“No rest for the wicked”

…my mother often told me!! Smiley face emotion sadThis Sunday morning I transplanted the neglected Marigolds (leftover from a purchase several weeks ago). I cleaned bird feeders because the feed got wet and was a soggy lump in the bottom. The Nature’s Head received a preliminary cleaning; thorough cleaning to follow. I “stole” the cement base for the fountain from the “discards” and junk in the Maintenance Yard. Rain water was used to water the Petunias. I’ll never again use coco fiber for hanging baskets (in Texas) because the soil dries out quickly. See my tomatoes? Look at the cucumbers grow–and Asian Lily will bloom soon. The Calibrachoa has recovered and is my delight. The composter is manufacturing wonderful earth for my planters (and most recently in the bottom of Marigold planter with commercially packaged soil). Tomorrow I’ll use some of the new-purchase cleaning products in the T@B. Later, I’ll vacuum the upholstery with the Electrolux LittleLuxII purchased yesterday at Habitat thrift store. Marigolds Cleaning bird feeders Cleaning Nature's Head (1) Cleaning Nature's Head (2) Cement base for fountain Rain water for the plants Rain water for Petunias Tomatoes Cucumbers & Asian Lily Calibrachoa Rich compost Small vacuum Cleaning products


Smiley face with fanEighty-six degrees at 3:45 PM.; hot and humid.

Seventy-nine degrees inside at 10:40 PM; too hot, can’t sleep!! Windows are open and Casablanca Fan is spinning on high.

VHS “junkie”

VHS tapeThere are hundreds of VHS-tapes at the local Habitat for Humanity thrift shop (for sale for ten cents each). I’ve worked there each Saturday and regularly bring several home (and return them the following Saturday). Earlier this week, I watched The Doctor and really liked it. Last night I watched Patch Adams and loved it. I’ve never been fond of Robin Williams but I think he played the role admirably. Both The Doctor and Patch Adams have story lines that parallel my belief that allopathic medicine needs to be “more humane.”

What will I watch tonight??  African Queen, Charade, Erin Brockovich, Little Women, Riverdance, Split Infinity, State Fair, The Last of the Mohicans, The Snows of Kilimanjaro, or While You Were Sleeping?? OK, decision made: Little Women. ~~ I’ve never seen any of them!! I rarely go to movie theaters; I’ve never had Turner Broadcasting (et al) for old movie viewing.

I worked from 10 until 3:15 (a customer was lingering) and then shopped Lowe’s for another planter and some cleaning products. I read labels…, I compared products…; I have several new items to try on the mold and mildew. It has been a busy day and I am ready to relax and watch an old VHS-tape movie. Then to bed early because I didn’t sleep much last night.  ~~ (Eighty-one degrees outside at 6:45 PM)

VHS tapesSmiley face winkingP.S. Junkie in the kindest sense of the word (re: Lorraine). “One man’s ‘junk’ is another man’s treasure.”  ~~ Continuing the list:  Field of Dreams, Gigi, Gone With the Wind, In Search of Noah’s Ark, Out of Africa, The Sea Gypsies, World’s Greatest Train Ride: Canada. Furthermore, there are about two dozen travel videos I may bring home: Alaska (been there, love it), Panama Canal (always wanted to go), Norway, The National Parks, Vienna…. ~~ Finances and age may keep me from driving to Alaska but I can still enjoy our big wide wonderful world via VHS (and DVD). ~~ I loved to watch Rick Steves (et al) travel presentations on PBS–when I received free TV with an antenna on the roof. I won’t pay the exorbitant price for Dish or Direct TV (and no “through the air” reception where I live [and no cable] ).


Essential oils

Following the recommendation of websites I visited, I ordered Thieves Oil. It will take a week, or more, until I receive the product, and diffuser, but I’m eager to try a natural product. Furthermore, it may help my breathing?! (Labored breathing all night.) It’s 11:00 AM and I’ve spent the morning researching…. (I’m still in my pajamas.) Although a beautiful morning (currently 74 degrees outside) I do not have the inclination to approach the T@B–or the garden; I haven’t taken mealworms to the Bluebirds. Call it malaise, or depression, or lethargy, I just don’t want to move. With one brief exception, I have not been to the CARE Center since Saturday night (six days ago). I haven’t checked my mail; I haven’t checked for vegetable scraps for my composter; I’ve prepared my own meals (or barely eaten). ~~ Yes, I can psychoanalyze myself and identify the problem as “rejection.” No one cares!! My sons forgot me for Mother’s Day (with one brief exception); residents and staff have not missed me in the CARE Center. 

Arrows with quiverToday’s message on The Grace of Encouragement: “Learn your lessons well in the schoolroom of obscurity. God is preparing you as His chosen arrow. As yet your shaft is hidden in His quiver, but at the precise moment at which it will tell with the greatest effect, He will reach for you and launch you to that place of His appointment.” From: Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life, p. 531, by Charles R. Swindoll. From the scripture: “He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the shadow of His hand He hid me; He made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in His quiver.” Isaiah 49:2 NIV

Heavy, heavy on my chest !!

Elephant on chestThat’s the title that came to mind. What does it mean?? I’m not certain!! ~~ I haven’t followed my friend’s suggestion to go out into the sunshine. I got out of my pajamas about one o’clock; took a shower and washed my hair. (I “go to work” tomorrow at Habitat for Humanity thrift shop.) I’ve puttered in the kitchen; I’ve balanced my check book. I did some bookkeeping and looked at my monthly expenses. Maybe “heavy, heavy on my chest” is an elephant sitting on my chest?? The weight of the luxury of my “garden spot” RV site at CARE and the physical difficulty of breathing?? ~~ Energizer Bunny NotSmell the flowersPeople used to refer to me as the Energizer Bunny because I kept going, and going, and going. No more!! Today I don’t have the energy “to smell the flowers.”

Make hay while the sun shines !!

 Similarly (with a play on words), I need to clean the T@B while it is cool. Yes, I have procrastinated over the last five months BUT we have had so much inclement weather!! I could not unload the T@B because no place to put all that “stuff.” No space in my Carriage 5th-wheel trailer, nor back of KIA (still loaded), and specifically not the overloaded small storage building!! I finally dragged the very heavy mattress out… and failed to cover it with a tarp. It is water-logged and probably ruined!!

It was so discouraging to find the stains remain after several attempts to remove. The fabric was dry after the fan blowing on the area since late yesterday afternoon. What do I try next?? ~~ I’m at the computer because I can only take so much dust and mold. My breathing is difficult; I’m coughing and sneezing!! (Even with clothe covering my nose and mouth.) ~~ Granted, no one but me will know the stains are there **BUT** I want the area spotlessly clean. Repeat: What do I try next?? (Publishing this at 11:00 AM; time to go back to work in the T@B; delightful 71 degrees outside.)


Time & temperature

Using a fan to dry fabric

Dry but stains remain

Dry but stains remain (2)

Dry but stains remain (3)

A new area

The toilet bowl brush is very helpful

In the sunshine




Back to my question; back to the Internet (at 11:30) to find information about Thieves Essential Oils. There are numerous sites. This may be my specific answer?! (I learned about Thieves from a comment posted on Standing on my head!!)


STOP the merry-go-round, I want to get off!! Every time I return to the project, I find a new area demanding attention!! Even with the door and windows open, with plenty of ventilation, I have trouble breathing. Imagine: I was living with some–or all–of that mold in November, December and January. Soaking rains started in October and there were many days with the T@B all closed up (no ventilation). I kept comfortably warm with a small electric heater but the warmth probably spawned more mold. I have to praise God that I didn’t get deathly ill (because articles on the Internet consider mold a serious health hazard). ~~~~ (Two PM: This is sun tea, iced tea time; 79 degrees outside.)


Sunshine for the bench cushions

More mold

More mold (2)

Cleaning out under bench seat

More mold (3)

Cracks and crevices

Under-the=bench-seat stuff in the sunshine

Sunshine on cushions


Read Standing on my headRome wasn’t built in a dayMold in T@B–part one,  Mold in T@B–part two, Mold in T@B–part three. and Mold in T2B–part four.


Uncle”!! It’s 3:55 PM and I haven’t an ounce of energy. More sun tea, iced tea time; beautiful 81 degrees outside.


Tarp over things

Safely stored indoorsEverything “under cover.”

73 degrees at 7:25 PM.

Pleasant memory !!

Carved wood LoonLoon post cardWhen I pulled items from under the bed, I found this postcard. If I remember correctly, it accompanied a gift I receive in June 2010. I was attending a “Teardrop” (trailer) Rally at Fish Creek Pond, in the Adirondack Mountains of New York state. The couple in the adjacent site would leave early each morning, in their kayaks, and explore Fish Creek Pond (a small lake) and connecting streams and lakes. They told me about the Loons and later presented me with the wood carved Loon. ~~ I checked all the Tab Teardrop Travels (re: the Rally) and see that I failed to mention the gift from Chris and Rick. But I have not forgotten their thoughtfulness!!


Fish Creek Pond State Park — Tuesday June 8, 2010

Life’s Lessons: Taking Things for Granted

Fish Creek Pond — June 9, 2010

Fish Creek Pond — June 10, 2010

Fish Creek Pond — June 11, 2010

Fish Creek Pond — June 12, 2010

Fish Creek Pond–June 13, 2010 

Bear Scare — June 14, 2010

Fish Creek Pond — June 14, 2010

The Wild Center

Fish Creek Pond — June 15, 2010

Fish Creek Pond — June 16, 2010

Out of the Woods



Another “rain” catastrophe !!

Time & temperature

The cool weather is greatly appreciated; I’m not complaining!! I’ll get more done in the little trailer today. It’s raining hard as I prepare this message (7:20). Shepherd's Hook with feedersShepherd's Hook is down

When I looked out the window, a Shepherd’s Hook with two feeders has toppled over. The ground is so soft, plus the weight of the feeders; I’m not surprised. (Yes, I could have opened the door to take the picture but I like the raindrops on the window.) Yoyo with faceHard to believe: I had to turn on the furnace for a few minutes to take the chill off the trailer.  A few days ago I needed the air-conditioner!


On the groundFour-fifths inch of rainHummingbirdLater.


SunshineMore. ~~ Sunshine at last; 60 degrees outside. Time to go to work in the T@B. Fortunately, I am right-handed. Recently I got my little finger, left hand, caught in the metal hardware under the table. It was the first time I tried to use the self-storing table leaf and my finger was in the wrong place!! Oh, such pain!!

Table leaf

Under the table

Self-storing table leaf


Livingston, Texas, weather (yesterday)
Tuesday May 13, 2014
AM Rain
PM Rain
67°F High at 9:25 am
59° Low at 11:45 pm
Precip: 2.95 inches Past 7 Days
Precip: 9.32 inches Month to Date
Precip: 9.32 inches
Wind Speed / Gusts: NW at 13 mph gusting to 21 mph
Average High & Low: 84° / 65° Record High: 91° (1964) Record Low: 47° (1981)
Monthly Avg Precip: 4.88 inches
Sunrise: 6:26 am
Sunset: 8:06 pm
Moonset: 5:37 am Moonrise: 7:13 pm


Upright Shepherd's HookNear the end of the day:

72 degrees at 5:00 PM.

Quite windy and “feels cold.”

I’m tired!!Tired woman


Mold in T@B — part four

Beautiful cool morning!! Still only sixty-six degrees, at 1:00 PM, as I prepare this message. First: Lug the heavy vacuum cleaner out anticipating it will suck up the mold stains (which had been saturated with undiluted white vinegar and now fabric was completely dry). It didn’t!! Second: One by one, I scrubbed with plastic bristle brushes. No improvement. Third: Prepare the Borax solution and ask myself “Is the Borax solution ‘the‘ solution?”  Fourth: (Actually first and foremost) covering my nose and mouth so I don’t inhale the flying mold particles (kicked up from vacuuming and/or brushing). Fifth: Sponge on the Borax solution. Sixth: A toothbrush worked better than the large brushes. Seventh: Let it dry and see if the mold problem has been resolved. Eighth (in the near future): Try another recipe?? Several more ideas are listed below (and I’ll do more research on the Internet).

Getting ready to vacuum

Mattress & vacuum

Under the bench


Getting ready to vacuum (inside)


Three brushes

Putting vacuum away

Borax solution

Borax solution helps

Next area to sponge with Borax

Using a toothbrush

Smiley from porthole

Using a fan to dry fabric


How to Kill Mold with Borax

  1. To kill mold using borax, create a borax-water solution using a ratio of 1 cup of borax per gallon of water.
  2. Vacuum up any loose mold with a HEPA filtered vacuum cleaner to lessen the number of spores stirred up into the air during the cleaning process.
  3. Use a scrubbing brush with the borax-water solution to scrub the mold off the surface.
  4. Wipe up any extra moisture and excess mold particles or dust/debris to prevent them spreading into the air once the surface has dried.
  5. You don’t need to rinse off the borax as the solution will prevent more mold beginning to grow on the surface again.
  6. Leave the surface to dry completely.

 * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Upholstered furniture and mattresses may need the attention of a professional cleaner. But if the damage is limited or you’re determined to use natural products, try the two-step process of detergent and rubbing alcohol. After exposing the pieces to the sunlight for at least two hours, brush or vacuum the pieces while they are still outside, discarding vacuum bags or loose mold when you are through. Sponge on natural detergent or dry soap with a damp sponge, and wipe up any excess with a clean cloth or sponge. Mix 1 cup rubbing alcohol with 1 cup water, and dip a cloth in the formula to apply it to the piece. Leave the furniture or mattress outside until it dries completely.

Obviously, I can’t follow that suggestion but a reader might like that information?!

 * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Upholstered articles, mattresses and rugs
First, remove loose mold from outer coverings of upholstered articles, mattresses, rugs and carpets by brushing with a broom. Do this outdoors to prevent scattering mildew spores in the house.

Run a vacuum cleaner attachment over the surface of the article to draw out more of the mold. Remember that the mold spores are being drawn into the bag of the vacuum cleaner. If the appliance has a disposable bag, remove and dispose of it immediately. If not, empty the bag carefully (preferably outdoors) to avoid scattering mold spores in the house.

Do everything conveniently possible to dry the article — use an electric heater and a fan to carry away moist air. Sun and air the article to stop the mold growth.

If mildew remains on upholstered articles or mattresses, sponge lightly with thick suds of soap or detergent and wipe with a clean, damp cloth. In doing this, get as little water on the fabric as possible so the filling does not get wet.

Another way to remove mildew on upholstered furniture is to wipe it with a cloth moistened with diluted alcohol (1 cup denatured or rubbing alcohol to 1 cup water). Dry the article thoroughly.

Sponge mildewed rugs and carpets with thick suds or a rug shampoo. Then remove the suds by wiping with a cloth dampened with clear water. Dry in the sun if possible.

Use a low-pressure spray containing a fungicide to get rid of mildew. Respray frequently, especially in localities where mildew is a major problem.

Vapors of paradichlorobenzene or paraformaldehyde, used in enclosed areas, will stop mold growth. See the section “Store with a mildew inhibitor.”

If molds have grown into the inner part of an article, send it to a reliable disinfecting and fumigating service. Such services are often listed under “Exterminating and Fumigating” or “Pest Control” services in the yellow pages of the telephone directory.

FYI: The mattress got wet during the rain storms (although it has a plastic cover). Because it is so heavy, I’ll never put it back into the T@B. Perhaps I will use it to sleep outdoors on hot Texas summer nights?!

Read Rome wasn’t built in a dayMold in T@B–part one,  Mold in T@B–part two, and Mold in T@B–part three.


Oh, no !! Not my Calibrachoa !!

Time & temperatureThis is the scene when I looked out my window at seven o’clock. It rained **all** night!! The gauge couldn’t contain all… so I speculate more than two inches of rain. The ground was very soft (near the rain gauge) and my foot was ankle-deep in mud. The weather needs to clear before I can upright the planter and attempt to rescue my beautiful Calibrachoa plants. A mole has endlessly tunneled around my yard. I speculate the soft ground plus the weight of the planter caused it to topple over. (Click each picture to enlarge for better view.)


Extreme left

Left center


Overturned planter

Up to my ankle

Rain gauge is full

Upside down Calibrachoa

Rain water with Marigolds

Fountain overflowing

Calibrachoa is doing extremely well.

Upside down Calibrachoa


CalibrachoaPostscript, Thursday, May 15, 2014, 7:30 PM: The Calibrachoa looks remarkably good after the traumatic experience.