Saturday, December 29, 2012

Just a Light Dusting...

We had a little bit of snow for Christmas...

And then again yesterday!

And it was just the right amount:

it was pretty, it melted quickly,
and we had no trouble getting out of the driveway!

Lucky Dog

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Luke 2 verse 14

♥ ♥ ♥

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Focusing on a Distraction

Someday maybe I’ll write a book about The Importance of Focus and the Power of  Distractions.

After all, it is what you focus on that determines almost everything.

And allowing yourself not to be distracted or carefully picking a good distraction can sometimes be the smartest thing you could do.

I believe The Power of Distraction can be very powerful.  For good OR for bad.  Some distractions can be bad, sure, but some are very practical and can be very wonderful.

Distracting yourself with TV when you’re sick can get your mind off how bad you feel.  A night out at the movies may distract us from the difficult week at work.

Focus on living within your means, and you create a debt-free reality.  Focus on what the Joneses have and your discontent can tempt you otherwise.

A Sunday drive can distract you from something crummy that happened, displace it out of your brain and help you get over it.  And if an ice cream cone happens to join you along the way… well, that may just be a necessary bonus.  :)

Focus also determines your reality.  Perhaps it is their choice of what they focus on that make the optimists so positive.  They continually focus on what they have, not on what they lack.  Half-full.

(Personally, I tend to be a bit too cheerful for some…  !!   Some of it is in my genes, but also perhaps it’s because I am constantly thinking in relative terms.  Compared to X, Y isn’t so bad.  It could be a lot worse.  That sort of thinking.)

In the Winter, when I am lying on my back on an ice pack, I also have a sock full of hot dry rice on my tummy, warming me so I don’t turn into a popsicle.  (!!)  Now I feel delicious warmth when I consider the one, and bitter cold when I concentrate on the other.  Both are true at the same time.  How I feel actually depends upon which one I focus on.

When I am in pain, however, my focus is usually totally on that.  If it’s a lot of pain, it is just in your face.  It is truly the pits.  And pain is such a thief.  Pain can not only steal all your attention, but your joy, your energy and your very essence.  Not that it can’t be helped sometimes.  Sometimes it just is.  Pain stinks.  Thank heavens the pain-filled times in my life are not very extreme.

And not just pain.  Sometimes it's just what happens in life, and it's horrible.

But if I can shift…  If I can be *distracted* by something, then I am a few degrees freer.  Freer from pain, or freer from temptations, or freer from my crazy brain...

And the greater attention I pay to what my focus is, and the more aware I am of the distractions I allow or choose, the more I am rewarded.  It helps you live with intention, doesn’t it?

I think that’s why the Bible says, focus on things above, not things here on the earth.  It knows that something is going to occupy our brain, so why not make it the good stuff?

And I believe that to a great extent we actually create the reality we live in.  So, as much as we can, why not make it a wonderful one??

Your thoughts are your choice.
Brainwash yourself with good ones!!

Lucky Dog

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Outtakes 1

During the year I take lots of photos
that for one reason or another
didn't make it to my blog.

I'm calling them

I hope you enjoy them.
Some of them are my favorites...

Here's a photo of a raccoon
that I'm calling
Mr. Tippy Toes

And there was a little something extra
in the deer corn bucket one morning:

And lastly,
our "little" female cat
being sorely tempted by those crazy turkeys:

Lucky Dog

Thursday, December 6, 2012

ChiaoGoo Interchangeables

If you happen to be looking for the new
ChiaoGoo Red Lace Interchangeable Twist
complete set or small set,

they are in stock as of this writing
at Loops in Tulsa
and you can buy them online!

I checked, and as of a few seconds ago
they had 36 complete sets
23 small sets available.

Since they are so scarce these days,
I thought I'd share my wonderful find with you all.

And p.s.
mine came in the mail today!!

But it's a surprise for my birthday,
so don't tell.  LOL

Lucky Dog

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Kidney Kitty

Well, our wonderful little diabetic kitty
has also developed chronic kidney disease…


‘Cause we are controlling his diabetes really really well.

Fortunately, we caught his kidney numbers early with bloodwork,
and we’ve been on top of it, but it’s always terminal. 

So when he lost another pound recently, I knew that was bad. 
So I took him in to see our wonderful vet,
who said we could try giving him
subcutaneous fluids twice a week.

I knew that fluids thing was gonna be in our future,
I just didn’t know how soon.

We’ve been able to give the cat his insulin shot twice a day,
and even have been able to poke his little ear
for a blood sugar reading whenever,
but sub-Q fluids???

Naturally, I had to read up on this on the Internet.  :) 

And I found a great website 
that has tons of info, and that even directed me
to a website with better needles
(that were also a really good deal).

But we’re not very good at giving the fluids yet... 
And by “we”, I mean Mr. Man. 

(I don't think I could ever do it!!)

Thankfully, our wonderful vet tech makes house calls
and can help us out whenever.

But it turns out that fluids are just part of his new therapy. 
I also give him some MiraLax for his constipation,
and some Pepcid for his acidy tummy. 

Who knew, right??

And gosh!  Between those 3, he’s back to himself again! 
At least for now.

But, ya know…  I hadn’t even realized
that his personality and behavior had changed.

Things erode so slowly that we didn’t notice anything. 
All we noticed was his weight loss. 

(We weigh our all pets monthly--‘cause stuff like this happens.)

But now he’s back to being happy and social,
and picking on the little female!  :)

Who knows how long we will get to enjoy him... 

They say that with chronic kidney disease
they are headed for the cliff,
but that each cat has its own speed.

He’s the sweetest and best cat in the land,
so we hope he takes his time. 
♥ ♥ ♥

Lucky Dog

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Quote o' the Day

"How you do one thing
is how you do everything."

-- unknown

Friday, November 30, 2012

Meow or Never

Another little gift for our vet...

Lucky Dog

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Fall into Winter

October 11

November 5

November 19

November 24

I love living where there are 4 seasons!!

I also love our yard guys who get up all the leaves!

Lucky Dog

Monday, November 19, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Isn't everything better with bacon????

Happy Thanksgiving,

Lucky Dog

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Quote o' the Day

"Envy is the art of
counting the other fellow's blessings
instead of your own."

-- Harold Coffin

Isn't that the truth??

Although, I would like to pass along
something that Nancy Culmone
told us at a calligraphy workshop.

She said to pay close attention
to what makes you envious.

It tells you what you really want.

Lucky Dog

Thursday, November 8, 2012

For the Birds

Do you see that empty suet holder dangling open there??

And I had just filled it with a brand-new suet cake!

Someone had an awfully big breakfast
this morning...

Or maybe it was a late-night snack!

Oh my.
We'll have to come up with a way to outsmart whoever it was.

Oh, and see our new clear bird feeder?

I got that off Amazon.
It's supposed to be squirrel-proof,
and so far, it is!

Oh, they think about jumping on it,
and some of 'em do and then they freak out and jump off.

It's kinda fun to watch.

We've been giving the squirrels some deer corn instead,
so it's not like they're going hungry.

Okay, so, TGIF, everybody!!!

Lucky Dog

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Psalm 103 verse 8

♥ ♥ ♥

(please click on the photo to see it larger)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Fall Wildlife Photos

A doe and her fawn..

Turkeys on our driveway..

A fox in the creekbed..

And a baby raccoon in a tree.

(All these photos were taken from inside our house.)
Click on photo to see larger images.

I could post gobs more,
but then it would be like someone's vacation slide show!

Lucky Dog

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Quote o' the Day

People are often unreasonable and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.

If you are honest, people may cheat you.
Be honest anyway.

If you find happiness, people may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough.
Give your best anyway.

For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.

It was never between you and them anyway.

-- Mother Teresa

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The National Tiger Sanctuary

While we were in Branson,
we found a fairly new tourist attraction to visit: 
the National Tiger Sanctuary. 

Oh, we had so much fun!  J

Here’s a link to their website: 

They take in big cats for various reasons and
take care of them for the rest of their life. 

The tour guide gave the background of each cat’s story,
why there were there, and fun details about their personalities.

It was wonderful to see such gorgeous creatures so close,
but even better to know that they are being taken care of so well.

Lucky Dog

(click on the photos to see them larger!)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Déjà vu

So I’m still reading the Old Testament…. 

I read a chapter at a time out loud
from the New Living Translation.
It’s really good for reading out loud.

So I’m in 2 Kings,
where Elisha (Elijah’s successor)
 is performing all sorts of miracles.

In this particular chapter, chapter 6,
these bad guys were going to attack,
and Elisha prayed for them to be struck blind,
and the Lord made them blind.


And then it reads:

19 Then Elisha went out and told them,
“You have come the wrong way!
This isn’t the right city!”

And instantly, my brain flashed to: 

“You don’t need to see his identification.” 
“These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.” 

Right out of Star Wars!  hahaha

Sometimes I have a little too much fun reading the Bible!
J  J  J

Lucky Dog 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Quote o' the Day

"It's never what you make.
It's what you don't spend." 

-- Clark Howard

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Sunset on Table Rock Lake

This was our view
at the condo on Table Rock Lake,
near Branson, Missouri.

♥ ♥ ♥

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Birthday Cake Recipe

Today I am sharing the recipe
for Mr. Man’s favorite birthday cake.

I had to marry him
before his mama would give me the recipe!!!

Thank goodness she shared…
Now he can have it every year.  ♥

And now you can make it anytime you want.

Lucky Dog


1 box of Duncan Hines Deluxe Lemon Supreme Cake mix
½ cup sugar
4 eggs
1 cup Apricot Nectar
½ cup Crisco oil

Preheat oven to 350° F.
Grease and flour a bundt or tube pan.    
(Use Crisco so it will come out easily.)

Blend all ingredients in a large bowl,
then beat with electric mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes. 
Pour batter into pan.

Bake at 350° for 45-55 minutes,
or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Cool right side up for about 15 minutes,
then remove from pan onto plate.

Blend 1 c. powdered sugar and 2 T. lemon juice.
Pour over warm baked cake.

(About 10 minutes prep, and only one bowl!)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Knitting Lace -- Part 1

Knitted lace is so beautiful, that I was drawn to it immediately. 

I saw it and thought, I want to learn how to do that! 

(We need to pay attention to those feelings, right?)

And the prettier and finer the yarn, the better, to me.  I love Rowan Kidsilk Haze, for example.  It makes such delicate lace.  And of course, I love that mohair fuzziness!  J

But you don’t have use that yarn.  You can start anywhere.  You can try some sock yarn from your stash, some inexpensive lace yarn from Hobby Lobby, or buy some fancy gorgeous yarn from your LYS (local yarn store).

Or…. just use some leftover worsted weight yarn, like Red Heart, for starters.

In fact, with any new pattern it would be a good idea to do a test run with bigger needles (say, US8) and worsted weight yarn.  That way you can try everything out under the easiest possible conditions and get familiar with how it goes.

(See how I avoided using the word “swatch”?? 
Aren’t you impressed??  J  J  J)

The beauty of lace is what’s not there...  The holes. 

And beautiful but simple lace can be made with only knits, purls and 2 other stitches:  the K2tog (knit two together) -- a simple decrease, and the YO (yarn over) -- a simple increase.

The increases make the holes, and the decreases keep your stitch count the same on each row.  And the combination of the two can create really beautiful patterns.

Here is a simple lace pattern that would be good for beginners.

In 2007, I went to my favorite yarn store in Austin, Texas:  Hill Country Weavers.  And they gave me a free handout called Scarf-a-licious, which had 10 different scarf patterns on it. 
I just love yarn stores that are so generous!   ♥!

Lazy O Scarf

Cast on ______ stitches.  (multiple of 5)

Row  1.  Slip 1, *K3, YO, K2tog*
Repeat sts between the stars until 4 sts remain on your needle, and then K4.

Row 2.  Slip 1, *P4, K1*
Repeat sts between the stars until 4 sts remain on needle, and then P4.

Repeat these 2 rows until desired length is reached.
Bind off.

Knitting lace does require some counting.  So to simplify that, you put stitch markers in to break it up.  For example, if I have 18 stitches to count, instead of counting from 1 to 18, I put a stitch marker between the two sets of 9 stitches. 

And then to count each section, I don’t even count from 1 up to 9.  I just count the 3 sets of 3 stitches visually.  (Usually, I tick it off with my thumbnail.)  Those stitch markers make the whole process a lot easier.

Now at first, you may have to knit lace at home alone to prevent mistakes.  That’s normal.  At first, I even chanted my pattern row out loud, if I needed to!  J

And after you finish a row, you always count your total number of stitches to make sure you didn’t make any mistakes.

I’ve always said that knitting lace is easy, unless you find a mistake!  hahaha

So, I hope that helps.  Sometimes writing about things is harder than doing them!  Like, can you imagine writing instructions on how to tie your shoes???  <yikes>

I guess this is why I think knitting is best learned from a real person sitting beside you.  But hey, thank heavens for YouTube tutorials, right?  J  Surely they’re the next best thing!  J

ANYway, all that counting may drive you nuts (everyone’s different!), but it doesn’t bother me at all.  I like knowing I’m on track.  And best of all, this pattern yields a rectangular scarf.  And you know how I love my rectangles!  Hahaha

One other thing about knitting lace:  it’s very economical.  Laceweight yarn is very thin, so you get a lot of yards per skein, and it goes very far.

Also, knitting lace takes awhile.  So 1 or 2 skeins can keep you happy for many weeks.  (Or months or years, if you’re as slow as I am!)  J

So!  Enjoy the beauty of what’s not there with lace!

Lucky Dog  ♥

Monday, September 24, 2012

Friday, September 21, 2012

Easels, Art Boxes, etc.

I finally bought myself an easel!

It’s so cute and portable.  It’s not clunky at all. 
In fact, it’s very streamlined and elegant that way.

If I have an easel, does that mean that I am a real artist?? 

It’s funny the things that help me feel like an artist. 
You would think “making art”, would have something to do with it,
but somehow it’s just not that simple.

When I was in Jr. High
(way back before middle schools existed),
I thought if I could only have a wooden art box like this,
I would really feel like an artist…

Of course, now that I could buy one for myself,
I don’t know what I’d do with it. 
I’m not toting paint around.

But when I was 14, that would’ve been “it”. 

But my mother sent me off to art classes
with a red plastic tackle box instead.

Red?  Plastic? 
No self-respecting artist would choose that! 
All my friends had the wooden art boxes!

Hello!  Unpainted wood with the brass hardware. 
That’s what real artists had.  Everybody knew that!  J

Hahaha  And now that I could buy one, I don’t.
Go figure.

But I did buy an easel!

Maybe now I can back up and look
 at my pieces from a distance greater than, say, 12 inches! 

I have heard that a good piece will work well
at 20 feet, 6 feet and at 2 feet, or something like that.

It sounds like a job for an easel, to me!  J

How wonderful is that??

Lucky Dog

Monday, September 17, 2012

Collage Card #43

Here is one of my favorite collage cards that I've made.
I just love making these!

(I have a box full!)
J  J  J

This one is very textural,
and I love the papers and
the contrast between all the elements.

Color, design, texture...
Does it get any more fun than this???

Lucky Dog

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Performance Anxiety

I lettered this little bit yesterday,
using the tiny end of some of my Marvy LePlume II markers. 

(My new neurals!) 
♥  ♥  ♥

I love love love love love the tip of those pens!!!

I wish I could purchase them locally,
so I could collect 5 new colors each month. 

Also, I wish they were lightfast.  <sigh>

I wish a lot of things!  LOL

I guess that’s why I love my Zig markers,
because they are lightfast.

But their pen somehow isn’t quite as delicious
as the LePlume II’s.  To me,  of course.  (!) 

I think the Marvy’s have a smaller barrel
and they fit my hand better.

But, I digress. 
I lettered the first half of this saying and got interrupted. 

Why I decided to try Romans yesterday,
I’ll never know, but suddenly I was on a roll. 

The pen tip wasn’t too juicy,
so adding some more weight,
or just a dot here and there, was very easy to do. 

And if you know anything about Formal Romans,
it’s that you can fiddle with them foreverJ

So later in the afternoon I went back up to the Studio
and thought about how to finish the piecelet,
and that’s when I wondered if I should even try…

I was so afraid that I’d mess it up, that I just left it alone!!!!!

(All those Romans and ALL that work!!)

Does that happen to you???

I guess in this day and age,
everyone does stuff on their computer in PhotoShop,
so it isn’t an issue for them anymore,
but not me. 

I do things the old-fashioned way,
with pen in hand on real paper.  J

So, I don’t know if I’ll ever finish it. 
Perhaps it should just keep telling me to Keep Calm!

I do know that I will keep playing with Romans with these pens. 
Nothing too wet or uncontrollable for all that “tweaking”. 

I think next time I’ll try it on better paper. 
This was just some scrap paper that I had lying around.

Can you imagine what fun this would be
on a highly sized paper??  Yummy! 

Now I know what to do in the Studio today!

Okay!  Keep calm, everybody!  J

Lucky Dog

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Favorite Comedian--Brian Regan

Some days you just need a laugh.

And that’s where Brian Regan comes in.

Sometimes I catch Mr. Man flossing his teeth
while listening to Brian Regan on his iPhone.  J  

He always cracks us up.  And it’s funny, clean humor, too.

Not only are his lines funny,
but his faces and physical humor are great!

So now, of course, we quote Brian Regan to each other!  J

“So, now what is the procedure?”
“How do I get that goodness in me?”
“Hey, where are the eggs?  …Right in the egg area.”
“No, after you.  Merge, everybody, merge.”

Now, you may not be smiling at those now, but maybe later…!

He has DVDs and stuff on Amazon and his own website:

And here's a link to Part 1 of 6
of his “I Walked on the Moon” series:

After you watch it,
I think you can easily click on part 2 and so on.

There are other clips of him on YouTube,
but these are a great place to get started.

I hope you enjoy him as much as we do.

Or maybe you can find someone else
on YouTube that makes you laugh.

‘Cause what is healthier than laughing??
J  J  J

Lucky Dog

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Favorite Product--Topricin

Okay, this post started out being about golfer’s elbow and various treatments, but then I got this new cream and I had to totally re-write it -- because this cream is beyond awesome!!! 
No fooling.

I was going to yak about using ice, and a wrist brace (instead of an elbow brace!) and arnica cream…

(although if I could only do one thing, it would be ice)

Well, now I do like the arnica cream pretty well, and I should know.  I have tried lots of pain creams in my time.  I am the Queen of pain creams.  AsperCreme, Sombra, Blue Stuff, Penetrex… they’re all in my medicine cabinet, plus a whole bunch of others.

I have some with enough menthol and camphor in ‘em to choke a horse!  I have capsaicin creams and even one with snake venom in it.  J  I have some that you can use only 4X a day, and some that you can use whenever you want.

I thought I had tried them all, but then I got my package from Amazon with my new Topricin in it.  Oh my. 

This Topricin cream is life-changing!  It seems to actually help me heal, and not just mask the pain. 

(Although I would’ve settled for masked pain.  Any pain relief would’ve been just fine with me!  LOL)

Seriously, though, after only 2 days of using it, my elbow felt tons better.  Words fail me.  I can already do things without any pain that I couldn’t just days before.  

Topricin is homeopathic and has 11 different ingredients.  It is unscented, and you can use it as often as you want to. 
(which I do!)

I bought it from Amazon, because I love their Prime 2-day free delivery, but I also saw it at my health food store and other places on the internet.

It is the best thing for pain that I have ever tried, and I’m not getting paid to say that.  The people at Topricin don’t know who I am and didn’t give me anything.

Everyone’s different, but I promise you, I will never be without this stuff.

It’s good for tendonitis, carpel tunnel, aches, neuropathy, strains, sciatica, bursitis, fibromyalgia, arthritis, sports injuries…  I think I will try it anytime I hurt myself and just see if it works.  Why not?

And I don’t have to worry about damaging myself with lots of NSAIDs.  Yay!

So, that’s my newest favorite product, and if I could “blink” you a sample to try, I would. 

In the spirit of sharing, 

Lucky Dog  ♥

p.s.  I called the folks at Topricin, and they said they would send free samples to anyone who called and asked for ‘em! 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Matthew 6 verse 33

At church our pastor has begun a new series on
The Sermon on the Mount.

I thought I would play around
with one of the most “famous” verses from it.

I started with a black piece of cardstock,
and used Panpastels, a white gel pen and a white Zig marker.

I just love experimenting like this!   J

Lucky Dog

Thursday, August 23, 2012

More Fun with Sharpies!

TGIF, everybody!!!  J

Lucky Dog

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Scripture Stones

Deuteronomy 27: 2-3

“When you cross the Jordan River
and enter the land the Lord your God is giving you,
set up some large stones and coat them with plaster.
Write this whole body of instruction on them …”

Am I the only one who doesn’t remember this??

How huge must those stones have been,
to hold even 25 chapters of Deuteronomy??

Well, I think I am very glad that I was not a scribe back then.
I don’t think I’ve ever done any calligraphy on plaster before.
Maybe it’s like white gesso..

I mean, was there scaffolding involved? 
How tall were these stones?
How many of them were there?
And what happened to them?

And how did they make the ink waterproof? 
I mean, you wouldn’t want a rainstorm to erase all your work.

Perhaps an egg tempera or casein paint made from milk? 
I’m not sure they’re really 100% waterproof, though. 

Maybe they etched it in, like engraving. 
Carved the letters into the plaster?  Hmmm…..

You know, there’s a lot in the Old Testament
that just gets lost in all the trees, as it were.

I guess that’s why I’m re-reading it!  J

Lucky Dog