this yesterday,
knitting mohair with toothpicks.

What we do for our art!  LOL

TGIF, everybody!!

Lucky Dog

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Quote o' the Day

... So, when does inspiration strike and can we control it?

Gwen Stefani says it much more eloquently than I can:

“Sometimes it's so hard to find what it is I'm trying to say.  People might think you can turn creativity on and off, but it's not like that.  It just kind of comes out.  A mash up of all these things you collect in your mind.  You never know when it's gonna happen, but when it's like magic.  It's just that simple and it's just that hard.”  -- Gwen Stefani

If what Gwen said above is true, and, in my experience, it is, then the answer is no - we can't control when inspiration strikes.  And that means that when it does, we must be prepared to drop our plans and follow it.

So let's summarize my hypothesis:

If, to maximize your chances of creating great art, you have to pursue inspiration every time it strikes and, if you never know when it's going to strike, then, to produce great work, you will, necessarily have to "blow off" some tasks if you want to take advantage of that inspiration.

So you tell me - when inspiration does strike, should you head to the studio and start creating or should you run errands?

And the funny thing is, the more you create, the more it happens.  It's a self-sustaining feedback loop.  ...

from:  Why Great Artists Should Procrastinate
             by Clint Watson
at:    <-- a good read

Monday, October 17, 2011


Here are a few photos of Mr. Man
doing the zipline ride at the Inspiration Tower in Branson.

Here's a photo of the tower itself.

Here’s a photo that I took of him descending…

(He will land waaay at the back of that whitish strip
in the upper middle of the photo.)

And they took a few of him from the ground
that were “available for purchase”,
which, of course, we did.

He had a blast and is now thinking about doing 
the other zipline tour in Branson --
the one that goes through all the trees.  

We have to save some stuff for next time!  J

Lucky Dog

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday Scripture

Luke 12 verses 6 and 7 

If I take care of the little sparrows,

I will certainly take care of you. 

-- God

Friday, October 14, 2011


We went over to Branson the other day for a little vacation. 
It’s one of our favorite places to spend a little downtime.

Oh, we don’t go for all the shows…

We go because, to us, sipping coffee in a condo
overlooking Table Rock Lake
is the most relaxing thing there is.

Branson is a great place to go for their lakes,
golf courses, and scenery.

This was our view  from the condo, zoomed in.

Branson, ironically, reminds us of our hometown,
Austin, Texas, so we feel right at home.

In fact, driving in on Hwy 65, you’d think you were out 2222,
west of Austin, with its curves and hills and gorgeous views. 

Apparently, the Ozarks begin at mile marker 30!

In fact, when I look at all the gorgeous mountainsides,
I think this is probably what Austin used to look like 25 years ago,
without million-dollar mansions all over the place
-- before it was super-developed. 

Branson is still that pretty, but don’t tell anyone.
It’s our little secret.  J

And driving around,
there are just so many panoramic views everywhere you go!

  We started joking, as we would round a curve
 and see a gorgeous hillside,
“oh yeah, just another spectacular panoramic view!”  LOL

And the trees were changing…
And they’re so much taller in Missouri and Arkansas
than they are in Oklahoma and Texas!

Coffee on the balcony = bliss.

But of course,
you know what Mr. Adventurous wanted to do…. 

(more photos of that later) 

The Butterfly Palace is more my speed. 

The 70% humidity gets to me,
but I recover while I shop afterwards.  (!!)

And I have lots of photos of that.
You would get tired of seeing
all my butterfly photos!  LOL


We shopped, ate out,
sipped some more Snickerdelicious coffee,
and relaxed.

I highly recommend it.

Lucky Dog  ♥

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Quote o' the Day

"Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, 

and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either."

--  Elizabeth Zimmermann

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Do What You Love

(You can click on the image to make it bigger.)

Sometimes I spend hours and hours
experimenting and trying new things.

And sometimes I think I need to follow my own advice
and do what I love.

That's when I pull out my tiny grey marker
and my pastels.

My inner critic and I go 'round and 'round.

He says, "You've done stuff like this before.  Big deal.
And besides, it's too simple".

I guess it's a good thing I'm stubborn.  LOL

If I listened to him,
I'd never get anything made.

I hope you enjoy it
as much as I did making it.

Lucky Dog

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday Scripture

2 Peter 3 verse 14

And so, dear friends,
while you are waiting for these things to happen,
make every effort to be found living peaceful lives
that are pure and blameless in His sight.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday Fun

I just love spider webs.
They're so fascinating, aren't they?

Sometimes I mist them with water
before I take the photo.

This one was out-of-range,
so it's dry, but it's in the sunshine.

Okay, everybody,

Lucky Dog

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wisdom Teeth Hints

So I’ve been a little out of it lately…
I had my wisdom teeth taken out. 

Well, 3 outa 4 anyway.  Roots had wrapped around the nerves and there was the possibility of nerve damage…  

If I have the 4th one taken out, nerve damage and permanent numbness in that quadrant is not a possibility, it’s a given.  L

(The moral of that story is, have your wisdom teeth out when you’re 18!  Not when you’re in your 50’s!!!)

I hesitated to blog about my “procedure”….
Hey, have you noticed, no one uses the word “operation” anymore?  Everything’s a “procedure”.

Anyway, I’m a sharer, and I just have to share some hints and tips, in case it will help someone else some day!  J

First of all, they put me out for the procedure.  I highly recommend my oral surgeon and being put out.  They give you a little “hospital margarita” through an IV, and then you wake up and it’s over!

Second of all, as with any procedure involving anesthesia, I always have a few prep pads in my purse or pocket that day.

Prep pads?  Yeah, they are like wet wipes, only with rubbing alcohol. 

You get a big box of them for $1 at Wal-Mart, so it’s very cheap insurance!  J

You see, with one of my other surgeries, I was being prepped to go home, and the nurse told me to get up and get ready, and I was like, “I have to sit down, I have to sit down.”  I guess I was going to get sick.

But he whipped open a prep pad and said, “here, sniff this” (like smelling salts), and it took away the sensation / nausea.

I tell people this and no one has ever heard about it.  Once I even told a nurse that taught other nurses, and she had never heard about it. 

So, please help me spread the word!  LOL
Buy some for anyone you know having surgery!  J

(BTW, I only needed one prep pad that night around midnight.  I guess I’ll use the rest for hand sanitizers.)  (Good grief, the whole box was one whole dollar and I’m making sure they’re not going to waste.  Welcome to my CrAzY world.)

So that’s an all-purpose surgery hint.

Now, about getting your wisdom teeth out and all. 
There’s kind of a timeline to it. 

The procedure itself was about an hour. 
You have cold-liquids-only for 1 day. 
You have ice packs on your face for 2 days.
You can’t have dairy for 3 days.  (no soda for a week!)
You face the possibility of dry sockets on Day 4.
You have a follow-up appointment in 1 week.

♫ After which you drive to Sonic and have a Cherry Dr Pepper with a straw!  Oh happy day! ♫

You feel pretty much like yourself after 1 week.
And supposedly, you feel totally back-to-normal after 3 weeks.

Oh, and you can eat hard foods like nuts, crackers and chips again after 3 weeks.

So… I lived on coffee milk the first day.  I made it with soy milk.  (remember: no real milk, no yogurt, no ice cream, no straws) 

I used my coffee frappuccino recipe:  ½ c. strong coffee or espresso + ¼ c. sugar + 2 ½ c. soy milk.

The soy milk has protein and was very satisfying, compared to iced tea or jello or popsicles.  And you could mix the soy milk with stuff other than coffee.  A little vanilla extract in it would make a yummy drink, too.  But I love coffee-milk fraps, so how perfect was that!

But on the first day everything was about cold, cold, cold. 
Ice packs on the face and cold stuff in the mouth.  (Just like my chiropractor says:  ice reduces inflammation.)

Rats, I could’ve had my dairy-free ice cream, but I forgot about it.  Oh well.

The second day I think I lived on fraps and mashed potatoes, again made with soy milk.

The third day I had fraps, more mashed potatoes and macaroni & cheese.  (some chewing action required!)

After that, it’s just what you can handle.  I was fortunate and did not develop any dry sockets.  But chewing a lot was very tiring, so I took it easy.  No Flat Tire hamburgers just yet!  J  Good thing I love mashed potatoes and macaroni & cheese!

(I had to be flexible about the vegan thing for a few days.)  J

The day before my surgery, I made a lot of iced tea, caff and decaf, and a lot of coffee concentrate.  And at the store, I stocked up on soy milk, and already-prepared mashed potatoes and macaroni & cheese.  That Bob Evans knows what he is doing!  (That’s the brand at Wal-Mart.)

After all, Mr. Man had enough to deal with, without having to cook, too.  J  As it was, his iPhone timer was going off all the time, it seemed, telling him it was time for more pills or that it was time to change my gauze or whatever.

The only other hint I can think of is, to use wet tea bags lined with gauze to help stop the bleeding during those first few hours.  

They recommended drinking iced tea a lot that first day also, so there must be something magic about tea.  The tea bags did seem to help better than gauze alone.  (If I were to do it again, I would first try gauze soaked with tea.)

Okay guys, I googled that for y’all:  “the tannic acid in tea helps healing blood clots to form (blood clots function similarly to a scab on an open wound)”.

[Why do I think I need to file that tidbit of information away in the recesses of my brain for some future emergency??  Oy.]

Okay, I guess that’s it.  Prep pads, soy milk, tea bags….  Other than that, I guess it’s just time.  Time to recover a bit.  I noticed that I tired very easily that first week.

And I didn’t even go into my studio for over a week -- and that may be a first!  And when I did, I was pretty distracted by how my jaw was still heavy-feeling for me to feel very creative.

So… I’ve been trying to cut myself some slack.  And that’s not easy for me to do.  I really like to feel productive.

So, if I have fewer blog entries for awhile, now you know why.  And if I post a few more photos than yak, you’ll know why.

Thank you, my dear blog friends… 
Now.  Go spread the word about prep pads!  LOL

Lucky Dog  J

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Quote o' the Day

“Being heard is so close to being loved
that for the average person they are almost indistinguishable.”

-- David Augsburger

Monday, October 3, 2011

Another Accordion Book

More fun with markers
and gel pens!   ♥

Lucky Dog

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sunday Scripture

1 Thessalonians
4 verse 11 

Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business
and working with your hands, just as you have been instructed.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Happy Autumn!

I’m a little late with my autumnal greeting, but I hope that this finds you enjoying wonderful fall weather like we are.

Gosh, isn’t crisp fall air such a delight??  What a fabulous reward after enduring the triple-digit, record-breaking heat of this past summer.

We’ve already seen people decorating their homes with pumpkins and mums...  which reminds me, I need to buy a couple of flats of pansies.  Good grief, I’m just sitting here and I’m woefully behind!  LOL

This past weekend was the National Alpaca Farm Days event, and we got to visit our favorite alpaca farm nearby and buy some more warm socks.

I splurged and bought some beautiful fingerless gloves, made from alpaca yarn, too.

And speaking of yarn, I unraveled my lace scarf (no easy feat with mohair!) and started completely over.  

It turns out that my K2tog was difficult because my pattern was wrong.  The row before my pattern row should’ve been a purl row, not a knit row.  Who knew?  

And that little change opens things up enough to make the K2Tog easier.  Whew!  J

And I got my Harmony Wood knitting needles, and they’re nice.  I’m not sure they’re any sharper or work better for lace than my Bryspun, but they’re wood, and I could get the sandpaper to them if I need ‘em any sharper.  

You can’t do that with acrylic or metal, so now I have that as an option.  And it’s always nice to have options!  J

From left to right:  Bryspun, KnitPicks Harmony Woods,
Signature Needle Arts with a stiletto point.  

I like the stiletto point, but the giant metal teardrop on the end of the needle makes the whole needle so heavy!  And the first time I tried to use them, the needle fell right out of my knitting, it was so heavy!  Can you say live stitches?  Aarrgghhh! 

Maybe I would love the circulars, but I can't recommend the straights.  The point is good and pointy, though.

I have also unraveled my faux fur project and switched to making a scarf, rather than a shawl.  I don’t think I have enough yarn for a shawl after all.  So I started completely over on it, too

This time I cast on 27 stitches and hopefully that will do.  It’s nice, mindless knitting.  I have to count and be very careful with the lace, so it’s nice to have an easier project to switch to.

I just love Fall and knitting in my new chair with the door open and the birds chirping.  Although today the crows were squawking up a storm.

Here's the view from the chair:

Happy Fall!

Lucky Dog ♥