Friday, May 4, 2018


Hello my friends.  Its good to be back doing something somewhat normal.  I started editing pictures, then I would get tired.  I'd start a draft, and then my back would ache.  Finally I realized everything would happen in it's own time. 

My surgery went pretty well.  The only glitch was the doctor found a nerve on the left side of my spine that was wrapped around's all gibberish to me.  But I'm all fixed, screws and all.  It was a three day hospital stay.  I was in a ton of pain, but the way things work now you can just go home and be in pain.  I have to have someone with me all the time for the first two weeks.  My doctor and the hospital people were very firm about that.  Thankfully, The Husband's schedule is a little flexible, and Emily and Abby are a huge help.  If I'm alone at any time, I stay in bed.  

So that's the way it's been, a little less in pain every day, doing a few small things like wiping the counter tops, or organizing my jewelry.  Just piddly stuff that doesn't have me bending or twisting.  Surprisingly, some of these little jobs have a big impact.  Sometimes we fly by the seat of our pants, we 'get' the big picture, but sometimes its the small things we overlook and need our attention.

As someone who has been in and out of the hospital many times, mostly for asthma and related things, I know very well what its like to have a brain that is working overtime, and a body that's not keeping up.  Suddenly I'm thinking about that darn linen closet I never cleaned out.  Or the pile of quilts that need a good washing and fragrant dryer sheets before I store them until this winter.  Since a big part of my recovery is getting out of bed, walking, as well as sitting in a chair, I was able to do a "whole lot of everything and not much of anything".  Have you ever heard that?  My mom used to say it a lot.  

My living room was looking half lived in when I got home.  I would stare at Monster Mantel and fantasize about going at it with an axe.  "The meds made me do it!".  If it were just my choice, I would rip all the wood out, and just do a simple tile surround and rough wood shelf.  And on a small scale.  

I love watching Stories on Instagram.  It's hard to explain if you don't have an account, but the person can make a video of anything. I like the ones where it's a blogger sharing their home or DIY project.  One day I'd like to get the hang of this.  Annnnnyway...a blogger/Instagrammer was giving some design tips recently.  She had a little group of objects: two pots with faux greenery, a few old books, and some candlesticks.  Nothing new or recently bought.  The lesson was to learn to use what you had and not go overboard.  Keep it simple and easy.  I was curious as to what she'd do, and it was really cute.  So I took this approach with Monster Mantel.  I couldn't get downstairs to my hoarding room if I tried so I just went around the house and played on a theme of greenery.  I wanted to bring that glorious spring inside.   The mushroom print has hung in my kitchen forever.  I never thought of moving it but I am so darn proud of myself for being fearless/careless (of course you can see I set the bar high!).

This is the side table next to the chair The Husband usually sits in.  It looks pretty with some books and one of the million birds I have.  I love this little bird cage with the candle.  It was getting zero attention high up on a shelf in the living room.  

I feel like someone took my blinders off.  So many times I do a vignette and only move it when the season changes.  I'm feeling really positive about doing more when I'm mobile.

I never gave a lot of thought to the coffee table either.  Even if I had any thoughts, my ideas were slashed as  my little vignettes took up valuable real estate for those who had a plate of food, a snack. and a drink.  Anything over six inches high had to be moved as it blocked the TV when one was reclining.  Today I did a walk-thru of the house and found this beloved tray hiding in the guest room and just a few random pieces, and made an arrangement that can be moved around without a lot of effort to put back the way I like.  

My family has always teased me about my clutter, especially in the kitchen.  It really is the hub of the house.  I think of all the appliance I have on the counters.  The the mail and magazines that arrive in abundance everyday and multiply day by day if I don't have time to sort through it.  It's a dumping ground for books, papers, tote bags, baby toys, and everything under the sun that you plan to put in its proper place but keep putting off.  

I am really lucky that I have an expanse of counter space.  Today I worked slowly and carefully in taking away anything that did not encompass cooking or food storage.  The empty spaces took a while to get used to.  Ignore all that stuff on the island...I try to leave fruit out so The Husband doesn't miss it. 

It's a good feeling to have things in order, simplified.  My pain comes and goes, so I try to use the good hours to do something positive.  I have some five pound weights and I've been using them everyday for my arms.  I won't start physical therapy for a few weeks as I'm still healing.  One day at a time. 

I'd love to go to the lake but I've been trying to figure how Milo will be managed.  He is losing his balance and sliding on the wood floors.  Sometimes he's sprawled out like a turtle and we have to help him get up.  At the lake we have stairs and  he was really slipping and sliding when we were last there in January.  In the Orvis catalog I found stair treads with rubber backing, like you'd have in your bathroom.  This sounds perfect.  He's almost completely deaf, so if he wanders, he doesn't hear me call and I'm in no shape to chase after him.  Time will tell.  I realize that time here, in the backyard playing catch and enjoying the sun and fresh air is good enough for him.  I think as I approach the end with him, maybe I'm hanging on to the past when he was a playful little guy, running on the beach, then running upstairs exhausted from a full day outside, collapsing in his dog bed.  I'll figure it out.

Before I close, I want to thank everyone who sent well wishes and kept me in their prayers.  You are the best and I appreciate all of you.

Jane  x