Monday, October 18, 2010


This morning AAA's towing service picked up my  '97 BMW 740 IL. The transmission needs to be replaced!

It was interesting to watch the fellow load up the car. The towing line was hooked up to the hook that is under the front of the car. Straps were wrapped around the tires and secured to the sides of the rack. Many specific steps were followed. 

I'm keeping the BMW because my son, Marshall Garrison, has incredible knowledge about BMW cars. He has taken a couple of his own cars completely apart and reassembled them using parts from other BMW's. So, I rely upon him to help me make decisions about cars.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Tea Room in Milford, Ohio

The Tea Room

Our Healthy Choices group met at The Tea Room at 271 Main Steet, in Milford, Ohio. What a special treat! Fresh food, beautiful, vintage surroundings - a lace cafe window curtain, pretty napkins, delicate tea cups. 
We'll be going back for more wonderful moments of relaxation "over a cup (several) of tea". Their blog is:

Monday, October 4, 2010


Fall Foliage

Fall has arrived! It's cold enough to put on long underwear and a sweater. Acorns are dropping, leaves are turning. The sprinkler system has been shut down and soon the pool will be covered with it's winter tarp. The final days of summer were burning up into the 90's. Grass turned to straw.

"Maintaining" is an action word for thie time of year. Found a check list from for Fall Household Maintenance. This year I will remove the hoses from all the faucets around the house and cover the faucets with an insulated foam dome cover. Leaf removal will be done by the lawn service guys.

There are three furnaces which will be checked and serviced tomorrow morning. I will also call the plumber again to figure out what to do about drainage from the humidifier/ac unit into the sink drain. It filled up this summer and overflowed the sink in my office/studio. The drain pipe is off and a bucket sits under the open pipe. After unloading the bucket again and again, I finally shut off the air conditioning in "The Cottage" and endured the heat so that I didn't have to empty out the water! This is an example of procrastinating. However (rationalizing) I saved a couple hundred dollars on the Duke energy bill which will pay for having the drain fixed. Oh my!

Having three cars, too, is too much! The BMW is still sitting in the drive waiting to be hauled off for transmission repair. Acura Integra '88 is at the shop today. Something is loose or broken. Hoping for a quick repair so that I have something to drive.

I've got the crock pot filled with Trader Joe's roasted vegetables and chicken thighs. It's a delicious, hearty combination which I  put into four lidded bowls and enjoy for supper during the week. I still have brocolli and beets that I cooked in the pressure cooker.

I've enjoyed getting great bargains on for dining out with my Meetup friends. Last week I purchased about $150.00 worth of coupons for about $16.00! Wow! Trying new restaurants and going to old favorites ia fun! And, I often pack up enough of the "left overs" to have for lunch the next day.

If any of you are here in Cincinnati, a great site for antique/collectors is Everything But The House. Great sale going on this week - a house in Indian Hill. I guess you could buy and they will ship it to you. Check it out and start bidding. is a site where you can sign up to get rid of all those unwanted catalogs or mail that arrives in the mail. I sure hope it works. I'll continue to minimize the amount of uninvited paper clutter that is sent here.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Healthy is as Healthy Does!

As I age I feel like I am living my mother's latter days, understanding more and more what it means to be alone (we all are alone). I am more aware of aches and pains that are bothersome. My ears ring from tinnitus even though I have continued taking the "no-ring" pills from Walgreen's for more than a year - usually 6 a day.

I do what I can to stay healthy. My "breakfast of choice" is a bowl of blueberries every morning followed by one soft-boiled egg, a piece of toast and a cup of Sportea.

Lunch is often a tuna fish salad combo with sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes and a few sesame crackers.

Dinner is healthy, too. If I'm not out with my Meetup dining friends, I may have some chicken/vegetable crock pot stew or a fish dish. I like salmon, tuna and other fish. I do like to eat a delicious hamburger "once in awhile". 

For exercise, I swim ten laps in the unheated pool followed by a steam bath - very refreshing! When the pool is closed, I do some Yoga stretches or walk around the driveway several times a day.

A daily nap is important, too. After lunch, I usually rest for awhile - approximately twenty minutes. This energizes me so that I can continue on with my daily tasks.

Going for acupuncture treatments helps to keep me healthy, too. I also get Vitamin B & Vitamin B Complex shots once a week. Then, for staying mentally healthy, I stay in contact with Edgar Gibson of The Strategy Group for half and hour by phone (phone counseling) each week, too.

My choices for "Healthy Living" add up, day by day, so that I can look myself in the mirror and see the results - a healthy, happy, 73 1/2 year old "Widder Lady".


Monday, September 13, 2010

Hooray for Freecycle!

After watching too many episodes of "Hoarders" on A&E and on TLC, I'm inspired to "take charge" of lingering clutter than hides in my garage and closets. I listen to the conversation of the people who hold onto their clutter. Most of the people who are considered "hoarders" seem to be HORRIFIED being labeled as "hoarders" even when the evidence is surrounding them! 

Extreme examples are shown on the programs. Some hoarders become hostile if anyone "touches" his or her stuff! Some of these people climb through and over huge piles of stuff which is often laden with trash, or even worse, animal or human waste. Ugh!

I watch to see if I can find some insight to "holding onto stuff" or not being able to get rid of "other people's stuff". Topping the list of reasons to hold onto something is "I may need it or I have a use for it" or "I'm recycling." I do believe a lot of guilty feelings emerge when some of us can't find a way to recycle something!
All these feelings can lead to obsessive behavior and more reasons to hold onto stuff.

Accumulating, collecting, gathering all seem to be part of the "nesting" instinct or "getting ready for a rainy day". And, not to be ignored is the constant bombarding of our brains to "buy and try" - from our computers, TV's, radios, newspapers, catalogs and nudging from friends, family and neighbors. Enough is not enough!

Whatever it is - we are hunter/gatherers. It takes a lot of  time, money and energy to constantly be bringing in and taking out stuff!

My favorite Yahoo groups are: Cleaning_House, Freecycle EastFreecycle CafeFlylady also is a good site for constant encouragement and methods for keeping our lives and homes in good order.

I've been reorganizing/decluttering the 9 cupboards on the back wall of the garage. Having cupboards with doors that close over the stuff is "out of sight - out of mind"! Now, it's on my mind to clear out the clutter "big time"! Since I'm not planning on moving away from here, it's "on me" to do the job.

The trash bin now has several garbage bags loaded with clutter. I've listed items on Freecycle and have already had an old Addressograph and two heavy boxes of steel address plates picked up this morning. (This is a perfect example of OPS "Other People's Stuff" - late husband's political campaign work way back in the 50's!).

Plastic Picnic Plates for a Boat
It's time to "take a long, slow, deep breath" and ease into a quiet evening. For inspiration, I'll watch another episode of "Hoarders" on A&E!

The awful feeling that comes when "it's gone" and "Oh my! I wish I hadn't given that away," gradually subsides as time passes. It's better to think about someone else using it and really enjoying having the items - something they have really wanted! My worse thought is thinking about MY STUFF  piled up in the home of a "HOARDER!"

It doesn't matter, it doesn't matter. It's gone and I'm free of it - it's "out to the Universe". Onward!
Seasonal Items 

Donated to Clermont Senior Services

Emptied out, almost!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

September Trees

Maple, Spruce, Oak and Grasses
"The Cottage" Spruce and Pine

Magnolias, Grasses, Oak and Spruce

Friday, September 10, 2010

Nature's Miracles In My Yard

Garlic Shadows

Wet Lambs' Ears

Web Crystals
"Nature is a portal to Heaven" - could be, possibly is. Being "close to nature" is a relationship that often brings feelings of comfort, peace and amazement. Amazing to me, is the fact that my Blackberry takes terrific pictures!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Riverfest 9 5 2010

Adams Landing - South View


Highland Towers - Oregon & Baum Sts.

Mt. Adams Palisades


Skyline at 6th St. Exit

Looking West

Poodle Power

What a blast!

Santa Scamper

Fuzzy Flowers


Blossom Burst



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These are pictures from Riverfest 2010. This is an annual summer-ending event here in our area of Cincinnati, Ohio and Newport, Covington, Kentucky. At least a half-million people join in Riverfest.  Fireworks are set off from barges on the Ohio River between two bridges that link our cities.  To see the fireworks, people sit on the river banks, on boats, on the hillsides from every possible vantage point - roofs of buildings, porches of apartment complexes, bridges and walkways. The main show is down on the Serpentine Wall on the Cincinnati side. I've "done" the wall thing, but that takes incredible stamina and perserverence! Sitting all day on concrete,  in the sun, isn't an option for  "Widder Lady".

 This year my son Marshall, friend Mitzi and I packed up our rolling picnic and camp chairs into one car, drove downtown to a city parking lot, then walked to "our spot".

We camped out early and spent our time visiting, reading, amd dpomg cross-word puzzles and anagrams. We snack awhile on "munchies" and finally dig into our picnic - sitting on a large green plaid mat. The food was good - frend chicken, chicken strips, tomatoes, potato salad, cinnamon pretzels and strawberries.

The sky was clear, the air cool. I brought along the radio to listen to WEBN's music which is choreographed to the fireworks display. It was a beautiful show - more lyrical, more poetic. We'll be back again for 2011!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Transmission then Towing 9 4 0

Fuzzy picture of Jason who towed us home.  Guess I was shakin'.
Hook under front bumper for towing.

Back Home Again

Lowering the Ramp (at home)

Gently, gently!

Ranger Lights
On Board
Lowering the Ramp

Learning how to insert pictures "in order" is taking me to another learning plateau! Checked out Help and it looks like I need to plan out my picture inserting in reverse order so that they are shown in correct, progressive order. Oh my! Now on to my story:

This last week before Labor Day Weekend went well, up until Friday evening as I was heading back home from another wonderful dinner at Lake Isabella. I noticed a slow jerking and not-engaging response from my car when I tried to reverse and move out of my parking place. I finally got out of the parking slot and left the picnic grounds of Lake Isabella, driving through the old green grove of trees toward the exit of the park onto Loveland-Madeira Road (heading West).

There were a few cars driving ahead of me. I stayed to the speed limit of 35-45 mph, stopped at the stop signs and lights. I had driven about 7 miles when I stopped at one of the last stop signs along the route home. Stopping, this time, meant STOP! I tried to move forward - and did so for about 50 feet going up a gradual slope with a double-yellow line alongside the left of my car. I remained in the right lane, but I couldn't move another inch.

I immediatly put on my flashing RED alert lights and called the Indian Hill Rangers to come and help me with the impending traffic back-up. I got out of the car and called AAA which seemd to me to "take forever" with an irritating "wait" jingle repeating over and over and over. A fellow stopped by to ask if I was OK and could he help. I said I was OK, etc. He said he was going to Walgreen's and would stop by on his way back to make sure I was OK.

Finally someone at AAA answered, but at that same time an amazing MIRACLE happened!

Tim, the fellow who services my car pulled up behind my car to see if he could help me. Now, this is truly an amazing serendipitous thing that happened. I figure my mother (Angel Lois) had a hand in this situation and I thank her for helping me! The Indian Hill Ranger pulled up behind Tim's car. Then, I was connected to AAA and they wanted answers to all their questions. I was able to ask Tim and the Ranger to answer AAA's questions as I was considering my options without reacting.

Tim offered to take me home, but I decided I would go with the tow truck which had arrived in less that 20 minutes. Again, amazing!

The Ranger directed traffic. The tow truck guy loaded my car up the ramp onto the truck bed. He even helped me get up into the truck - two steps high and handles to hold onto. I took pictures to share here. I think the fellow's name was Jason. He had a happy attitude which helped me a lot.

He pulled the truck through the drive and let the car down in place. He showed me the "hooks" that come out from the front of the car for towing purposes. Who knew?

After the weekend holiday, I'll call Tim and AAA to have the car delivered to the shop to see if it can be salvaged at all. I checked out transmissions on-line and they are EXPENSIVE! Maybe so expensive that I can't save the car. I'll deal with that when I get the news. In the meantime, I'm glad I have my little '88 Acura Integra which is an incredible, durable automobile!
View of Lake Isabella

Lake Isabella

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thursday's Bounty

On Thursday afternoons from 3:30 to 7:30 our Madeira Farmer's Market offers up a "bounty" of wonderful fresh food and deliciously tempting treats such as Belgian Waffles and Gelato. I miss the fellows who had fresh smoothies made with a mixture of berries and soy milk. I would stop and rest on one of the benches near the fountain.

There are people selling herbs, sprouts, grasses, lavender plants and everything that could possibly be made from lavender: soap, tea, essential oils and popouri. Others sell fresh-baked breads, fresh honey and bunches of beautiful flowers.

Families stroll through with their children and dogs. A musician strums his guitar and sings.

Today, I only bought eggs and tomatoes. I had been to Trader Joe's earlier today to buy some chicken, fish and some frozen veggies. I also have been checking through my freezer and cooking "what's already there". I'm going to be going through all my cupboards to see what I have "stashed away" that I can use in my crockpot.

Tonight I will be having some chicken thighs (boneless) cooked with roasted vegetables (from Trader Joe's) in an old crockpot. Took a picture to share with you, too.

The tomatoes are a mixture of various "kinds" that were offered by a farmer who had a scale hanging from the back of his van, bags available for customers to load with tomatoes and a "set" price of $2 a pound. I bought $8 worth!

The eggs are from another farmer that I've become "loyal to". He now remembers that I like to buy eggs from him and that I don't need to sign up with him for him to sell me a couple of dozen.

Tomatoes - 4 pounds!

Two Dozen Brown Organic Eggs - $3.50 a dozen

Chicken and Roasted Vegetables in the Crockpot