Mar 5, 2014

Rear Window

There is cabin fever and then there is 

Hello my lovely friends,

I hope all is well in your world. My world, these past two and half weeks have been a time of testing, a time for resting, and a time for "nesting."

Now before I share my last two and half weeks, I will share a few images I took at an 1800's log cabin that my barber husband and I visited not long ago. He felt I would really love it, since it would be a while before I could be out and about. (More on that in a moment.)

My beloved took me to a very remote cabin on a very cold and windy wasn't an issue, as the cabin had a wood stove. 

There wasn't a bathroom, rather an outhouse (below). No real running water (only water fed to the sink by a well) and no electricity. There were a couple of solar panels, but they were not hooked up at the time, but oil lamps are just the touch to make playing checkers romantic). My handsome barber is making a fire for me above, as I am a fire lover...fires are never long enough or big enough for me. :-)

The privy wasn't bad, to hear the coyotes up close and personal at night. I felt right at home with the little stove...we made great pancakes (or flapjacks, as my father would say) and brewed up some good ole coffee. Sometimes, I really believe I was born in the wrong century. 

The kettles on the wood stove (below) were full of water for washing dishes and ourselves. I loved the little bit of humidity it gave off in the cabin.

The sink was literally a little copper pipe, bent, and a turn knob to get the water going. More than once we got splashed, as it takes time for it to come down the hill...

While I was outside in the early morning chill, snapping photos, my beloved barber (and his very worn long johns) was getting breakfast. I love this image because you can see how small the cabin is (sleeping quarters was up in the loft). But to be honest, the little cabin had everything we needed and never felt cramped - only cozy.

This view from our porch was so serene.  A little farmhouse below in the valley with a bright red barn...

We drove around to visit the other few cabins (all owned by one person) and got permission to do some target shooting. Most people don't know that I absolutely love to shoot - and I will say that I am a very, very good shot. (I have target sheets to prove it :-)! Below, I am shooting our .22 Ruger long rifle. I was more interested in taking pics of this little red cabin area, but did take a moment to help site in the rifle with my barber/chef/shooter/fire-builder...

And of course, the rifle isn't all that I shot, I brought along some props to shoot! No way am I going to pass up such fab light at a great location. Below is just a sample of my styled shots...

While I could go on and on with my styled shots, I will have to show more of them later. I was just in heaven to have a whole day to just shoot, be outside, and be with my beloved. Couldn't ask for more, really.

But all good things must come to an end, which leads me to the present. 


(For those of you lucky enough to be so young you do not understand the reference to "Rear Window," that is a reference to a famous Alfred Hitchcock movie with Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly. Jimmy is laid up, and gets to know his neighbors through his rear window, up close and personal...)

Now, you get to know me up close and personal...maybe even more than you ever wanted or hoped for. But hey, this is reality (via iPhone) and as much I would love the "Pinterest" lifestyle, my life really isn't that "Pinteresting" to be frank.

Briefly to recap the last 15 or so months: Back in Nov 2012, I had "simple" knee surgery that went very wrong. I was in constant pain, couldn't even walk at a fast pace, or without a limp. I gained a ton of weight not being able to move for so long, and I never knew what was going to be a "good day" or a "bad day." I didn't write about it very much in my posts, as it was a depressing topic for me, and besides, I really didn't know how the story would end....

Well, on Feb 13th, I got a total knee replacement. Yup, sort of like the bionic woman, but not so bionic...I have been spending these last two and half weeks mainly in our bedroom...with my iPhone. Do you have any idea how crazy I am going without my camera? I decided this would be the best time to get my pro camera professionally cleaned (takes several weeks). When I am not dozing off, or doing physical therapy, then I have my computer and iPhone. However, today is the first day that I am not too tired to actually stay awake longer than 30 I give you my "reality" below, all in its vivid glory... :-)

This is where my leg (and the rest of me, come to think of it) are almost 24/7. I must be in this passive movement machine 6-8 hours a day for the first three weeks. And the little controller next to me, allows me to increase the bending. My goal, I am told, is 110. I am happy to report that I did reach that today!

I then started to snap pics of my immediate (and daily)surroundings. I wasn't really thinking anything of it, until I downloaded them and started to play with them; I realized that what has become "normal" really isn't all that normal...really...

I realized as I stare at my bedside table, filled with all sorts of things I need throughout the day...I have a large amount of potions, lotions, balms, and skin has never been so dry, and my leg, when not wrapped up in its ace wrap, looks like a small blizzard, or snow globe, has taken residence since I am not allowed to have any cream near my incision. 

My lovely caretaker/barber has brought me home things he finds at the pharmacy, while waiting for my perception to get filled...I am starting to feel like all these old-time remedies would fit perfectly in that cabin a few weeks ago!

What I find so ironic is that my "corn husker" and "bag balm" right next to my antique tea towel...

For those of you with eagle eyes (or magnification enhancers), I am sure you spotted the honey and surgical tape. That is for my very burnt (but small burn, thank God) that I got last night. My beloved was making me a fab dinner, and as I hobbled into the kitchen on my cane, he held out a spoon for me to taste, while next to the stove. I had no idea that he had just taken the sauce pan out of 400 degree stove. I grabbed the handle to turn it out of the way, and well...let's just say I didn't think about my knee for the first time in over a year, for a few hours.

To my left, on my honey's side of the bed, I have my "desk," Every morning, my beloved puts my large basket filled with stuff, along with the leg machine, ice, and fresh water. Actually, I have no idea if any of this interests anyone at this point, but hey, this has been the most exciting day in a while. Plus, I personally love knowing the details of those I see online or in magazines. Yes, I am one of those that will take out a magnifying glass and scope out the details of a pic of someone's desk, or kitchen...I know I can't be the only one!

My basket has lots of very unrelated things in it: My therapy pages, a book on French kitchens, image files to be downloaded, glasses, scissors, kleenex, chocolate chips, almonds...the usual.

Then back on my right, on the floor next to my side table, I decided to take a quick snap from my phone. It wasn't until I downloaded it, did I realize that my pic may need some explaining...

Is it me, or does it seem a little strange (I prefer the word,  "eccentric")that my side of the bed my Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, is leaning next to my Russian, WWII Mosin-Nagant, bolt-action, rifle. And my Mosin-Nagant, is leaning against my antique, linen, monogrammed table cover?? My rifle is very handy, as the arrow below points it out. I have shot it before, (at a shooting range) and I offer no apologies for it...except to my neighboring shooting buddies in the next stall, who said that my gun sounds like a cannon. (I also have a very beautiful Ruger Red Lable, 20 gauge, O/U - over/under that my barber got me). My goal is to own a very nice (old) Smith and Wesson and an old, (decorative) Winchester rifle...I love both those makers. But I digress...

To be honest, I never really thought of neighboring weapon, Julia, and linen, until I took this pic. And the funny thing is, I use all three. Julia is second to none, my Mosin's site is dead on (no pun intended) and my linen table cover has seen many a tables over the years.

So whether this side of me endears you, or fears you, (and I wouldn't blame you if it was the latter), I am who I am... :-)

And who am I? Well, for now, I will say that I am someone who is very loved by my barber husband. I must boast that he has made me(from scratch) delicious meals of Boeuf Bourguignon (beef stew in red wine, bacon,  onion and mushrooms), Paupiettes Deboeuf (braised stuffed beef rolls), and a very rich Reine Desaba (chocolate and almond cake).  (And why is it again, that I have a gained a ton of weight...?)

Well, it is time to do more PT...which I hate and is very painful. But everything is going pretty well and I see the surgeon again on the 14th. I will be up and around before long.

Until then, I will keep resting, nesting, and testing myself with lots of therapy. 

I appreciate and am so grateful to all those who have sent me beautiful cards, stopped by to visit, or sent me some of the most wonderful hand-made gifts that brought tears to my eyes. (The good kind of tears, which I welcome any day!) To all my readers, know that I am thinking of you and thank you for just stopping by for a visit.

Miss you all.
from my side of the bed to yours...


Feb 13, 2014

Snow, Snow, Snow!

Just a note to let you know

that in spite of all the snow,

my heart warms up with a glow,

when thinking how I miss you so. 

My computers are up and running finally! However, I'm not at the moment.
When I'm running again, I will be sure to slow down long enough to visit with you again. Until then, may you have a very heart-warming Valentines!

(And no worries, all is well.)

(And I never claimed to be a poet!)

from my house to your house,


P.S. If you commented on any post not long ago and don't see it, I did read it, but for some reason, Blogger is not publishing them. Hopefully this will get fixed, but thank you, dear readers, for the lovely comments. I do read them all and feel special that you took time to stop by.

Jan 5, 2014

Snowing Outside, Shining Inside

Greetings from the North Pole!


I can't tell you how much I have been wanting to "visit" with you for over a month now! I missed you and long story entire computer system (two of them) are being completely revamped, backed up, updated, and completely wireless and getting all upgraded systems. What should have taken only two days is now going on over a month! I won't bore you with this, but at the moment, my laptop is on "pause" which means I can post something quickly and get it back to whatever the tech guy needs to do. I am a little frustrated, as I had wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I sincerely hope the holiday season has been good to you all.

While it may look like the North Pole, I'm only in the Midwest under a blanket of snow as I type this out quickly. I can only post Iphone images for now, as my computer...well, never mind, that, too, is frustrating...aacck!...time to maybe get an Ipad?

But I digress; I snapped the above picture with my Iphone right before I began this post. My little holiday lanterns that I love are getting a little coating of snow, it seems.

And out my back window, I snapped this, as you can see the snow falling better. I will admit, it has been a very cozy day over here. A big pot of split pea and ham soup simmering, and candles lit.

I usually begin the first of the year, reflecting on the past year, or dreaming about the new year in front of me. But this year, I would like to share with you an article that I clipped out of the newspaper, I think, about 15 years ago! I came across it again recently, and how this article really resinates with me at this time in my life. I thought you might enjoy it as well. 

The article is written by Catherine Galasso-Vigorito:

Enthusiasm Kindles Confidence, Energy

Best-selling author Napoleon Hill wrote, “Enthusiasm, if fueled by inspiration and perseverance, travels with passion, and its destination is excellence.”

A powerful transformation takes place when we are around sincerely enthusiastic people. They motivate us into action, encourage advancement and create the energy we need to ponder innovative ideas, to believe, and the sustaining power needed to achieve.  And their ambitious, optimistic approach is positively infectious.  Enthusiastic people find each day an adventure and lend enchantment to the ordinary.

It’s been said that one of the best gifts we can give our children is enthusiasm.

I was impressed with a story I read about wildlife artist John James Audubon (1785-1851). One of the greatest naturalists that America ever has produced; Audubon’s story is one of triumph over adversity. A lover and observer of birds and nature, he was a person of legendary strength and endurance, and he also had a deep appreciation and concern for conservation.

Audubon would vanish into the wilderness for months, and when he would return, he would have numerous, precious drawings of birds.  Once, after months of being away, he opened his trunk where he had stored his cherished drawings, and found that the rats had gnawed at them, destroying his works of art.

Audubon professed to a friend, “They have destroyed my drawing, but not my enthusiasm.” Thereafter, Audubon produced some of his greatest watercolors.

It’s enthusiasm that accomplishes. Moreover, enthusiasm is much more than just a zest for work; it is for all of life and living. Enthusiasm is priceless possession to cherish, for life’s challenges cannot break a person whose spirit is warmed by the sun of enthusiasm. It releases the power to lift us above our obstacles and adds significance to all we do.

Winston Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.”

And HarryS. Truman, our 33rd president, said, “I studied the lives of great men and famous women, and I found that the men and women who got to the top were those who did the jobs they had in hand, with everything they had of energy and enthusiasm.”

Remarkable accomplishments have resulted from the communication of ideas and enthusiasm, for all achievements have their beginning in an idea, and enthusiasm is the sustaining power of great thoughts.

Genuine enthusiasm is contagious, and so is the lack of it. We must tune out the pessimist, not letting cynics drag us down. Having an enthusiastic mindset means being continuously on guard against negative forces.

Success and creativity grow and flow only in the a positive, upbeat environment. We are the ones who create that atmosphere, and we must build a strong hold of defense around it. Nothing determines who we will become so much as those things we choose to overlook. 

Aways search for the good. 

If someone says or does something hurtful, it says something about the other person, not about you. Some like it when you are down. It makes them feel superior. Toxic individuals are like quicksand and can torpedo any enthusiasm.

Have cheerful, honest friends near, those who are heartening and helpful. Keep your mind on the good things of God and off of the things you do not want. By cleaning out the dark corner of your mind, creativity immediately will fill it. 

Reader Tammy DiCarlo wrote, “After 27 years as a registered nurse, I have recently changed careers and opened up a yarn specialty shop. Yarn artistry is very nurturing and therapeutic. I feel like I left one career of nurturing the body to a career in nurturing the soul. When I give my customers a welcoming and enthusiastic greeting, their response is, ‘We welcome you!’”

Those who are excited with enthusiasm and allow it to take hold and govern their thoughts find that new worlds open for them. As long as enthusiasm is there, so will newfound possibilities. 

Cherish your visions and your dreams. And through persistence and prayer, let’s follow our hearts, proceeding enthusiastically with our plans and joyfully living our lives, giving our all.

Hello, it's me again. Isn't that a great article? And it is so meaningful at this time of my frustration with my dang computers and not being able to do what I want to do (for a very long time now). But, I will say, I am very excited and very enthusiastic that once all is completed, I will finally be able to produce like I've been wanting to for a very long time now. Like Churchill said, "...It is the courage to continue that counts."

What about you?

Could 2014 be the year that you reenergize your enthusiasm for that special dream you had at one time? You know the one I am talking about...that goal, wish, or dream that still nags you in the back of your very busy mind; the one that you will "get to" one day, just not today? 

Your goal may be something simple like finally cleaning out the closet and getting rid of all those clothes you no longer wear. Or maybe,your dream is to have a huge garden next spring. Or perhaps, maybe your goal is something like finally learning how to make homemade bread. Whatever the goal, dream, or hope may be that is still nagging in the back of your mind...take comfort.

That little "nagging" is often mistaken as drudgery, regret, guilt, or just plain work. But it is really...a little voice tapping you back into enthusiasm to get started! And that is why I love my readers so much...your blogs that I visit, the emails I receive, so often, rev me up and keep me going to do/get/create that special "nagging" goal. 

We all need each other, and I am so grateful to have you all in my life. You'd be surprised how a simple comment, or a post that I may read on your blogs, kick-start me back into action. 

Well, it seems that my little holiday lanterns are starting to look like snow cones. I went out and snapped another image to see how much snow has fallen in just a very short time. My steps are losing their ability to call themselves "steps," but rather they are quickly turning into a slide!

These little lanterns still have their little flame inside...but the snow drifts are covering up the light. I can either wait for the snow to melt to enjoy the lanterns' light...or, I can go out and brush off the snow around them so not only to enjoy their light, but to remind me that it I am the one "who creates my atmosphere" and I have the ability to let my surroundings shine, if I so choose.

And that is the beauty...we all have the ability to choose when or how we will shine. I take in your brightness every time I "visit" with you, your blog, or read a comment, and for that, please know I am so very grateful for you make my life much brighter.

May 2014 be the year that is brighter and more hopeful than ever before for you and your family.

from my house to your house,

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