It’s the Little Things


We are in our new home, and working hard to get ourselves settled.  We have worked so hard that Hubby is on bedrest for at least a week!  I am also easing back.  My sweet daughter commented that here we are less than an hour away, and we are useless as babysitters.   In a couple weeks, for her and her husband’s anniversary, we should be ready for duty.  It makes me smile.  I am happy we are close enough to see and interact with the grandkids, before they are completely grown.

Then there are our children, whose help with moving in kept the move affordable, as well as getting our furniture into the house!   Okay, I’ll admit there have been a couple of bounced checks, but that is why we have overdraft protection.   Scheduling  payments electronically is not a skill I have mastered, and with all the disruption of the move there were a few too many dinners out.  I’m glad it was my bank account that took the hit rather than my waistline.  I have my priorities.

The house isn’t pretty, but it is liveable.  The garage is full of boxes waiting for attention.   Taking care of everyday tasks is a relief.   I love my new stove and refrigerator, and I’m happy just cooking at home.  Doing laundry, even at the laundromat, brings normalcy back to my life.

While waiting on the laundry, I was reading the Special Time Edition of The Science of Happiness:  New Discoveries For a More Joyful Life.  One new thing I learned is how to think positively.   Thinking positively isn’t just appreciating the band as the Titanic sinks.   Thinking positively is thinking about happy memories,reliving them in your mind.  It is like a mini vacation, refreshing.

Soon we will have a house warming, and I’ll share pictures of the new house.  Until then, build many happy moments into your daily life.

Happy memories.

A New Home


By Andreas Trepte (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (, via Wikimedia Commons

At last.  We found a house, our offer was accepted, and we are well on our way to home ownership once again.

House hunting is a process of balancing needs and wants.  You need a roof over your head, and a place for your stuff.  If you want a spacious home, a large artfully landscaped yard, and cute, you will pay extra.  In our case, the primary want is to stay out of debt!  So, we found a house that is a little bit of a fixer upper.  I think our choice left our realtor confused after all of the more perfect homes we saw.

On the main floor are cozy bedrooms, a kitchen and living room.   Small, but we moved from a doll house.  I think of this house as a nest.  I think we will be comfortable.  Before the house really fits us, we will have to claim part of the basement as living space.  Well, not exactly living space, but play and sleepover space for the grandchildren.  The house has a great garage, space for our camper, and a small, easy to take care of yard.  Perfect for a couple of little old people, and remarkably like our first home starting out our life together.

We want a nice deck off the back.  A little landscaping will increase the curb appeal.  The house should give Hubby many projects to keep him happily occupied in his retirement.  He has his choice of work spaces, but a great big saw was left in the basement.  Hubby can’t wait to see how it works.

I thought we could relax now that a choice has been made.  Take the time to enjoy our time in the wilderness.  In fact, I would be perfectly happy to go exploring through the woods, or on the lake in my canoe.

We have taken the canoe out and gone on a hike, but Hubby is more concerned about how quickly we can get our stuff, where to put it, and fixing all the things noted by the inspector, in addition to the purely luxury projects he would like to do.

Frankly, most of our hikes have been back and forth to the bathrooms in the rain.  (I just hope the weather clears up for my three grandchildren coming to camp with us for the week.)  We spend our rainy days shopping for appliances, a lawn mower, and obsessing over how to handle moving into our little nest, and turning our nest into a home we love.

Roughing it in the Twenty First Century

Darn it!  The internet is down again!  Here I am in my air-conditioned self-contained travel trailer with electricity, cable television, even air-conditioning, and I can’t make a freaking internet connection!  I am paying top dollar at a full-service campground so I can get internet, as well as a prime weekend camping site.  At the beautiful Pennsylvania State Park, we had to drive 18 miles to a place with internet, and except for the rain and mud, we were very comfortable, but they were fully reserved for the weekend.

The problem at these full-service camp grounds, is the number of devices in the hands of everyone over the age of five.  Even with three Wi-Fi networks it is difficult to get on-line, and when you do, buffering is torturous.  This is no way to house hunt, and an even worse way to blog.  I’ve been forced to resort to using WORD!!!! This is last century stuff.

Moving is Hard

Moving is hard on your nails.  Even cut short with only a coating of a clear polish with the idea of giving my nails a little protection, the nails look chipped and ragged.

Moving is hard on your body.  Well, yes and no.  Yes things hurt that I even forgot could hurt, but we did get stronger.  Of course, we had to push hard to allow the new owner to move in when he wanted, and we have now had 10 days to recover, but we are still tired.  I think we over did.

Moving is hard on cats!  Cats loved the boxes,

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Hubby leaves a window so we can see each other.  

but hated the empty house.  Never leave a cat in an empty house!  My poor babies were terrified; meowing from behind the toilet, the only hiding space left.  They had everything they needed, just no hiding places.  Now they are in the camper with us, and they like all the nooks, and even manage to get into spaces we never would have believed were comfortable for a cat, like the space above the video tapes.  They each have their spaces and are quite content.

Moving is hard on Hubby!  Not just the physical work, but dealing with an over-stressed take charge wife.  Every past move was dictated by Hubby’s job.  A couple of houses, he picked without me even seeing them.  He did good, but now it is my turn.

Moving is hard on my brain.  There are just so many decisions!  Right now we are living in our travel trailer, moving from campground to campground, and looking at houses.  This is no vacation.  This is a serious job.  We have had to travel 18 miles to the nearest place with WiFi.  They were not real welcoming, because there was no place to plug in, meaning we had two hours maximum that we could use the computer and then drive back to our camper for recharging. Several texts later we are ready to meet for actually looking at houses.  The real hard part is deciding where we want to spend the next chapter of our lives.

We think we are getting close.  We have narrowed our search to a specific community, and have focused in on what we want, and have a couple of realistic possibilities.  Next time I am able to check in, I might be ready for an announcement.

The only one moving doesn’t seem hard on is Brutus Buckeye, our Boston Terrier. Everyone in the campground learns his name quickly.  Brutus loves the attention.  He loves us being outside with him, long walks, and he even gets to go in the car with us when we go to look at houses.  Brutus is always with his people, and therefore happy.

Reframing The Negative

I might be wrong, but I think nearly everyone experiences anxiety or depression at times. I think that is part of being human, and learning to deal with anxiety and depression makes us happier and healthier people. This will add to that skill set.

Thank you.

From Sand to Gemstones

I will probably always be a student when it comes to a way to combat negative emotions. I know I’ve written a few times about the different ways to fight when you’re down but I was told today that sometimes rewriting needs to be done. At least if not for y’all, for me. 

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Photo by April E.  Sutton taken with my Samsung Tablet.

The weather is warm and the blankets are draped on the blanket stand.  The stand was crafted by Hubby, and I applied the decorative finish.  A simple, attractive, and useful item gracing my daughter’s home.  Our boys were given similar blanket stands.

Hubby doesn’t have a workshop currently.  We live in a dollhouse, and have been investigating other housing options.  The choices are making me crazy.

We could move our dollhouse but the properties we have seen so far are a distance from where we want to be.  Purchasing and preparing land for a home is not a do-it- yourself project, and not worth the trouble unless you are going to be happy in the location.  We want to live closer to our daughter.  What about the boys?  The move would shave time off of the travel time to their homes also.  Our family is spread out like dandelion fluff on the wind.

If only I  could pull my family around me like my favorite warm blanket on a cold winter day .  It would be wonderful having my children, their spouses, and my grandchildren surrounding me with their warmth, even on the warmest days.  We could have a picnic.

Earth Day Thoughts

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Flapping mallard rising from water taken at Shapwick Heath by Dr Chrissy on April 4, 2011

Beleaguered scientists around the world join ranks in support of the science supporting the theory that human activity is contributing to global warming in the face of a political climate that questions the legitimacy of science.

Scientists really know how to march on Washington.  With clever signs and rock music, scientists join tree-huggers on this Earth Day.

Beginning in 1970, Earth Day was  conceived as a day of education by Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin.   Nelson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton in 1995 in thanks.   The first Earth Day attracted 20 million Americans, and is now celebrated around the world.

Earth Day attracts people concerned about air and water quality, those who want to preserve our natural world, and today includes those who are concerned about global climate change.

There is an empty six acres across the road from our home.  An old house is falling down, and the “For Sale” sign has been posted on the property for the entire six plus years we have lived here.  The place is a protected wetland, and is protecting a tiny endangered frog.

This six acres has become a refuge for birds, that sing me out of bed many mornings from spring to fall.  As long as I have been able to have a restful night, I am happy with the bird song, but there have been mornings I have closed the window to the noise.

I imagine there are other critters hiding in the grass, brush, brambles and trees of the area.  Critters such as rabbits, bugs (which birds and frogs might like), lizards, snakes, mice and rats.  It is an entire habitat of wild creatures, taking sanctuary from the roads, mowed lawns, manicured, and sterilized areas surrounding it.

Local residents are livid!  The local residents risk fines to dispose of grass clippings and other yard waste with no other place to put it.  Their sympathies are with the property owner, unable to sell the parcel, all because of a little frog.

Mankind often sees itself as stewards of the plants and animals of our world.  I hope we can take the science of how plants, animals and our own actions interact to shape our world, using it for the benefit of all life on our plant.

There is a milkweed shortage.  It has weed right in its name.  It is not a plant we find desirable for our yard, yet people are trying to hide these plants in among prettier plants. These people have learned that butterflies, specifically the Monarch Butterfly, need milkweed to nourish their offspring.

Monarch Male, August 31, 2003 by Captain-tucker

A business man sat looking out his office window, and noticed ducklings unable to make it out of the water of a man-made water retention pond.  The low area attracted ducks who loved to swim after the rains.  Being the owner of the company, the man was able to re-shape part of the bank to allow ducklings to get in and out of the water easily.

I hope we figure out how to be good stewards living in harmony with the earth, and not place our immediate gratification and profit above the life and wonder of earth’s creatures.

A Better Place

20170408_103108Miss Penelope P. Pincer of the Antelope Valley.  Photo by April E. Sutton taken with my Samsung Tablet.

Buster waiting for a romp,

through meadows of lush grass.

Squirrels to catch for a good wrestle.

Your little stuffed tiger carried and protected,

Until the brute sent her ahead of you.

Oma and Opa waiting to pet you,

Allowed on the best chair,

shedding and dirt a thing past.

Every pocket has a tasty treat,

With piles of blankets to dig into a nice bed.

Allowed on the grass, and welcome on laps,

Belly rubs and ear scratches,

The body healed of aches and pains,

Contentment radiates like the sun,

Patiently waiting for the ones you love.


There is no need to suffer ladies. Talk to your doctor, or print this out and just take it to the doctor. Thank you Victo Dolore

My Own Holiday

Ever want your own holiday?   You couldn’t ask for a better one than April Fool’s Day. April first has always felt like my personal holiday.  In elementary school, everyone of the 40 kids in my class had a special prank just for me.  Throughout junior high and high school the pranks continued, including ever bigger groups of classmates.

I tried to get into the spirit.  The only trick I can remember was an epic fail.  I had heard the idea of replacing the sugar with salt.  To me it seemed harmless.  My Dad took two heaping scoops for his coffee, and took a great big swallow.  It was not funny.  This was my last prank.

Thank goodness April Fool’s Day only comes once a year.  Now April first is a good day to lounge around the house and watch television.   What a great holiday.


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