I can handle pencils and poor girldog!

 Our home insurer, Hartford sent me a The 30-Day Declutter Challenge   written by Johnna Kaplan.  Spring always spurs me to declutter and now with moving and downsizing looming in our future it is even more so on my mind.  I tried the book where you take everything out and only put back only the things you really love... Which is the problem  because I really love everything I have.  But this challenge starts small...  The first day you sort pens and pencils and I can handle that.  I don't even think there is a single one I really love.  Anyway I printed the challenge out and put it on a clipboard and allow myself 90 days to do the 30 day challenge.  It did say at the end if you have lived where you are more than 20 years, you may have to consider  the first 30 day challenge  as phase one....we've been here 39 years so let phase one begin...
Yesterday morning our neighbors' dog showed up when I was feeding my chickens and she had a muzzle full of porcupine quills.  There was no way I could hold her and pull them so when DH got home he put some forceps in his pocket and walked over and offered to help   pull them... Neighbor's response was "She got them in and she can get them out" and when DH pointed out they could easily get infected, his response was "I don't give a shit!" and slammed the door in DH's face.  This neighbor is such a despicable human being. We will  be a  more vigilant with Morris knowing that we have a porcupine hanging around.  Haven't seen one since last fall.  When girldog shows up again we will have everything at hand to help her.

You can see how big she is... it will take two of us to hold her and get the quills out.  Every time I hear the neighbor shooting off his automatic handguns I am fearful for her health and safety.  One day when he was depressed he shot ALL his small animals...rabbits, ducks, chickens, etc. So he is not only despicable, he is scary.


Sad farewell and a new beginning...

Today I sold my precious tractor which I loved more than any car I've had.  I had it 34 years and moved tons of gravel, mulch and alfalfa bales with it... I always used it to groom the trail in the forest as well.   I haven't even used it for 3 years and knew it must go but making the decision was so hard.  Luckily I sold it to a new young neighbor about a mile away and he said I can come visit it anytime. In all those years DH hadn't been on it even once.  It was definitely my toy and I shall always have fond memories.

But moving on ...our health insurance includes a membership in a gym and we have never taken advantage of it.  But now that I am suppose to do cardio exercises we decided to join the YMCA and we can drop in whenever is convenient and use the equipment.  DH has been using a regular recumbent bike machine but I have fallen in love with this recumbent cross trainer machine which exercises the arms as well as the legs.

When I started yoga I had to get all the accessories to have the "look"  So now I had to have earbuds to listen to music and  a water bottle.  Then I noticed they all walked around with towels around their neck and had sweaty foreheads.  So I drape a towel around my neck and splash some water on my forehead.  With each session I increase the resistance and time and am now doing 40 minutes at 4 resistance,  Good considering I started at zero.

It is fun because we go together and I do feel stronger and healthier than I have in a long time.


Buttons, duck, and succulents!!

I had asked for suggestions for new things to paint on buttons and two I received were a panda and raggedy ann and andy... so I gave them a try.. Another reader asked if I could fit a cat, a mouse and some cheese on a 1" button,  It took a few tries but I managed.  I also added a new woodpecker to my collection... a pileated woodpecker with its red bonnet.  They are all now loaded up on the Etsy site. https://www.etsy.com/shop/olderrose   Getting all the buttons organized is a top priority.

And in the kitchen I made duck wellington for a company on Sunday.  Not having done them before I was a bit nervous but as it turned out there was an excellent YouTube video on how to assemble them.  You spread pate on a layer of prosciutto  and added the duck , rolled it up and then encased it in puff pastry... This is a show stopper main course that could be assembled the day ahead.  Before I have done duck crepes but making the crepes at the last minute is hectic.  The puff pastry was perfect.  Instead of the recommended blackberry sauce I used our local huckleberries as a sauce.  Yummy all the way around.

I snagged this cool picture  off of facebook because I thought it was a great idea for a balcony.  It won't be long now before we have to make a decision about selling the farm and moving to town... I will require at least a balcony if I can't get a bit of actual ground and succulents would be just the ticket and I'm thinking I need to get a head start.  My dear friend Susie Wolfe has a fabulous collection of succulents on her patio and I'm thinking she may be coaxed into sending me some starts....hint/hint/hint,

Walking a LOT and we joined the Y so I am stronger than I've been for years and all the heart drama is a thing of the past. My goal is 6000 steps each day and mostly make it and if I hesitate DH gives me a nudge and encouragement.  I have a small patch in front that is free if snow and I am out there tomorrow rain or shine...


Keyboard,scanner and computer all working.

It took forever but I have everything working and I can finally start dealing with the backlog of buttons that need to be uploaded to Etsy.... of course there will be lots of birds.......some new and some of my favorites.

Some suggestion from blog readers included Raggedy Ann and Andy and a panda.  I did both for valentine's day and then couldn't upload them.  They will go up this coming week.

And another challenge came as an email wanting to know if I could get a cat, a mouse and some cheese on a 1 1/4" button and I did it...


DH is leading a tour to Seattle this weekend with 38 Japanese teenage students... so I'm on my own and in charge of critter feeding.  The shrubs were alive with twittering birds waiting for me.  I had cooked a big pan of wheat berries for the chickens and added a big bunch of fresh spinach as well as their usual supply of meal worms and layer pellets.

But I didn't get out until about 7:30 and there in the fresh snow were tracks that told me the neighbor dog had already been here looking for DH and Morris to walk.  Her footprints are about four times the size of one of Morris's.

She came back later when I was out again and was leery of approaching me and checked me out  from a distance while I was taking some photos.   Finally when I called Morris she came as well and let me sweet talk her and massage her ears..

I was in surgery for seven hours and the surgeon said to expect mental side effects from the anesthesia for several months and he was so right as I have little mental glitches and gaps which are so irritating.  Especially when I am trying to work through a problem.  I have been painting buttons and have lots to put on the internet but my photo editing software was only partially working on the old computer.  I first thought I had corrupted it when I was trying to back up on another computer earlier this year and then I thought it was the computer itself and just kept trying things until finally I discovered that it was the keyboard that was malfunctioning... So Amazon is sending me a new keyboard on Monday and I should get back on track..  It took me hours and hours to figure this all out because my brain just doesn't go from A to B to C and I blame it all on the anesthesia... a good scapegoat now for everything I forget...

We had a really warm day on Wednesday with bright sun and it melted some of the snow away from the foundation and there to my delight were daffodils coming up through the snow... they are a little anemic looking but bless their hearts as it really is MY sign of spring.  That is an icicle next to it that has fallen from the roof.....


Post with three threads

I had to think a bit in how to pull all this together because this post really has three separate threads that end up weaving together.

First last August I wrote a post about my quest to add more beans to our diet and I am always on the lookout for new recipes.

Second Saturday DH game home with a package of beautiful locally grown lentils that I am eager to try.

Third  when I have my sister out for lunch I try to fix something that not only fits into here diabetic diet but also something that would be different which she wouldn't try herself.

So with my lentils in mind I went searching for a enticing
lentil soup recipe but instead ran across this cool site.... Lucini Italia ... gourmet Italian recipes and the first one I see is this black bean/lentil salad.  Good for beans, good for lentils and good for my sister who is coming to lunch on Saturday.

The recipe calls for mango which right off I do not have but do have some fresh pineapple.  I will serve it as a side to a piece of broiled fish.


1/2 cup mango, chopped
1 cup black beans, canned; rinsed and drained
1/2 cup red bell pepper
1/2 cup lentils, prepared
1 cup jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped fine
1/4 cup red onion, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped fine
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons Lucini® Robust Garlic Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Mix ingredients well in serving bowl. Chill for 20 minutes and then bring to room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.


Lucini's work with small regional farmers, celebrated chefs, health and wellness experts continues to provide us with an unmatched selection of ingredients and gourmet recipes to share.

Now back to the site to see if they indeed have a lentil soup as well....

Thrift store hint...

Don't forget to check the pilIow shams at thrift stores.. I salvaged the shirring and some fabric from a fancy, thrift-store pillow sham and used it to trim out this block... The block was from an old round robin (seams only) from years ago.. Some of the fancy pillow shams at the thrift store have lovely fabrics and trims..


Slowly but surely and update on dog

Slowly but surely I finding myself falling into familiar patterns of the past ...and it is like putting on a warm comfy old sweater. . The last hurdle is my energy level which will come in time...  All the good intentions I have when I rise in the morning have yet to meet fruition but getting closer.

DH did ask the neighbor if the dog was his and neighbor said he got her to keep the coyotes away..  It is a gentle and friendly dog (unlike the neighbor).  Almost every morning DH walks the one half mile to the main road to get the paper and give Morris some exercise.  First the big dog hesitantly followed along and pretty soon when DH started out he could see her waiting down the road for them....so the daily routine began.  Then one day DH had an appointment and didn't walk... but later that morning she showed up in our yard looking for DH and Morris...
   She is outside all the time "on duty" and the weather is brutal now... We are really getting attached to her and will keep a close watch for any sign of abuse.


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