Author Archives: arjeha

Endings and Beginnings

Well, another March Challenge has come to an end. This was the 10th one for me. At the beginning of the month I wasn’t quite sure I would be posting for 31 straight days. I wasn’t sure I had the topics or energy to do it.

However, I persevered and here I am posting on the last day of the challenge as I did on the first day of the challenge. What kept me going? You, dear readers. I know that we don’t participate in this challenge just to get comments, but I must admit that it was your comments that kept me going.

So, for that, I thank everyone who read my posts and left a comment. Although I write, words can’t express the appreciation I feel for each of you. Your encouragement throughout the month were what made want to write every day, even those days when I felt I didn’t have much to say, which was most days.

You were my cheerleaders for completing my Candy Cane Welcome wall hanging. You laughed at my lame attempts at humor. You reminisced with me when I looked back at the past.

As much as I enjoyed hearing from you on my posts, I must also say how much I enjoyed reading your posts as well. It was nice to reconnect with bloggers who were part of the Challenge last year and participated again this year. It was also nice to continue this writing journey with those bloggers who post every Tuesday on SOL. I have learned so much by reading your posts as well as picking up some new formats, some of which I tried during this Challenge and some of which are tucked away for future reference.

I titled this post Endings and Beginnings. I’ve talked about endings so let me just say a few things about beginnings.

I guess the biggest beginning is that the Tuesday Slice of Life posts begin again. I know the new year of Tuesday posts began in January, it just seems to me that going back to them after the March Challenge is like a new beginning.

I am hoping see many of you back here on Tuesday. I know I will be here.

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for hosting this Challenge. We are all better writers for having written this month.


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Posts Lead to A Post

Last year I tried something new for me to use as a topic for this next to last post of the Challenge. I liked how it turned out and thought I would try it again this year. This post is made up of all 30 of my post titles this year with a little bit extra added after each one. Here goes.

	 Is it really time? to start anew.
	It’s Only Words I’ll write for you.
	Change In Plans in what I’ll do.
	Another Project Underway will it be something new?

	It’s Just a Number After All it really doesn’t mean a thing.
	A New Set of Pictures to lunch I’ll bring.
	Going Back to School for me is not a thing.
	Library Books just make my heart sing.

	A Time To Eat it’s always time.
	Bookshelf Poetry can I make them rhyme?
	Working diligently is not a crime.
	And the Winner Is tired, but feeling fine.

	Atmospheric River causes much pain.
	Time to Bake a cake that’s plain.
	Short and To the Point no flashy refrain.
	A Roller Coaster Ride may cause some pain.

	Everyone’s Irish Today go and celebrate.
	Keep Plodding Along and you’ll do great.
	Wake Up Call it’s not too late.
	Spring Is Here over’s the wait.

	Listing Likes and Dislikes seems a safe bet.
	Looking Back at choices, no cause to fret.
	Comfort Foods we eat and yet.
	The Lunch Bunch Strikes Again it’s been a month since we met.

	On A Roll the end is near.
	A Day of Rest is needed it’s clear.
	Upcoming Road Trip to a place that’s dear.
	Planning a Menu gotta get my mind in gear.

	Made It at times I had my doubts.
	Posts Lead to a Post and make an easy way out.


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Made It

Four weeks ago when I started my project I wasn’t sure it would be completed by the end of the challenge. It is.

You have seen it in different stages over the weeks so now it is time to unveil the completed project.

Some reminders about the journey to completion first. I bought the kit from Herrshners. It came all packaged nicely in a bag.

After drawing the design onto the plastic canvas, I cut the design out. I can see why some thought it would be a butterfly.

In three weeks, this is where I got to by last Saturday. Now I needed to finish before Thursday.

The first thing to do was finish the bottom portions of the candy canes.

Now that the design was completed it was time to add some detail and backstitching on the bow,

The last step was to overcast the edges to give it a finished look.

That’s it. Project is complete. I made it. Now, let’s see how it will look hanging on the door where it will be displayed during the Christmas season.

Thanks for coming along with me on this journey and encouraging me. I don’t know if I would have finished in time without it. Now, I need to start scouring the catalogues for next year’s project which will give me at least four posts for SOLSC 2024).


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Planning a Menu

Our nephew, niece, and new grandnephew are flying in for Easter. They live in Arizona. Usually we meet at my brother’s apartment and play catch-up. By the time we get together in the afternoon everyone has had a meal, us at home, nephew at his grandmother’s and we just sit and talk. I generally take some kind of dessert to share.

This year, however, things will be a bit different. Our nephew’s grandmother died a few months ago so she will ne be providing a meal for them. My brother is not a big cook so he won’t be making anything. I am planning to take food up to our gathering.

Easter fare is usually ham, kielbasa, and the fixings. Our niece, however, is a vegetarian so this meal is out. So, what to make.

Looking through my recipes I found one for spinach and mushroom lasagna. Not a traditional Easter meal, but I think it will work. Served with a side salad and some rolls this should fit the bill.

Of course there will be dessert, too. Maybe a chocolate cherry cake or maybe a coconut cake. Still undecided on that.

Whatever we have, the food is secondary to seeing everyone and spending time together.


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Upcoming Road Trip

Later this week we are taking a road trip to Lancaster. Why you may ask? Simple answer – an upcoming quilt show. Because of Covid it has been a few years since a quilt show was held at this venue. Now it is back.

Looking at the web site for it, it will not be as large as it was in previous years. That’s fine. We are still looking forward to it. I checked the weather for the week and the day we are planning to go is listed as warm and sunny. I know the weather can change between now and the day of our trip, but hopefully it won’t.

Does Kathy need to buy any more material? No. Does she need any more patterns or books? No. Does she need any more rulers, templates, or quilting notions? No. Will that stop us from going? No.

My only regret is that with the show this late in March I can’t write any posts about it for the March Challenge. But hey, there’s always SOL Tuesdays.


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A Day of Rest

It is day 26 of the challenge and I am tired. Ideas are getting hard to come by. I think I need to just rest today, maybe take the day off. Yes, rest does sound like a good idea. I’ll rest and then post tomorrow.

Oh, but even if I don’t post today, I still need to read and comment on other slicers’ blogs. I will read and comment then rest.

Now I need to feed the beasties since they are nudging me to get my attention. Feeding them is top priority, at least in their minds. No rest until they are fed and settled. Feet the cats and then rest.

Looking out the window I can see that the bird feeders are empty. If I feed the cats, I should feed the birds as well. It doesn’t take long to fill the feeders. I can do that while the cats are eating. Feed the birds and then rest.

Wait, I do need to put some time in on my project or else I won’t have it finished by the end of this challenge. We are going out two days this week so my time is limited. OK. Work for an hour or two and then rest.

Oh, I almost forgot. We have our pre-retirement workshop next Saturday. I need to organize a zoom meeting, write different emails to those attending in-person and those who will be zooming. I need to get the attachments ready to send. So, I guess I should do that next and then rest.

Oh no! What’s that sound? A furball in progress. Gotta get that cleaned up immediately. Clean up furball then rest.

There goes the phone. By the caller ID I see that it is the person in charge of the pre-retirement workshop I mentioned earlier. Past experience tells me that this call will take 45 minutes to an hour. There are always questions and clarifications and cat talk. Oh well, talk for an hour and then rest.

Look at the time. It is time to get dinner together. We are having spaghetti tonight and it is my job to make the salads while Kathy cooks the meal. Make the salads, eat dinner, clean up and do the dishes then rest.

Forgot that the litter boxes need to be cleaned. Doesn’t take long but it needs to be done. Clean the boxes and then rest.

Looking at the clock I see that it is time for the news, local followed by world. Since we are going out two days this week I should see what to expect weatherwise. Watch the news and then rest.

One thing I haven’t done yet today is read. That needs to be fixed. I am near the end of by book and I want to see how it turns out. Read for a while and then rest.

It is day 26 of the challenge and I am tired. You know what? Forget it. I’m just going to bed!


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On A Roll

This has been a really good week for working on my project. I am glad for that since I need to have it finished next week to meet my goal of completing my project by the end of the challenge. So, let’s see what I got done.

To refresh your memory, here where I started the week:

I thought I would start with filling in the background around the leaves.

Now that it is quite clear what the design is going to be I thought I would go for some color. I’ll let the other side go for a later time.

If I fill in the white then I will have the top of one candy cane completed.

Now I can start on the second side starting with the holly leaves. I wasn’t thinking when I took the picture so it is not the best.

I thought I would do the top of the second candy cane next. That way everything above the sign will be done.

I still need to do some detailing and backstitching on the bow. I need to finish the bottoms of the candy canes. I need to overcast the entire piece. Will I finish before the challenge ends? I guess we will see.


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The Lunch Bunch Strikes Again

Q. What do you get when you take 11 retirees, all but one a retired teacher, a restaurant, good food, lively conversation and mix them all together?

A. A rollicking good time.

Yesterday we had our monthly lunch with our friends. I have written before how we get together once a month for lunch. Since we are all retired, and since we all worked together at one time, this is our way of staying connected.

I admit that we were the table that you wish would leave when you are out dining. We were a bit loud. How could we not be with so many conversations happening all at once?

We were a bit boisterous. Again, how could we not be with so many stories and memories to share?

luckily, we always pick a restaurant that isn’t too crowded and one that doesn’t mind us sitting and enjoying ourselves.

We are all poised to do it again next month. Date and place are now in April’s calendar.


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Comfort Foods

It is no secret that I like to eat. I also don’t mind preparing a meal either. Some take a bit of prep while some can be thrown together with very little fuss. Some meals might be for a special occasion while others are good any time. Some are Sunday meals while others are weekday meals.

Some meals just provide comfort. These meals vary depending on the mood I am in and how I feel. Weather can also play a factor. Here are some of my comfort meals and when I enjoy them. (Please note that I never said that these are the healthiest of meals, but I am looking for comfort.)

If it is a cold, windy, rainy day nothing says comfort like a bowl of hot soup. If it is a Friday, my go to soup is tomato. Pair that with a grilled sandwich and I am quite content.

If I am sick or just not feeling well, give me a bowl of chicken noodle soup. It has to be Campbells and no other. I don’t know if it is the grease, the salt or what, but that soup always makes me feel better even if it is only in my mind.

For a fast dinner give me hot dogs, mashed potatoes, and baked beans. Don’t judge me. Ever since I was a kid and my grandmother served this up occasionally, I have been hooked on it. Maybe it just reminds me of her.

Along the same lines, I am quite happy with a meatloaf, baked potato, and any kind of fresh veggie in season. Kathy usually makes enough that we have a meal and some to freeze for a night when we don’t know what we want or we don’t feel like cooking. Heats up in no time.

Most nights we do eat a healthy meal but sometimes nothing hits the spot like one of the comfort meals. So, what are your comfort meals?


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Looking Back

Watching the news can be a bit, make that a whole lot, depressing. I know there is lots of good going on in the world, but it is not often reported. Good news doesn’t sell. We of a certain age often refer to the “good old days” when things were simpler and crime wasn’t as rampant.

Was that really the case, though? What went on in the good old days that made them good? I decided to do some research into 1951, the year I was born, to see if we were better off. What was going on in the world? In entertainment? In books? Here are some of the things I found.

  1. United States government began nuclear bomb testing at a test site in Nevada. (And look at where we are today.)
  2. The first direct-dial coast to coast telephone call was made. (I wonder if anyone back then imagined we would be carrying phones around in our pockets today.)
  3. The popular television show “I Love Lucy” premieres on CBS. (I admit that I did enjoy watching this.)
  4. Development of Birth Control Pill. (Changed the lives of so many.)
  5. The popular film “The Day the Earth Stood Still” debuts. (Still one of my favorite sci-fi films.)
  6. The Disney film adaptation of Alice in Wonderland debuts in theaters. (Can’t go wrong with the early Disney films.)
  7. First Color Television Pictures broadcast from Empire State Building. (It would be years until we got our first color TV.)
  8. The first commercial computer, UNIVAC, is put into use at the U.S. Census Bureau. (Imagine the size and weight and here I sit with a computer on my lap.)
  9. The very first Pan American Games begin during February and were held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Let’s showcase the talented athletes in the Americas.)
  10. J.D. Salinger’s coming of age story, The Catcher in the Rye is published by Little, Brown and Company in New York City. (Yes, I have read it.)

What was going on in your good old days? Were things better then? I will let it up to you to decide.


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