It’s only money !!

Dollar sign in shopping cartWhen I was complaining about all the expenses I’ve experienced since moving to Texas, a friend said “It’s only money.” As Sherlock Holmes might say “Elementary my dear Watson.” ~~ I’ve mellowed and feel less stress. Today, I didn’t give dollars a second thought (which amazes me). Fifty dollars for bird seed (because the birds are emptying the feeders in less than two days–and I don’t want to run out of seed). Forty-nine dollars for a storage unit in a mini-storage facility ($49. per month). Also a trip to the bank for lots of small bills (cash) to pay the young men scheduled to help unload the moving van when it arrives on Tuesday. Last but not least, Dollar Tree for bleach and a few other household items. (Bleach to clean the mold that developed in the T@B.) ~~ The monetary impact may hit me tomorrow when I get my CARE bill: “care,” electricity, and propane. Oh well, “it’s only money.” (I’m supporting the economy!!)

Changing the subject: My water line froze last night–but thawed within a couple of hours this morning. The TV weatherman said last night would probably be our last freeze for the season. Now I’m hoping the weatherman was  inaccurate about rain on Tuesday. “No, no, please don’t rain!!”


Someone you know is itching to get her hands in the soil!! I can’t wait to get a garden started!! Furthermore, I am determined to have an organic garden. I’ve already started saving vegetable trimming for a composter. I’m actually shopping for “just the right unit.” ~~ I like the following article and copied it from information on the Internet. ~~ I like the article BUT won’t be ordering from Australia (LOL).

Is your New Year’s resolution to be environmentally aware? Have you decided that it’s time to start making an effort and to stop depending on refuse collections? If so, then Combined Harvesters Ltd is here to help.

At Combined Harvesters Ltd we stock a variety of composters in a number of sizes. Whether you need a small compact indoor kitchen composter or a more heavy duty 900 Litre garden composter, we have it all.

Firstly though, what exactly is composting? How do kitchen waste items, plant cuttings and other biodegradable leftovers become nutrient rich compost?

North West Compost Supplies – What is composting?

Composting is the natural breaking down of organic ‘green’ materials by microorganisms. These microorganisms, bacteria and fungi among many others, feed off of the organic waste and break it down back in to its component parts. These component parts include; Carbon, Nitrogen, Oxygen & Water.

In the composting process, it is necessary to sufficiently aerate your humus (the stage between organic waste and compost) every few days, this has traditionally been done using garden tools such as a fork or by utilising the natural burrowing behaviour of worms. HOWEVER … the composters supplied by Combined Harvesters Ltd are specially designed with specifically placed air inlet holes meaning you can ‘Fill & Forget’ your composter for prolonged periods of time.

North West Compost Supplies – What is compost used for?

Compost is used worldwide as a natural ‘organic’ fertiliser. The recycled green waste contains everything a plant needs to grow and remain healthy. Compost not only improves the appearance of plants and flowers it produces healthy sustainable fruit and vegetables.

North West Compost Supplies – What can or can’t I compost?

You Can Compost

Grass cuttings
Raw vegetable peelings from your kitchen
Tea bags and leaves, coffee grounds
Young green weed growth (avoid weeds with seeds)
Soft green prunings
Animal manure from herbivores e.g. cows and horses
Poultry manure and bedding
Cardboard eg. cereal packets and egg boxes
Waste paper and junk mail, including shredded confidential waste
Cardboard tubes
Glossy magazines – although it is better for the environment to pass them on to your local doctors or dentists’ surgery or send them for recycling
Newspaper – although it is better for the environment to send your newspapers for recycling
Tough hedge clippings
Woody prunings
Old bedding plants
Wood shavings
Fallen leaves can be composted but the best use of them is to make leafmould
Wood ash, in moderation
Hair, nail clippings
Egg shells (crushed)
Natural fibres eg. 100% wool or cotton

You Can’t Compost

Cooked food
Coal & coke ash
Cat litter
Dog faeces
Disposable nappies
Anything non-biodegradable will not turn to compost and anything that may rot. For example meat should not be placed in your composter as it will start to smell before it can be broken down. Common sense should be used when determining what items to compost.


As of this hour (8:30 PM), this is my favorite.


Garden TowerAs of this hour (9:30 PM), the deed is done!! Amazon had a used dual chamber composter BUT  the description led me to believe the packaging is battered and merchandise is without breaks or dents. Hey, a new unit would probably look “used” in a few months of Texas sun and heat?! ~~ Next Internet shopping trip: Garden Tower.

Growing old gracefully ??

A friend and I had a unique experience today. We traveled to Houston for appointments–and consultations–regarding Lifestyle Lift. Just a couple of weeks ago we were watching the TV evening news when a Lifestyle Lift commercial aired. My friend called the 800-number while the commercial was playing and asked “How much?” Of course she didn’t get an answer but was encouraged to take advantage of a “free” consultation. We made appointments… we braved the cold (and the traffic). It was a “fun” experience for two “senior” ladies. ~~ No, we will not be scheduling procedures!!!!!!!

Frankly, I can’t afford to be beautiful on the outside. So I’ll concentrate on being healthy on the inside!!

Fire safety !!

Smoke detectorFire preventionHere’s an eye-opener video about fire safety. I’m the maintenance person in this household. I’m delighted that someone cared enough about me to share the video. I care about my readers and want you (them) to read, and heed!!


Strenuous labor (not) !!

Praise the LordPreparing my 2013 Income Taxes is a priority. I’m treating it like a full-time job!! I’m delighted to report, I won’t have to pay North Carolina taxes, and I’ll get a Federal return.  Why am I telling you this? When my savings were completely drained (a few weeks ago), I actually became physically sick. Seeing a small measure of money returning to my account has lifted my spirits and given new energy. Praise the Lord!!

(Hey, this is serious!! Can you imagine how many receipts I had to save [and package and transport in my tiny teardrop trailer]?? I documented all the donations to Thrift Shops; I recorded mileage to the chiropractor; I listed sales taxes paid. Those… don’t count for Federal but are extremely valuable for North Carolina deductions. When I religiously began to record… a year ago, I had no idea I would be moving to Texas. I’m grateful My Heavenly Father planted thoughts and I reciprocated.)

O, what a beautiful morning…

Snow & frost…but O, so cold!! Twenty-nine degrees as I write this at 8:30. Snow remains on top of unheated vehicles and buildings.

Indulge me, please: Sometimes a picture just begs to be captured (IMHO). After snapping the outdoor picture (through the window) I was fascinated by the ray of sunshine striking my little Sony DVD player (well-used the last few days). The CARE Center has a large library of DVDs and VHS tapes (and books, of course). I’ll watch some old VHS after my player arrives from North Carolina. Meanwhile, I’m happy with the “tiny Teardrop-trailer-size” Sony. Look how I improvised a tabletop by putting a board on top of the open drawer?! Prior to my makeshift tabletop, I watched Lonesome Dove with the Sony on my lap. ~~ I can’t get “through the air” television reception and can’t afford satellite. I’m told, cable has not extended this far out of Livingston (six miles). ~~ I’ve “tinkered” with the television–hoping to get one or two stations–but can’t make much progress with my amusing jumbo-size Christmas “gag gift” remote. (The specific unique-features Samsung remote did not accompany the Carriage and impossible to program the TV without it. Maybe I’ll swap this TV with my old TV when things arrive from North Carolina?!) Why is my life so complicated?? ~~ Hear ye, hear ye!! I’m not complaining!! It’s a beautiful morning; I’m warm and cozy; I have the luxury of the Verizon “Hot spot” (so I can access the Internet  from my trailer); and (PTL) I’m going to get a refund from my Federal Income Taxes and won’t have to pay North Carolina Income Taxes.

Sunbeam on Sony DVD player

Closeup of DVD player

Sunbeam on Sony

Jumbo-size remoteSmiley face


Samsung remoteGood afternoon good news: I searched the Internet and found (and ordered) the Samsung remote I need.

Postscript, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014: Received remote. Eventually, I may subscribe to Dish network for satellite TV. Eventually….

Snow !!

What a surprise; I awakened to snow!! OK, snow is “no big deal” in many states but (IMHO) a rare event in this part of the country. I’m no expert on “this part of the country” (and I don’t have television news) but I suspect this is rare.

Sorry!! I’ve searched the Internet and cannot find a story regarding the snowfall. Here are some weather reports.

(I’m toasty-warm!! Thanks for your concern.)


(Below) Posted 3 hours, 49 minutes ago – National Weather Service **  (posted approximately 5:00 AM per Lorraine’s calculation)

Winter Storm Warning in effect for Southeast Texas.

A cold air mass coupled with a weak upper level disturbance has produced periods of snow north of a Brenham to Livingston line. South of this line periods of rain, Freezing rain and sleet were the dominant precipitation type. The disturbance will exit the region this morning and precipitation will come to an end between 7 am and 10 am. The Winter Storm Warning could be replaced with a Winter Weather Advisory later this morning.

Winter Storm Warning remains in effect until noon CST today.

  • Timing: Winter weather will persist early this morning before ending by mid morning.
  • Threat, snow accumulations of one to two inches north of a Brenham to New Waverly to Coldspring line. Ice accumulations from sleet and freezing rain of 0.01 to 0.09 inches.
  • Main impact: accumulating ice will be possible this morning. Elevated roadways and bridges will be extremely Dangerous.


Livingston, TX (77351) Weather

  • Today: A 20 percent chance of snow before 10am. Cloudy, with a high near 36. Wind chill values between 20 and 30. North wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the afternoon. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.
  • Tonight: Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly clear, with a low around 28. Calm wind becoming southwest around 5 mph.
  • Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 59. Southwest wind around 5 mph.
  • Saturday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 37. West wind around 5 mph becoming calm.
  • Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 66. Light southeast wind becoming south 5 to 10 mph in the morning.
  • Sunday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 46.
  • Monday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 56.
  • Monday Night  Partly cloudy, with a low around 26.
  • Tuesday  Mostly sunny, with a high near 45.


Snow at CARE

Snow at CARE

Snow on my KIA & Carriage

Snow in my yard

Feels like 13 degrees

The snow is not melting

Vegetarian beansA perfect day to cook a large kettle of vegetarian beans. That kettle is part of a set of Magma cookware purchased for $5. at October CARE garage sale.


Feels like 21 degrees

Still snow on roof

Going, going...


Feels like 30 degrees

Snow on storage shed

Snow !! (part two)

Winter Storm Kronos

On Jan. 23-24, 2014, Winter Storm Kronos brought snow, sleet and freezing rain into parts of central and east Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. We have the storm reports, photos and video from this storm.

Snow Reports

Peak snowfall totals:  4″ in Onalaska, Texas; 3″ in Alexandria, La.; 1.5″ in Natchez, Miss. At least some snow flurries were reported as far south as Harlingen and Port Isabel, Texas.


FYI (Lorraine here): Onalaska, Texas, is only twenty-one  miles from my address in Livingston.

To view the map, click on the link or copy and paste it to your browser:

Furthermore: Alexandria, Louisiana, is approximately 170 miles.

To view the map, click on the link or copy and paste it to your browser:

MapQuest – Helping People Find Places:


Snow, Ice Wreak Havoc on Travel in Texas and Louisiana

By Brian Lada, Meteorologist
January 24, 2014; 6:04 PM

A big change is underway in parts of the South as much colder air and a winter storm settle in to close out the week.

A mix of snow, rain and ice will accompany the major temperature swing, bringing the risk of dangerous travel to millions in parts of the South.

During Friday, the storm continued to push eastward along the Gulf coast, reaching the southern portions of Louisiana and Mississippi. Some snow, sleet and freezing rain even reached part of the Florida Panhandle. During the midday hours Friday, temperatures hovered near 26 degrees at Lake Charles, La., with light snow.

Although precipitation from the storm mainly started off as rain Thursday afternoon, this quickly changed over to snow, sleet and freezing rain by nightfall, mainly north of I-10 between Houston and San Antonio.

Precipitation ended for much of Texas by Friday morning, but conditions remain slippery in many areas.

Through Friday night, a bit of sleet and snow will fall along the Gulf coast of Louisiana and the panhandle of Florida. This sleet could create more slippery roads and dangerous travel from Port Arthur, Texas, through New Orleans and into Panama City, Fla.

According to Texas Weather Expert Dan Kottlowski, “Some untreated bridges and overpasses will remain icy through Friday night, since temperatures will hover close to or below the freezing mark.”

Domino effect ??

Little electric heaterDomino effect  (very best)I’m always looking for a catchy title for a blog. There really isn’t any conclusive evidence that I’m suffering from “the domino effect” but an interesting conjecture.

Thirty-seven degreesForty-three degreesThis morning, I was an icicle!! Inside my trailer, 43 degrees when I got up!! My tiny electric heater kept the tiny trailer very warm. My tiny electric heater is ineffective in my large trailer!! I’m anxious for Spring (like half the population of the United States suffering an extremely harsh Winter). I haven’t mastered the “P’s & Q’s” of the furnace in the “big” trailer. (Sometimes it won’t run at all, sometimes it won’t stop running!!) Truthfully, I’ve turned the heater off (at night) rather than struggle with its unpredictability. Frankly, I didn’t want to crawl out of bed—out of my sleeping bag inside a sleeping bag!! I quickly dressed and headed for the comfortably warm CARE Center. Yes, I’ve checked the instruction manuals… but can’t find an answer.

Recently, I’ve been emotionally and physically sick!! Too many shocks to my system?? (Too many dominoes toppling over?!) My life has been a roller coaster for over six months: Moth ball poisoning (oh so sick), nasty bump on the head requiring four stitches, “downsizing,” packing, moving, new job, unauthorized charge on credit card, battle with TracFone, etc., etc. (it’s all documented on this blog). A few weeks ago, I found a wonderful Christian radio station (from Houston) but the signal is gone and I’m bereft by the loss.

Hey, I know Spring is just around the corner. We won’t need our heaters!! ~~ All the major expenses will be a distant memory. ~~ Energy and enthusiasm will replace fatigue and depression.  Life will be “a bowl of cherries” (home-grown tomatoes).


Thursday, January 23rd, 2014, 3:00 PM: FYI, I finally have the furnace responding the way I want it to.  I don’t know “how” or “why” but I’m extremely grateful for uniform heat!! It is a very cold, rainy day and I have not (and will not) venture outside. I watched a video from the comfort of the large La Z-Boy recliner. Now I’ll resume work on my Income Taxes. 

Valentine HeartAs if I haven’t had enough concerns the last few months, last night I learned that someone very dear to me is suicidal. Sadly, time and distance prevent me from reaching out to provide comfort and assistance.


Income Tax form with dollarsIbid, 5:40 PM: Almost all the data has been entered into Turbo Tax. I’ll have to wait for statements from Los Angeles County (retirement), banks, etc., before I actually e-file. Thankfully, the Federal refund will put some money back into recently totally depleted savings.

Jinxed ??

Evil magicianJinxed?? Remember I mentioned starting my Income Taxes (in the previous blog)?? I bought Turbo Tax, and downloaded it, only to discover that it can’t find my 2012 data on this computer. “Poof” it has disappeared!! And I didn’t print a paper copy last year because I’m backing everything up to Carbonite. ~~ I’m experiencing more problems than my tired, old body can handle!!