Day 233-Wednesday's Medical Minute-…Or Is It?

Good morning everyone! While I know today is supposed to be the day for medical news you can use,  I just have to tell you how excited I am, after yesterday’s long day of work, to finally have a post done on my newly renamed website! I’m attempting a collaboration between this site and that one, which I’m calling Products from the Patio. I wanted to create a place where I can still be helpful by providing product reviews, recipes and buying guides from the things I talk about here on the patio.

I would like to invite you all to check out my first post- Product Review-SiteGround Hosting Service-and I plan on trying to do a bit more design work today if I can, I finally gave in around 6pm last night when my eyes started crossing. You can only look at the computer for so long! I realize, that by now I should have an email list, but since I don’t, I’m asking y’all to check it out right here. I appreciate any constructive criticism and/or feedback you can give, not only on the post, but the website in general. I am still not happy with the theme, maybe that is what I will tackle today.

Yesterday’s post is my first attempt at putting an affiliate link on my website-and I did a banner too! So, I have to include my disclaimer right now…this post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click on a banner or link, I may get a little compensation.  The bad news is, by the time I finally figured out how to get the banner on, it was late and I’m unhappy with where I put it, which is at the very bottom of my webpage…but hey, it’s on there!! I’m so proud of myself, yet I realize I have lots of work to do. So, with that being said, here is what the post is about.

Those of you that may be interested in starting your own website or money making blog will need to obtain hosting. That is where SiteGround comes in. They provide fast, safe, reliable support and do the best job at hosting your website. They are who I use, and I found them through Grayson Bell (he offers free set up to fellow WordPress bloggers)-otherwise, I would have gone with another company with a reputation for cheap yet unreliable hosting services. Grayson truly has been a godsend, staying calm when I have pestered him with all my questions. The company themselves are very helpful as well, I’ve had no problems in my year+ of their services.

It is easy to start a website or blog with WordPress and they provide step-by-step instruction, but basically you just pick a host-in my case, SiteGround and then choose a plan, domain name (free) and enter your contact info. Most web designers say to use your own name as your domain, like I did, and then you can name your site anything. My domain is and the site name is Products From the Patio. If you need help, there are lots of bloggers out there like Michelle Gardner who runs Making Sense of Cents who will teach you tips for beginners. You can find her directly or on my Pinterest page, under Freelancing tips.

I hope I have helped in some way and that you go and check out my new site later, for now I have to get busy with all the other writing I have to get done before I go to Dad’s, like working on the next in my series- Angels of Arvada, which will come out on Friday. Don’t forget to leave me a comment or suggestion if you have one or ask me a question if need be. I will try to help in any way I can. Have a happy Wednesday and I’ll see ya tomorrow, on the patio! 🙂




Day 232-MET-I Once Sang Barbershop

I have always loved music, it’s my driving force, and I’ve been singing in one form or another since I was three years old. I do have particular tastes when it comes to “my” music, however, and my husband knows this. My true talent lies in country but my heart and soul belong to rock…and I don’t mean soft rock, although I love it all. I love hard, metal, loud, in your face kind of rock-the likes of Breaking Benjamin, Korn and Alice in Chains, to name a few. We subscribe to Sirius/XM and my station is the Octane channel and rarely ever leaves it.

All that being said, you can imagine my husband’s shock and awe when I made the decision (about 15 years ago) to join a barbershop group called The Sweet Adelines, an international singing group with chapters everywhere. I don’t remember the name of the particular group I was with but they are now The Lonestar Chapter, which is in Region 10-Great Gulf Coast (even though we are no where near the coast), they must encompass the area between here and Houston. Now, this type of singing is about as far from rock as you’re ever gonna get, but I needed an outlet, a place to be able to sing out loud, with other ladies who wanted to do the same. I had found a family. Barbershop is typically sang in groups of four people, but we were a barbershop chorus, sometimes breaking off in smaller groups for solos and special appearances.

For a while, I was in Heaven. We practiced weekly and did shows, concerts and events and I was part of something potentially big. It was so fun to not only get the chance to sing and perform, but to get dressed up, made up and go on stage and be able to make people smile. We did shows in nursing homes sometimes, which for me was especially gratifying after working in a couple so many years prior. My husband would tease me and say he couldn’t believe I was singing with the “blue hairs” but I didn’t care, I loved it and it was my “thing”, kind of like golf is his right now. Months into it, we went to competition down in Beaumont, close to where I would end up living for five years some time later, and that was so exciting to me. Of course, we sang all the way down and all the way back, on a bus, an adventure I wouldn’t wish on anyone…but it was ok at the time. We got to wear extravagant, glittery costumes and perform for judges for the title of  best chorus and it was fulfilling, it was fellowship, and honestly, it got me out of the rut I had found myself in of work, home, repeat, and I needed that in my life. I don’t know why it attracts mostly older ladies, I was one of the younger in the group, although we had a couple of teenagers too.

After singing and performing for about a year, the expense became too much and the weekly practice was more time consuming than I could handle (it was 30 minutes away) so I dropped out. There are times when I fantasize about rejoining (I’m closer to being a “blue hair” myself now) but I think about the cost and the the time commitment and that holds me in place. I barely have time for my writing, plus everything that needs to be done around the house, should I really be chasing a singing career too? No, my time has passed for that, I will simply have to keep on singing to the car radio (by myself at the top of my lungs sometimes) and karaoke with my friend Michelle, anytime we get the urge. (to the disdain of our partners, lol) I still have my memories of my brief but lovely time spent with the Sweet Adelines, singing tunes in the barbershop fashion and spreading joy wherever we went. We even got to sing at the renowned Bass Hall once, although it was the outer entrance, not the main stage. Who am I to quibble over minor details?

My real dream had been to be a lead singer in a rock band, which I chased for a while when I was younger. I did have bands and performed lead singing for awhile, but my bandmates did not have the desire to make it like I did. Singing with the chorus filled a need in me for a while and I’m proud to have been part of it, even though it was a short time. (I have included a picture of the current group of our region here in central Texas) It was the closest I have ever come to being a professional singer and even though I would never have become a star, I really enjoyed being in a internationally known music group, and we were good, darn it!

The Lonestar Chapter


Day 231-Motivational Monday-Write it Down!

I swear this is what I was going to recommend everyone do this morning, and then I found this quote! Perfect!

Today is the first day of Spring and soon we will be organizing, cleaning and generally getting ourselves geared up for the summer months. For me that means making lists, because I can’t remember yesterday, so I must write everything down! I have notebooks full of material too, classes I’ve taken, notes from webinars and homework from courses. The most important thing I wrote down though is my How To Become a Freelance Writer list of steps. I look back on this list whenever I need a kick in the pants to keep me on track.

If I didn’t write things down, I would be lost. I have so many note pads full of notes, however, that now I need to organize those!!

I waited until tonight to finish my blog so anyone interested would find out how my visit with the ENT went. I’ll tell you, after waiting for an hour and fourty five minutes he spent four minutes with me, just to hand me off to  another doctor! Ok, in all seriousness, he told me I need a hearing test and I might have a condition I can’t even pronounce-which there’s a clinic for, btw. Ugh! But, at least maybe after next week, I’ll have an answer to why I can hear a flea fart on the moon, or why the slightest noise feels like an icepick piercing my eardrum!

Oh, and in case anyone else wants to know how to become a freelance writer, ask me about the steps in the comments!

Day 230-Free Days-Sunday Happenings

I so hope you have enjoyed the beautiful day this has been! Sunday in our part of the world got up to 80 degrees, and was spent working on the blog, the yard and dinner for family. Now, to be honest, Dave did the yard, I worked in the office and cleaned up after dinner, but hey-it was still a team effort…go team Smyth, lol.

The family, sans Chris, enjoyed thick, juicy Angus beef from Sams, baked potatoes (some of us had sweet) and salad. Unfortunately, Chris opted to go play disc golf with his friends, which is his choice of course, but he missed out for sure! I did try to help him out before he left by preparing him a special foot soak to treat his athletes foot (poor thing has a chronic problem) and dab treatment with specific essential oils. The foot soak had Epsom salts, tea tree oil, lavender oil, eucalyptus and peppermint, along with baking soda in warm water with apple cider vinegar. After he soaked for five minutes, he dried them well and I dabbed them with a cotton ball that had a few drop some of lavender and tea tree oil. These oils are anti-fungal and anti-bacterial, and some, like lavender, provide anti-inflammatory benefits. I sure hope it helps, but truthfully, he should do the treatment every day.

Now, everyone is gone and I have the evening breeze flowing through the living room, as I Watch Shades of Blue and compose this blog. A perfect end to a joyful weekend. Join me this week for my regular daily features and to hear the outcome of my appointment with the ENT and kidney doctor, which will hopefully end my doctor chores for the month. See you mañana, on the patio! 😎

Day 229-Free Days-What Saturday's are Made For

Saturdays. That’s our day for running around together, my husband and I.  We started the day with breakfast at Waffle House, which was delicious by the way, and I cheated some with three bites of my husband’s waffle. I didn’t beat myself up about it, but then came lunch. My son came to visit and we continued our errands with him in tow and he was craving Taco Cabana. Well, I just had to try a passionfruit margarita, so there’s cheat number two. It was pretty good, btw. More sugar then alcohol but, I digress. Then after a while the guys went to play golf, I was due to play Bunco at six, so I went and got my nails done (my first purchase with the new debit card from my very own bank account) and stopped by for a short visit with my Dad. We played a few games of pool and I left to go to my Bunco game. There they had a delicious looking spread and although I wasn’t very hungry, I ate some salad and some chips and guacamole. Just a few. After two rounds it was time for dessert and I lulled myself into believing it wouldn’t be so bad if I had half a piece of the yummy chocolate ice cream cake. Where has my resolve gone? What happened to my willpower?

Luckily, I prescribe to the 80/20% rule when it comes to the Paleo lifestyle. I still manage to maintain my weight, because I’m “good” most of the time. I take my probiotics and use my essential oils every day. I drink lots of water and the occasional kombucha (a fermented drink that provides more probiotics.) I do need to increase my excercise and stop drinking so many margaritas for sure, but where’s the fun in that? I believe that giving in to a treat now and then will make one stick to any diet more than total rigidity.

My booty from the estate sale

One part of our errand running was a side trip to some estate and garage sales, where I picked up a few lovely pieces of jewelry for $5 and my husband obtained a practically brand new sand blaster for $25! Then, we went to my favorite health food store and I got a bogo deal on coconut oil and saved $22! I also got some grapefruit essential oil which will help me maintain my weight. I didn’t win a prize at Bunco, but I had a great time with my friends. The men got to spend some quality time with each other and we all had a fabulous day. That’s what Saturdays were made for.

Prizewinning bunco player