My Love Of Kitchens

March 27, 2015

I suppose I just have a real love for kitchens. Not that I like to do a lot of cooking, living alone. But I must love them, for I have over 3300 of them pinned on Pinterest!

I love the turquoise back splash in the above kitchen.

The array of colors in this one makes me smile.


An eat-in kitchen. My favorite kind.


A kitchen that dazzles with bold paint and retro curtains.


A kitchen that looks lived in and loved.


A kitchen that reminds me of an old-fashioned diner.


A kitchen with pretty painted cabinet-fronts and cottage cute.


A pastel kitchen that reminds me of various flavors of sherbet.


A kitchen that looks like it's part of a gingerbread house.


Another eat-in kitchen. With everything right at hand.

Which is your favorite? Which one would you love to wake up to and make coffee or tea in and sit down with a crossword puzzle?

The Dangers Of Wood Smoke To Your Family

You have a romantic evening planned. The wine is chilling. The food is cooking. The table is set before a lovely fire in the fireplace, where the light will be dim and you will toast one another over a wonderful meal. 

What is wrong with this picture? Up until recently, I would have said nothing. But then a reader of mine started educating me on the dangers of wood smoke. 

In her words:

"Wood smoke pollution contains many of the same toxic chemical compounds as those found in tobacco-smoke. 

Wood smoke is associated with Cardiac disease, Cardio pulmonary, SIDS, STROKE, Asthma, Cancer, COPD, Autism, Learning Disabilities, and many other wood smoke associated illnesses.  

Those most vulnerable are the very young, the fragile elderly, those with pre-existing health conditions, those with compromised immune systems, and the unborn child.  

When we can't breathe, nothing else matters. We all share the community air and there is an urgent necessity for each community to take positive pro-active action to ban/end/prohibit all urban residential and recreational wood burning.

Devices such as wood burning stoves, wood burning fire places, OWBs (outdoor wood boilers) fire pits, backyard bonfires, beach burns and any device that burns wood as a fuel source either for home heating or for recreational use.  

There is no safe level of smoke to breathe. Seventy percent of wood smoke enters into other homes in an area, making it possible for you and your family to be breathing deadly toxic chemicals that seep into every minuscule crevice of your home. You cannot keep wood smoke out of your home.

After a decade of being made ill from a wood burning neighbor, our lives changed dramatically once the wood burner left the area. This happened due to years of hard work, pressure applied, and help from community officials.  

We lived what many call a nightmare of days and nights being smothered in endless hours of toxic wood smoke pollution. We did not move in beside a wood burner, but when the home next door was sold, a wood burner moved in and life changed drastically.

Nights and days of being smothered in smoke, being made ill and suffering, and not being able to breathe made me decide to become an activist. Helping to raise the profile about this toxic form of community airborne pollution.  

This could happen to you. If your community does not have laws to end/ban/prohibit all recreational and residential wood burning, you could be next.

Stand up for your right to breathe healthy air--air that is wood smoke-free. Contact your city officials if you have a problem, write your state representative, contact every resource possible, and don't stop till someone listens.  

Attend meetings that you arrange with your City Mayor/Board Members, Fire Department and others regarding the urgent need for protection from this toxic source of community pollution.  

Don't stop till someone hears you! Don't stop till someone takes action on your behalf. Become involved, become concerned and become aware of the deadly, negative impact that wood smoke pollution has on your health, your family, and your environment.

We all share the community air and one wood burning device can harm the health of others for miles in a neighborhood.  Remember no one has the right to destroy your health, harm your family or take away your right to breathe.  

If you don't speak up, you could end up like many in communities everywhere, suffering day after day from wood smoke pollution in their neighborhoods.

Please, don't burn wood. Protect the health of your loved ones by taking pro-active action. Become informed today about the health and environmental hazards of breathing wood smoke.

Air Is Precious. Protect It. Don't pollute it with wood smoke.

"Thank you, Brenda, for sharing this very important message with so many of your valued readers who do care about their homes, their families and the air they breathe." 

Linda Baker Beaudin 
Founder, Air Is Precious


Peter Lehmkuhl, general manager of the Sierra Club's Clair Tappaan Lodge, high in the Sierra Nevada, tends to the fireplace

This information, I must admit, is new to me. I've never used fireplaces, and smoke makes my asthma worse. But I did not know it could have this serious an effect. 

Google this topic and learn about this problem. You will find lots of information. Don't take anyone's word for it. Read and find out for yourself. You owe your family this much. 

You wouldn't hand a lit cigarette to your child. So think about the smoke that comes from burning wood in your home fireplace, or your fire pit.

Knowledge is power.

Here are 5 articles I found on this subject to get you started:

The Blacklist: The Longevity Initiative

I've had lots of things on my mind lately, and have not written about The Blacklist, which began last month. But I'm watching, and readers are wanting to know when I'm going to dish. For you who don't watch the show, there will be another post later today. 

James Spader, ever the master of secrets, continues to dazzle. His gestures, the twitches of his eye, his mouth, always says a great deal. He shows his emotions in this way, and it is far more effective than if he'd actually spoken.

The photos he was gazing at toward the end of the show; to me they looked so much like a young Elizabeth. What did you think?
Will we ever get to the bottom of that confusing story? 

On her 31st birthday, what is she pondering? What she thought she'd be doing at this point in her life? Be married? Have children? And that elusive dream had seemed a real possibility with the man she loved and married.

Does she still love Tom? A man she thought she'd come to hate. Can you do away with vestiges of love just because you desire to no longer have them?

Tom Keen is not the mild-mannered school teacher she thought he was. He was raised, we now know, by a man for the purpose of doing his dirty work. 

Does this make us see him in a softer light? He became what he was because of a man who was uncaring, and whose sole objective from day one was to train and use him to do his bidding. A man who, without emotion or remorse, almost killed him last night.

Does the man we know as Tom still love Liz? Is a man raised without love capable of feeling it? 

He went to court last week and said he murdered a man to get her off the hook. But then the law and Red had a hand in that, and he walked free. Another sleight of hand.

Last night's episode was about a rich man seeking immortality. The one thing you cannot buy. Despite the billions you may have amassed. A narcissist's dream.

He hides behind his money and layers of underlings, and doesn't seem to have to account for his terrible acts. Which is to fund unscrupulous experiments upon the most vulnerable of the population. Those who cannot speak for themselves.

Then there is Harold, who you can't help but love, and who has a ticking time bomb in his head. And a "friend" who gives and then takes away, and then gives back a clinical trial that might pause the time bomb and give him more time.

Will he be swayed to protect those he should arrest and hand over to the court system for more time with his wife? 

Could you blame him if he did?

And the doctor, who is seemingly the actual villain. But in this complex episode, is he really? He kills people doing experiments on them. Is it for immortality? The rich man is paying him for just that. But it is a ruse. 

No. He only wants to bring his fiance back from the distant place she permanently resides with a brain injury that cannot be reversed. There because he fell asleep at the wheel one long ago night. And she was the one punished for it.

He finally throws in the towel. He cannot save her. He puts a gun underneath his chin and pulls the trigger. 

For love? For the loss of love, and the mere thought of going through his life without her? For the guilt he feels?

This man named Raymond Reddington wields a lot of power. In some ways he seems sinister. He kills when he has to, or when it serves his purpose. 

But what is it all for? What is the memory he seeks to either hide or replace in Liz? For the person we know as Elizabeth Keen, what is the connection?

A troubled young man, made so by those who should have loved him. Who you thought you knew, but didn't. Who fooled you and hurt you and played you. Is it possible to still love such a man? This is the question I believe the character who is Liz is asking herself. 

Because although he deceived her for such a long time, there must have been moments of true love they can't just erase because they want to. 

Wasn't last night's episode really all about love? Love for life, for a man who will do anything so it will never end? For Harold and his devoted wife. For Liz and Tom Keen, who shared a marriage she thought was real. 

For Raymond Reddingon, whose motives are far from simple. But I believe love is at the bottom of it.

There is an inexplicable sadness in his eyes, and I wonder when and if we'll find out exactly what happened to put it there. 

So many motives directed by love. Or the loss of it. Or for the pain of growing up without it. 

They say people kill for love or money. Maybe sometimes it is for both. 

For the truly sinister, perhaps it is neither.

Urban Jungle Bloggers: Green Easter Styling

March 26, 2015

This is my first time to join the Urban Jungle Bloggers community on their monthly posts of sharing greenery. 

This month's subject matter is spring styling/Easter. So I'm showing the colors and vignettes of spring in my city apartment.

And on my patio, a privacy fence-enclosed area that makes my living space so much larger and more dear to me. 

I have many containers of herbs and plants in my large outdoor space, and spring is telling them to wake up. 

And slowly but surely, they are doing just that. Starting with tulips, which I planted in the fall on top of the summer perennials.

I can hardly take a photo without diva Abi managing to get in the pic. Here she is yawning.

My recently redesigned boho apartment awakens the senses, and the bright colors compliment the plants, I think. 

Happy spring, everyone! Bring some greenery into your home and naturally purify the air you breathe. A touch of living greenery is always an asset to any room.

Storms & A Final Assessment

We had a lot of storms here last night. I've lived through these my whole life, so they don't get me too upset. I know it should. But the idea of going to a shelter where there are other people scares me far more than the storm!

Morning Outing, Body Piercing & Broken Thing-A-Ma-Bobs

March 24, 2015

Seems the weather is about to change. Again. It has been nice and sunny for days. 

So I got up and went to the drive-thru pharmacy, a new CVS they just built a few blocks away, and then to Walmart. I stopped on the way to Walmart at Super Cuts. There is a girl in there who understands that when I say I want it short, I really want it short.

Bathrooms: An Important Aspect Of Our Daily Lives


The Ideal Kick-off To A Perfect Day

Getting out of bed is something most of us have to do every morning, often with a certain degree of difficulty. Whether it is because we haven’t slept enough or because we are enjoying those morning dreams, our bed is just calling us to stay a bit longer under the covers. 

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