Saturday, September 30, 2023

Cute Unintended Consequences & Fun with Chalk Markers

I recovered a glass platter from an old craft project, its mini fairy garden objects repurposed for my haunted dollhouse. The ridged bottom seemed perfect for chalk marker decoration. It now holds shelf stable vegetables.

Sorry this is not the best photo...
the center is a stylize blue rose

 And heavy rains refilling my teeny tiny pond inspired me to restart the electric powered water feature. On a whim I pulled out my solar fountain and used a pot for protection against algae plugging the intake. The surprising result delighted me.

Have you ever played with chalk markers? Can you tell my solar fountain is spinning?


Friday, September 29, 2023

Apparently Cats & Eight Legged Hunters Share a Similar Preference

Another tiny arachnid visited me. And if you don’t mind seeing them, I have evidence below.

What occurred to me this time, as my title suggests, is that housecats and little jumping spiders both appreciate taking the high ground. Of course my speculation could be wrong.

As an aside, I tend to draw all sorts of critters, including local children. Unfortunately my list includes blood thirsty mosquitoes. My husband has witnessed me being chased by a cloud while on vacation.


After getting bitten during a recent cloudy day I applied insect repellant before this spider dropped by. Apparently scavenging ants are among others not bothered by deet. On a positive note, our local ant species are harmless to humans so I try leaving them alone unless they infest my house.

Can you believe there are 42 species of spiders in my US state of Ohio? Do you know how many live in your area? Or would you prefer not knowing?


Thursday, September 28, 2023

The Rabbit Hole

Having visited Andrew’s blog yesterday I had to check out the Melbourne Royal Show. The events and displays remind me of US county fairs.

Unfortunately, I became obsessed looking at what are called show bags. I have no idea what a Karate Roller is, but now I want the Ghost Drops bag. Heh…

Ghosts and Haunted Houses; yeah!

I had to make myself stop scrolling through the endless options. If only I could order these online, I might also go for the Air Force One bag.

Toy Airplanes!
(I am a child at heart)

When will someone invent a teleportation booth so I could attend the show? Then again, have you ever seen any cinematic version of “The Fly” and learned it’s dangerous to play God?


Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Life Lessons from a Chili Head

On one of our earliest dates, my husband introduced me to spicy food. And thus began my journey into gastronomy as a chili head.

Since I took on gardening our collection of dehydrated, frozen, and canned peppers has exploded. This year my jalapeño plants didn’t do super great. However, I’ve harvested more of the spicier habañero chilis than expected.

My favorite use is to make a hot sauce called Inner Beauty. Hubby discovered the recipe during our earliest home Internet days (!) and I still enjoy it.

On Tuesday I harvested almost forty more. I cut off stems, removed any darkened seeds, and prepared to vacuum seal them for the freezer. Trust me when I tell you I wore plastic gloves.

First lesson: My cheap gloves don’t suffice and a facial tissue didn’t protect my dripping nose.

Second lesson: If you want the nasal clearing and/or body cooling benefits of capsaicin but fear gastrointestinal irritation, the nose is the way to go.

I should know better by now. ~rolls eyes~ And you do not want to know what other skin tissue peppers have irritated.

I haven’t yet tasted the peppers I canned. Perhaps I should and see if it’s a good longer storage option. Meanwhile, one pepper had a surprise inside.

Finding a tiny pepper inside a larger always fascinates me...

Knowing the answer from some of my kind loyal regulars I still have to ask, do you like spicy food? Are you familiar with the term chili head?


Tuesday, September 26, 2023

A Curious Sight

I parked near a thought provoking vehicle at the YMCA Monday. The front windshield sported a commercial sun shield. The others, well, see for yourself.

There is cardboard everywhere...
Weird vibes almost caused me to move my car. Common sense prevailing, I stayed put. The rusted sedan remained there after I finished my workout.

...even the back window
Do you have any theory about this? Since all the windows remained down a few inches on a cloudy day could the car have both electrical and water leakage issues its owner cannot afford to fix?


Monday, September 25, 2023

The World’s Tiniest Ninja

I’ll warn anyone with a dread of spiders that this is my little ninja’s species. The creature, smaller than my pinky fingernail, landed on my laptop lid the other day. My photo turned out fine. The video, however, showcasing its skills is blurry.

I apologize in advance. So please scroll down if you want to see my miniature visitor.





Can you spot the thread of silk between the abdomen and rear back leg?
I dragged my finger over the line to set the jumping spider free...

Is that not an adorable animal? Aren’t you glad these fierce hunters don’t scale up to predate humans?


Sunday, September 24, 2023

Life’s Ups and Downs – the Silly & the Serious

Once again, my husband and I shopped where that giant inflatable dragon is sold and a lady told me to watch for it to be discounted (!), perhaps after Halloween or even earlier. I’m guessing they’re not selling because so many folks struggle financially these days, which makes me sad. However, my childhood chum living across the state and I enjoyed a nice conversation, during which she said they have an inflatable dragon and would give it to me as incentive to visit. I should go because, unfortunately, her mother’s health is in steep decline while her father has his own issues.

Heartbreak and chaos are everywhere you look these days, it seems, so we need to seek any positivity. I found some just this afternoon. Dandelion jumped off my napping husband’s lap wanting some canned food. As expected, Polly wandered in and received a tiny plateful. What happened next amazed and delighted me.

Not surprising, my fluffy black cat finished first and strode toward her pale furred elder. Uh, oh, I thought. But they sniffed one another, all but touching noses (!), and Polly just sat down a short distance away. Dandelion did slink away a few inches. However, she resumed eating when I moved her plate over. The site made me very happy. When he woke, my husband heard the news and could hardly believe it.

On another note, the woman I talked to this morning was a store representative soliciting flu vaccinations. Since they’re offering a five dollar digital store credit to every recipient, I urged my husband to go for it. Ten dollars is ten dollars. And next week, a Hill Air maintenance guy will be coming for our autumn HVAC inspection. I’m crossing my fingers that I get another $300 (USD) Kroger grocery gift card for leaving reviews.

As I type, I’m enjoying a gorgeous day under my shade tree. A delivery driver pulled up at the next door neighbor’s house and surprised me by walking over with my latest online Amazon purchase.

I look forward to playing with these...

I ordered this and another holiday light set yesterday. These leaves are a set of four, one of which will go on my outdoor wreath in place of my silk sunflower blossoms. It’s nice they are battery powered except I can’t put them on an electrical outlet timer.

If it looks cute during daytime should I leave them on? And ooh, do you think these oversized leaves would look fun in my haunted dollhouse?


Saturday, September 23, 2023


I have two videos to share. One is of Dandelion, who slinks around looking for Terra and/or Polly, then relaxes for play or just showing her cuteness. ~grin~ By the way, I’ve started pulling out the vacuum cleaner whenever anyone goes after Dani, who couldn’t care less.

While disrupting the contentious dynamic is my current goal, getting the other two used to the noisy ‘beast’ would be a perk, as is cleaner flooring. Heh… Please, any cat lovers let me know if you think this is a bad idea.


The other video is of my neighbor, a kind young lady who braved my barbed wire sans gloves (!) without wounding herself. I was appreciative and relieved. Now my scrap wood ‘demon’ can be completed for display.

Do you think Dandelion has leucism with those pink eye reflections? And isn’t my neighbor a dear?


Thursday, September 21, 2023

Autumn Joy

I’ll share more photos later of my favorite season/holiday. My days of turning our garage into a haunted house are over but my fun continues. Thanks for all the kind words, my dears.

My Summer Wreath...

A simple use of my gifted barbed wire...

I bought black metal Halloween stakes
from a neighbor girl years ago...

I colored the metal using chalk markers...

Do you have any fun fall plans?


Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Surprises All Around

First I must say thanks for all the helpful and kind responses on our kitty going outside the litter box. I was going to post detailed replies but changed my mind. It’s enough to state that I’m keeping all the advice in mind and have high hopes for resolution.

As for surprises, my husband recently suggested I take Dandelion outside on a harness. I in turn confessed what happened when she and I tried going outdoors. Both rather stunned by our conversation, we agreed it’s not worth risking again.

And this morning he startled me by asking, “When are you going to pick up your dragon?”

You see, we revisited the store selling the huge inflatable. Standing in the checkout line, I surprised myself by stating it would be mine. He didn’t reply. I asked if he’d heard me. He confirmed he had but offered no comment.

Later I reconsidered. We don’t live on a busy street and trick or treat is no longer popular here, not to mention the fact I’ve considered downsizing, of all things. Thus bringing home a giant seasonal yard decoration makes no sense. Since I soon forgot the matter, his question startled me and my answer astounded him.
It would have been cool...
“I’m willing to spend the money,” he furthered. “Is there anything else you want?”

I told him no. As he’s lamented dozens of times, it’s been an expensive year. But wait… Typing this reminded me I have been wanting to visit the zoo, a far less expensive proposition.

Wasn’t his offer kind? And isn’t a fun day trip a better expenditure?


Wednesday, September 13, 2023

A Decent Retort & First World Concerns

Not long ago I purchased an apron. When our friend Phoenix visited I modeled it for him.

He asked, “Who are you and what have you done with my friend?”

“I ate her,” I replied.

On a different note, I’ve been going outside during my husband’s daily afternoon naps if the weather is good. Sometimes I use his hospital assigned walker (which, again, he no longer needs!) as a laptop stand. Other days, I roam around or just enjoy the view. Let me know if you think it’s wrong, but sometimes I pet fuzzy bumblebees. Here is video evidence.

As for our household, things are not all peaceful. To my dismay, Dandelion has been urinating and even defecating on the carpet just off the stone kitchen flooring.

My guy knows about the former. When he heard her pawing at the couch late Monday afternoon he asked me to check. That’s when I saw her little brown ‘gifts’. He asked if I found any wetness and I replied in the negative while surreptitiously cleaning up. I’d already placed a box with some litter where she peed. Now there is an old folded towel where she pooped. ~sigh~ While I dislike the idea of litter and whatnot all over our kitchen floor, this situation is nigh untenable. Any and all recommendations are appreciated. This kitty isn’t going anywhere. ~grin~ And I’m sure my husband would agree. I just don’t want him stressed.

No stress here for Dandelion...

Polly just hanging out...

Terra enjoying other kitty furniture...

Have you been following the horrible events in the Mediterranean? How can I complain with all the misery around this world?


Tuesday, September 12, 2023

A Fun Surprise

 Weeks ago, the young lady across the street from us rang our doorbell presenting a forgotten rack she couldn’t use. She said attempting to hang heavy items brought the thing crashing down. A moved microwave oven cart revealing this treasure, she thought of me.

Should I use my chalk markers to color some of these silhouettes? Do you wear hats?


Monday, September 11, 2023

Caught Red-Handed, Sort of…

A Photo Fail I Will Explain...

Since the bloody catfight ruined our nice evening several days ago, things have been blessedly quieter between Dandelion, Polly, and Terra. But the black-furred twins ganged up on poor Dani when she slunk out from a hiding place late last week.

Not Very Prime Real Estate = Safe (?)

Athletic Terra didn’t continue the pursuit like her floofy, innocent looking sister. Today, I’m happy to report, peace has reigned. Nonetheless, Polly got caught wearing evidence of her transgression.

White Fur Between the Right
Toes Equals a Brat...

Should I instead say Polly was caught ‘white clawed’? Have you ever tasted the tasty alcoholic beverage White Claw?


Sunday, September 10, 2023

A Good Friend and Random Silliness

Not long after meeting my future husband I encouraged him to attend gaming sessions at a hobby store. Yes, you read that right. We’ve been together since 1989. At these events he met a man who would stay a friend all these decades later. Yesterday he stopped by bearing surprise gifts.

For my husband he brought a dart. Yes, you also read that right. He gave us a board and darts long ago but was missing the one. Now the set we never use is complete. ~rolls eyes~ That may need rectified as long as our cats are safely out of the way.


I received a coil of barbed wire. And yes, you read that right, as well. My love of all things horror related made me want to spookify some wood and his artistic mind conjured the perfect solution. I’ll have to share whatever becomes of it…

Meanwhile, he met Dandelion and the “White Wonder’s” friendliness was overwhelming. Unfortunately the twins hid. Nonetheless, Phoenix remarked that he always expected us to have black cats. My husband asked if we gave off that vibe. The man turned to me, smiled, and said, “No. But she does.” We all burst out laughing.

On that same note, he made my day. The moment he strode through our front door he exclaimed, “Oh, cool!” He truly admired my haunted dollhouse.

And for one last silly bit, I missed a great opportunity years ago. Visiting my doctor, with whom I have a great relationship, I asked about grinding up one of my medications using my mortar and pestle.

“Who needs a mortar and pestle?” he blurted.

Instead of telling him the culinary uses, I should have said, “For potions and spells, of course.”

How often have you missed out on a good quip? Do you or would you consider owning a mortar and pestle?


Friday, September 8, 2023

As Promised...

I doubt anyone would lose sleep without my sharing more from my park like adventure. But here is an artsy image and two videos I hope folks enjoy.

I like this fun design on a restaurant wall...

It’s too bad Austin Landing doesn’t have a better design. Driving through the parking lots is a bit of a nightmare compared to the layout of Beavercreek, Ohio’s The Greene, which even has a ‘town square’. One thing lacking at the latter is a grocery store. Since my visits to Austin Landing were usually limited to that very thing, I missed seeing the extensive water features hidden on the opposite side.

Sometimes I fantasize about downsizing to an apartment offering amenities within walking distance. I enjoy driving and our suburb is nice with friendly neighbors, but one can forget walking anywhere except for exercise. Of course a lot of grocers in the United States offer delivery services now. And, to be honest, my dream home is nearer the ocean.

Do you have a wish list of un-obtained living space features? If you found your ideal home, would the stress of moving keep you anchored?


Thursday, September 7, 2023

Helping a Friend

The solution fixing my sandals caught the attention of dear blogging compatriot Strayer in need of a footwear fix. I am clueless, so any suggestions are appreciated.
Can you see how the Velcro tore away from its base?

Funny enough, I think my favorite sandals are similar. The insoles had stretched out to the point my feet slipped around inside, making them a trip hazard.
These are so comfortable...
I resolved the issue by cutting out the original fabric and sticking in a replacement. The results are rather slipshod but I don’t care.

This stuff is very useful...

You can see the plastic core in spots...
Do you think so-called moleskin once came from those tiny creatures? Likewise, doesn’t ‘slipshod’ seem like it literally pertains to footwear?


Wednesday, September 6, 2023

The Bee's Knee

Last week I had a routine eye exam. The next day I drove my husband for his. Instead of sitting in the waiting room as he did, I explored the lovely surrounding grounds. I’ll have to share clips of the water features. Meanwhile, my favorite part was when this bee landed on my knee.

Would you sit in the waiting room like my husband did? Can you guess why we didn’t schedule our appointments back-to-back?


Tuesday, September 5, 2023

A Lighter Post to Celebrate September

There are plenty of beautiful and/or silly things I could blog about and today seemed ideal after my downer regarding our precious pets. First off, I found cheap flip flops to replace my disintegrating pair. The strap across my foot hurt but the softer edged, sturdier orange plastic off my old ones fixed the problem. I just adore ocean creatures.

Liz and I share similar tastes :D...
She is talented with textiles...

Today I bundled up some branches and found this adult praying mantis. It’s always a pleasure to see them as babies in spring and then successfully grown up. 
This handsome creature watched
my movements very closely...

Before shaving my legs in the shower this morning I saw something that made me think of Pam. She’s another artistic blogger I enjoy following and sometimes shares inanimate objects’ faces.

Extra blades for my razor come
in this smiley faced box...

Do you like my sandal fix? Can you spot the mantis?


Monday, September 4, 2023

A Frightful Encounter

The other evening, our newer cat Dandelion took the highest cat tree spot near the television. Much younger Terra and Polly decided they wanted to play (?) or perhaps just mess with their elder. Whatever the case, this altercation ended almost before I registered what happened.

I’ve tried to stay calm despite flying paws whenever witnessing these situations. This was different. We think maybe Dani went into a more offensive mode and the sisters reciprocated. Whoever struck the worst blow(s), Dandelion didn’t back down, continuing to strike out as her foot bled.

My husband acted all calm, just disappointed by our ruined movie plans while I assessed the damage. I tilted the cat tree and, bursting into tears, found some blood soaked into the carpet. Worse still, I needed my ladder to clean blood specks off the ceiling.

I went to bed soon after and essentially cried myself to sleep. Nightmares are a near constant these days. This one has a very obvious origin. I will warn you it’s graphic.

In the dream I stood admiring a showy black bird with an impressive crest. This creature and several colorful little songbirds perched on wooden beams, something like those supporting a barn roof. Without warning the large raptor snatched a songbird in one gnarly black claw, bit off its head, and crunched down the rest in a few vicious bites.

Needless to say, tears leaked when I woke and continued as Dandelion jumped up in bed to snuggle. She flipped on her back, soft white belly exposed, and let me examine her wounds. I am thankful she suffered nothing serious but it almost broke my heart finger combing tiny dots of blood from her fur.

Terra and Polly, still very much loved, didn’t receive my usual cheerful chatter that day. Here is a video to end on a lighter note.

Isn’t that dragon cool? And isn’t it a shame the price is $300 (US)?


Sunday, September 3, 2023

One Funny Man & a Missed Opportunity

Several weeks ago my right foot’s little toe became painful. I had an upcoming routine doctor visit and he confirmed my suspicion of Tailor’s bunion, a condition otherwise known as a bunionette. I found toe spacers before visiting my physician that prove quite comfortable. He agreed that such products and loose fitting shoes should preclude surgical intervention.

Polly put her foot down in this photo bomb, saying NO MORE,
though I have not worn these since before she put
her cute, fluffy polydactyl toes on my heart...

So, glad I found relief, my humorous husband nicknamed my condition a Funyon, after a snack food my childhood self may have eaten once or twice.
“Ha, ha,” I replied,
“That’s a Funyon
ette to you, sir.”

Another day I asked him to sort laundry while I pulled weeds. Often, my requests are ‘forgotten’ or unheard. He is deaf in one ear. I often write notes and went outside wondering if a verbal request would lead to disappointment.

Lo and behold, heading to take a shower I discovered neat piles of wash cloths and folded towels (!) alongside various organized garments. When I praised him for going above and beyond my expectations he should have accepted the accolades. Instead he missed out on positive reciprocation, saying he had just appeased his OCD.

Is not the Latin digitus quintus varus for my inflammation an awesome moniker? And is it any wonder past footwear choices triggered the condition?