29 June 2014


Ya'll come right on in!

In case you are wondering where I have been, I haven't floated off the planet in a morphine cloud, at least not yet.  Three weeks tomorrow I had my right knee replaced, and according to the doctor, his PA and my therapist, I am doing phenomenally well.  

By two weeks, I was no longer using a cane, having ditched the walker by Friday or Saturday after the surgery on Monday.  They threw me out of the hospital in two days, and I was very glad to be home.  You cannot get any rest in a hospital. (Like when they wake you up in the middle of the night to give you some vitamins!  The nurse said, "If you want to sleep you need to go home.")  

Sweet Husband has taken good care of me, and now I can do some light cooking and household chores.  I do get tired very easily, and a simple thing like changing the sheets calls for a rest period.  Mostly I have read a lot, napped a lot, and tried to fiddle with this blog some, still adding friends to the blog list.  I finally figured out how to get books on my iPad, and that has become a new addiction, catching up with the newest whodunits.  

After the first week or so, I was not having any really terrible pain.  Not until the staples were removed last Tuesday, that is.  All of a sudden, that area of the incision which had been kind of numb, suddenly became very painful, and still is.  I have a lot of drug allergies and sensitivities, so I have not been able to take a lot of heavy-duty narcotics.  We finally hit on a drug combo which seems to take the edge off, but does not make me pain free.  The ice-pack and exercise are my best friends.  

My therapist is German, and he is a great motivator.  He comes to me three times a week, since I am not supposed to drive yet. My doctor says that when it is the right leg, your reflexes are affected, and he prefers that you don't for a while.  Sweet Husband has been driving me around most of the time for the last couple of months anyway, because that knee was so sore.

This week I hope to get to a couple of small projects I have lined up out in the studio.  I haven't posted over the last week because I just haven't had anything very interesting to share.  It seems that I run out of energy before I get to the fun stuff in the afternoons.

A lot of you have asked about the new knee, so it is easier to post  an update here than to write a lot of individual emails.

For more info about the total knee procedure and the prosthesis itself, if you are interested and this might be in your future, go here.

These pretty images you have been looking at while skimming through this tale of woe are from an album I have assembled over time of pink things I just happened to like.  I have no idea where they came from or who they belong to.  If any of them are yours, let me know, and I will attribute.


21 June 2014


I think I need to find an outdoor pillow or plant or both
something colorful (of course).

Getting ready to paint

You know that old saying about idle hands being the devil's workshop.  I like to keep Sweet Husband busy because he is a very hyper person, and he needs to be active.  When he is left to his own devices, sometimes I get a rude shock at some of his undertakings!

All the iron furnishings outside need some paint, so the other day, I got him started on some of the pieces.  There is still a long way to go, but some of this is out front and desperately needed a bath and a touchup for decency's sake.

Normally, I would have done all this myself when he was still working outside the home, but right now, I can't manage it.  All I can do is "direct."  I sent him off to kill a couple of wasp nests under the eaves of the back porch, and now I have him pulling out some of the lemon balm overgrowth.  That stuff is taking over the entire front garden!

See those "wildflowers" in the foreground?
A few years ago, we planted one of the no-man's land areas in back with a huge bag of seed.
A lot of them came back the next year, and the next.
Then they started popping up here and there in the front gardens and other odd spots
where we pulled them up after they produced a flower.
This year, a few more have turned up in front.
They are certainly persistent!

The real mailbox at the street, the decorative old mailbox (estate sale) on the porch, the little (estate sale) iron porch chair, the base of the old wine table from Pier 1 and a medallion for an outside wall all got a good cleaning and a fresh coat of  spray paint. I forgot the plant holder for the big pot of basil, but I told him he could add it to his list of "to-dos" for today.

Everything looks a whole lot better.  Now if the weather holds up, I need to get him going on some of the other iron furniture under the pergola.  You know what they say about idle hands ...  it also applies to mine.  When my hands are idle, my brain goes into overdrive.

Linking up to Roeshel for That DIY Party at DIY Showoff and to Susan for Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch.

19 June 2014


To whom it may concern at Blogger/Google:

Like a lot of hobbyist bloggers, I enjoy using your blog platform.  I am aware that it is free -- so I thank you for that.

A few weeks ago, I began to notice problems again.  We have been through some ups and downs, this marriage between me and Blogger, and it seems that we have hit a rough patch again.  

Spammers are hitting my blog right and left.  I report them.  Sometimes they stop, but they are then supplanted by another.  I can't help but notice that they come from Eastern Bloc countries usually, and they correlate with an uptick in crazy emails.

I am having a lot of trouble opening my blog or other Blogger blogs.  I am having trouble saving posts and updates to my blog when in draft mode, and I get this message sometimes bX-116pln (I also usually get an error message all the time at the top of the page in a pink band.)  I have been trying to do a little rearranging and updating on the format, and that is excruciatingly slow, too.  

I have been hearing these complaints all across the spectrum of bloggers.  Is there some sort of viral epidemic we need to know about?  

Please fix it -- we who blog enjoy the interaction with others, and it has become very frustrating. 

Very truly yours,

18 June 2014


I am getting PT here at home three times a week.  When you get the right knee done, you can't drive for a while because of the concern about your reflexes.  I don't mind, because it is such an effort to "get it together" that it is much nicer to be able to rest right after (as in "nap") the therapy.

Thank you to everyone who has sent sweet messages and well-wishes.

17 June 2014


The sweet neighbors who moved in next door last year brought me these Stargazer Lilies with a bag of homemade chocolate chip cookies.

They are making the whole house smell divine.

The flowers from the Fairhope bloggers are in full throttle -- just gorgeous!

People have been so nice!  It restores my faith in humanity.

14 June 2014


Not long ago, one of my favorite bloggers, the so-creative Jenna from The Painted Apron, invited me to attend a meeting in Fairhope, AL of The Southern Bloggers Jubilee, a group that includes Kim of Cozinest and LeslieAnne of Fairhope Supply. I wrote about them all here.

I had a wonderful time meeting all these great bloggers, and I can't tell you how much I wish I could live there in Fairhope and meet with this group all the time.  Maybe someday.

 Yesterday in the late afternoon, the therapist showed up for her initial intake consultation with me. I was already exhausted, and had just fallen into a deep nap, when I had to wake up and answer a lot of annoying questions.  Then she messed with my knee and today I just about can't walk!  (I was walking great, not even using the walker half the time.)  They say this is necessary for a good recovery...  
 Never mind...  When she was almost done torturing me, the doorbell rang, and there stood the UPS man with a huge box.  Inside was this gorgeous bouquet and a pretty blue mason jar to put it in.  I can't tell you how long I have wanted a blue jar!  I hear you can get new ones, but I can't ever find any.  (I am too cheap to buy the old ones.)

Sweet Husband put them in the jar with the flower food while I finished up with the therapist.   I can't tell you how thrilled I was that this nice group of women remembered me in this way!  The therapist was impressed, too, and told me I had some really nice friends.  

Yes, I do.  Thank you, each and every one, especially Jenna, who was the doer of the deed.

13 June 2014


In life, sometimes you get thrown a curve ball.  Sometimes it is sudden, and sometimes it is insidious, over time.

Remember this Waverley fabric?  I still like it although it is probably a 20-year old design, and it works in here for a nice little change of pace.  I have had it stored away a long, long time, and I decided to use it for a while.

We switched out the kitchen chairs because, although the others I redid were very comfy and I love them, I was having difficulty getting up because they are so low.  These sit higher, and they don't take up quite as much room in this very cozy little space -- our kitchen lounge/breakfast area.

This week I finally had to have a knee replacement.  A long time coming, a lot of stalling and hoping for a miracle cure for arthritis has kept me hobbling around in ever-growing pain for far too long.  My cousin had told me, "You will know it is time when you are ready to scream, 'I just want my life back!'"

I had to steal the two chairs which belong here for another spot --
so these oldies are placeholders for now.

The tipping point finally arrived, and now it is done.  Or the right knee is anyway.

Clear traffic areas are a must!

Using a walker (gasp!  isn't that for OLD folks?) or a cane (which I have already been doing for a year and a half) for a while after the surgery is the norm. There have been many advances in TKE's (total knee replacements) since I babysat my own mother through three of these operations.  The prosthetics are lighter-weight now, of titanium, and they are made to last much longer.  One of my mother's had to be re-done after eleven years.  The new ones are supposed to last twenty to thirty years.  
Sweet Husband raised my old BR TV up by using what is supposed to be a shoe storage shelf, found in the closet organization department at Lowe's.  Since I will probably be resting a good bit at least the first couple of weeks home, this improvement makes it easier to see and hit the target with the clicker.
As you can see, I did not yet get this piece painted.  It is on the to-do list as soon as I can get back to my normal activities.


Osteoarthritis is a wear and tear of the joints disease.  One cause is heredity, and that is certainly true in my case although years of high-impact aerobics probably did not help.  My doctor said I really drew a bad hand, as the disease is not confined to just my knees.

In the LR, I have covered the sofa with a comfy quilt and a pile of pillows, since this is another lounging spot, good for reading and cooling off -- it is right under the ceiling fan.  (You know, that thing all of you get rid of? -- we need it here in Birmingham in the summer.)


But enough about all that!  Post-surgery, there are several accommodations that have to be made in your house while you are healing so that you don't break your neck.  You certainly do not want to fall!  Unless you are a minimalist, which you all know that I am definitely not, you have to remove any throw rugs, runners or mats.  These things can cause you to trip and fall.  No cords or wires anywhere near a pass-through space, and you must leave plenty of space between all the furnishings to allow a walker.  

I raided the attic for this little chair with arms, and stole the bench from the LR.  

The fuchsia chairs from the LR moved in here, so now there is more room.
Also, they sit higher and they have arms to help me get up.
I am actually kind of liking that punch of rosy color in here with the yellows and greens.

You all know I am very fond of my stuff, so over the last couple of weeks while we have been cleaning up and clearing out, we had to streamline a lot of things.  Sweet Husband took some extra chairs and ottomans plus the aforementioned small rugs to the attic. Different  chairs came into the bedroom, and it is astonishing the difference that made.  I never realized how much space that big bergère and ottoman sucked up! (It went to the den upstairs.  Other things went to the attic for a while.)

Now I just hope the ceiling doesn't fall in on my head from all that extra stuff in the attic!  Once I was watching Gray's Anatomy and the ceiling fell in on a patient while they had him splayed wide open on the operating table.  The good thing was, while they were cleaning up the mess they discovered he had early stage pancreatic cancer, and they cured him right on the spot!  But I digress...

Everything doesn't exactly go where I think it should or where it was designed to be, but first it has to work to keep me safe, then it can look pretty.  Remember that first rule of design:  Form follows function!    

I am linking to the Six Lovely Ladies via The Seasoned Homemaker for their big Wednesday party today!

11 June 2014


You have seen the original version of this post earlier, but I added some more photos because
I am reposting it for WHERE BLOGGERS CREATE,
the annual party at My Desert Cottage which showcases the creative spaces of bloggers.

Have you ever seen that soft book or magazine -- I am not sure what to call it -- called WHERE WOMEN CREATE?  I have bought a couple but not many because they are very pricey.  I usually look through them when I get a little time to myself at B & N.  I am always amused at how neat and tidy and well put-together the featured ones' workspaces are.  I wonder:  are they really?  Probably this scenario is just for the photoshoot.  Creatives are not usually that concerned with neatness when they are on a roll. Trust me.

The hangout spot

I used to try to do all my artsy foolishness (except for power-tooling) in the upstairs room I called The Atelier (French for a studio or workroom), but then I made a big swap and turned that largest bedroom into a guest room and the smaller former guest room into my husband's dressing room with a daybed for an overflow guest. I still keep my sewing in the guest room because it is a better place for that.

That tool box does not hold a massive amount of vitamins and fiber laxatives contrary to appearances!
Sweet Husband uses the old bottles to sort odd screws and nails.
We all have our little quirks.

I helpfully suggested that he should perhaps label them...

I seriously doubt a magazine would ever want to feature my garage studio, but I thought you might find it entertaining to see my 'playroom' where I do my creative thing(s) -- LOL! 

You can mix in a little pretty in a garage studio -- it's OK.

A new "masterpiece" awaits!

I am still hopeful!
(for a place near a beach)

We use the heavy industrial racks to store what would normally go into a basement or butler's pantry or mudroom -- if we had any of those things.  Downsizing is not without it's conundrums, like, "Where do you put the detritus of everyday life?  Where do you go to 'play' or do projects? Where do you keep the extra old 2nd fridge and the paint and cleaners, etc.?"  

We moved the little wine fridge out here.
Woefully empty right now.
The pre-surgery instructions (for knee replacement) order you to lay off for a bit before and after.

And funny thing -- I have sort of lost my taste for a lot of the wines I used to like.  Maybe the enforced break was a good palate cleanser!

We have all but one of our seven racks lined up in two rows, with another t-boned at one end to make some separation in the space.  One more is over between the windows, and it holds a lot of seasonal tabletop, vases and bowls, etc. I may decide to drape this shelf, too, one day.

Craft supplies stored on my mother's old baker's rack.

Recently we draped the back sides of the long row near the middle with three new drop cloths (our old ones were way too grungy).  I was inspired by this photo -- 
Sotheby's show house

which is, of course, in a much fancier setting.  It was a show house somewhere, NY I suppose.

...but drop cloths do the trick, cut down on the visual clutter from the other side somewhat.

So the area I have for (mostly) mine is now more defined.  I have my little old wicker porch set painted aqua and topped off with some bright cushions I found at HG last year.  We made a screen from three extraneous doors which hide some of the necessaries, and on the back side there is rack for hanging mops, brooms, dusters and the like.  My mother's old cedar chest is behind the settee, and my father's old black trunk from his student days is under the other window.

We are only going to look at my part of the garage today, now known as The Studio, because who wants to see an old refrigerator and overflowing storage shelves?

The yellow wicker desk and the green wicker chest were found at estate sales when we thought we were going to buy a beach condo or cottage.  (They weren't yellow and green when we found them.  Just filthy.)

The little tech line student desk is now used for craft projects.  I covered the top with cork, which could be removed to return it to its normal state.   Years ago I added wheels.  

I have my easel and drawing table out here, too, as well as that old dining table that I recently painted red.  I still have hopes of one day finding an apartment as a part-time home away from home somewhere near the coast, so to that end, I keep it covered up to protect it.  (You know very well I already have the whole place decorated in my head.  I have grand plans to start doing a series of little renderings depicting the way it will look.)  Recently I replaced our king-size mattress cover, and I used the old one to pad the table and covered it with a drop cloth and old towels.

The brackets were from the last estate sale -- more on those later!  (You can now view the post of the re-do at Upcycled Estate Sale Brackets.)
(uh-huh, I found a sale on shells at PB)

The space also has the tool chest and the saw table and the old baker's rack where I keep a lot of my craft bits and pieces.
The bags on the chair are waiting for a charity pick-up --
we had a royal closet cleaning.  This really is an all-purpose space...
There is a built-in section of unfinished cabinetry (and I do use the term "built-in" loosely) which we plan to paint whenever we get around to it.  It contains mostly dishes.  (Are you surprised?)

My husband moved my stereo out here for me, and now I can listen to my favorites full-blast while I play artiste.        
stereo atop the paint cabinet

Hope you enjoyed my little peek behind the scenes -- want to show me yours?  I would love to see.  Better yet, go share it at My Desert Cottage's party!

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