Six On Saturday: Share The Link Love

Courtney at French Country Cottage was in Home Goods and found this lovely container. You won't guess what it is. A bathroom trash can!

Kristy at Starfish Cottage covered these pretty cans in pink and blue in a nautical theme.

Dana at House Tweaking shared her tips on food photography.

Barbara at 21 Rosemary Lane is rushing spring along with some decorating in her foyer. 

Design Dreams By Anne upcycled an IKEA piece from a wardrobe to an adorable vintage linen cupboard.

Lisa at Fern Creek Cottage  did some painting, and then designed this sweet vignette in her kitchen for a project challenge. The idea was to spend $5 or less. And I'd say she knocked it out of the park!

Share the link love.

Just Plain Cold

As I've mentioned, I've been working in the kitchen doing an oil cloth project. I'm not going to say what it is, because I'm not sure it's going to work. 

However, yesterday afternoon, I felt I was sufficiently rested to give it a go again. This time I wore the tight stocking, but not the boot. And I had far less pain than with the boot.

All I can figure is that there is just something wrong with that boot when it comes to fitting my foot. I don't know much about these things. I don't know how they come to figure out what angle is off, etc. 

And furthermore, my back wasn't in near as much pain last night, and I slept better.

So then this morning I needed to run to the new CVS that just opened about three blocks from here. I didn't wear the brace or the boot. Now it was just a short jaunt over there and back going through the drive-thru. But no pain as I drove. 

Little Andrew had tubes put into his ears early this morning. I offered to go with my daughter, but her husband was going to be there with her. Apparently it doesn't take long. 

They told them that he had a double ear infection. Poor little guy. I wonder what causes all these ear infections? Anyway, my daughter told me he is home sleeping. So all is well. 

We're due for more winter storms, I heard. So I'm in for the weekend. Not taking any chances on falling. 

Oh, spring, please wave at us from a distance and say that you're on your way!

Any plans this weekend?

Pupsters, Braces & Books

Cold out today, per usual. I have my little black stove purring along. Don't know what I'd have done without them in this apartment. 

Abi and Charlie are still not perking along very well. As you can see, they both need to get a fur cut, but I hesitate in this cold. Plus, it's hard for me to drive across town, park in the back lot, which is the only place to park, and then walk with them up to the front which is bordering a busy street.

They are at least accustomed to this woman. And I don't want to add any additional stress to them right now, like changing groomers.

My vet has mentioned that trachea collapse could be a possibility here. It is more common in Yorkies. Vets have mentioned it before, and I just cross my fingers that that isn't it. 

They honk like a goose. And exercise, excitement, variations in temperature and stress seems to make the coughing worse.

Yesterday I was standing working on a oil cloth project in my kitchen. I was wearing the brace with a sneaker over it. I'm just not sure this brace is going to do the job. I am in pain much of the time I am wearing it. 

In the photo below, I have pointed to the place along the bone where the pain is today. It was pretty severe until I got my cereal and coffee, and got in bed and elevated my foot. 

I guess the next step would be to get shoes fitted. But what if the brace just isn't going to do the job, and I've purchased expensive shoes? Which will probably have to be in a size bigger.

When I went back to the place where they fitted me for the brace several weeks ago, he put some pads in the toe portion of my shoe. 

But the fact is, I am in more pain now than I was several months ago. 

I walked down to the office yesterday to pay my rent. It would be about a block or so, I guess. But I could see I wasn't sure I could make it back.

Luckily my neighbor Charlie walked in to pay his rent. And though he was headed out to run errands, I asked him if he'd drive me back. And he did. He is a wonderful neighbor.

Today the pain is running from the top arrow about halfway to my knee. But I couldn't distance myself with the camera enough to get a photo that went that high. 

I am just frustrated. I think I could handle not going out much, because I never really did. But I am having a hard time handling the fact that my place isn't as clean as I'd like, because I simply can't do it. 

And I really miss being able to start projects and not be able to finish them as readily as I used to. I hate waiting a few days in between working on them in order to let the pain lessen. I want to finish what I started. 

I am almost finished with "The Forgetting Place"by John Burley. This too is a race-through-the-pages thriller. 

The back drop is a state psychiatric hospital where much of what is going on is corrupt. A patient is spirited away. A patient that came in with no paperwork and no med sheet.

The young female psychiatrist who was treating him kept asking where his paperwork was, and was told each time that it was just taking awhile to get there. 

She knows this is against policy. She knows it's dangerous to treat a patient that she knows relatively little about. 

Then she discovers what they are covering up, that the patient doesn't even belong there, and now she is in danger as well. 

I will give the full review when I'm finished. The author himself is a doctor, though not a psychiatrist. 

On the back cover, it says that "author John Burley, a master of medical and psychological detail - showcases the many ways in which the dangers of the outside world pale in comparison to the horrors of the human mind." 

I found this quite apt. And eerily true.

Java Talk: Planning Our Gardens

This is about the time of year when I'm so sick of cold and snow that my mind dives forward to planning my spring and summer gardens. 

Of course mine will be container gardens. I'm thinking of constructing a small, maybe 4 x 4 feet (perhaps a foot tall) wooden box for veggies. Don't know if that will get done or not.

Right now it's a mess out there on the patio. Piles of leaves underneath snow, which hopefully will melt soon. I will have my work cut out for me.

So what do I for sure want to plant this year?

Herbs are always on my list. Many also keep insects at bay. Of course I'm anxious to see what will come up that I planted last summer. The herbs and perennials.

More vines. Hoping some of them will make it through winter.

Annuals for quick color. 

And probably more ornamental grasses. I'd love to find muhly grass.

So what's on your list?

Book Review: The Long And Faraway Gone (& Why It Hit Close To Home)

I just finished reading "The Long And Faraway Gone" by Lou Berney to review for William Morrow/Harper Collins.

This was a book that, when I found it in a sealed box on my doorstep, I did not remember ordering. When I opened it and looked at the back cover, chills went down my spine.

This book is, from what I can tell, loosely based on the kidnapping at the Oklahoma State Fair in 1981. It was never solved, and the two 13 year old girls were never found. 

However this book's fictional victim is a 17 year old girl. 

Also, the writer brings in a story about a mass shooting at night of the young employees at a movie theater. I believe this may be based upon, or has a correlation to, the Sirloin Stockade murders in the summer of 1978. 

Part of this crime spree began in Purcell, Oklahoma, where a couple and their son were on their way to the husband's mother's funeral. They stopped to help a woman who seemed to be having car trouble. 

It was a set up. They were all murdered by a man, his wife (the woman in the car) and his brother. The Sirloin Stockade murders would come a little later. 

This book takes a circuitous route weaving the stories together, but not relating them to one another. I found it very compelling. But there is another reason why. 

When I stood on my porch, after returning from running errands, and found that box with the book on my porch several weeks ago, the reason it hit me hard is because I investigated and wrote about the abduction of the two girls from the Oklahoma state fair. 

A Wyoming truck driver, Royal Russell Long, was charged and brought to trial in Oklahoma City in 1985. He was then serving time in prison for the kidnapping of two girls there. One managed to get away and testified against him. The other girl has never been found.

Long had a history of sexual violence toward young girls. 

He was not convicted of the OKC fair kidnapping case, even though there was fairly strong evidence. 

There is a case from the seventies in which he also is a suspect in the disappearance of two girls. 

Several years later, and after I had written my long feature about the girls, I wrote Long in prison. Thus began a correspondence that lasted for some time. I of course wanted information; closure for the family I met. I just couldn't stop thinking about it.

He promised to give me information if I'd meet with him in person. I was set to do that. But at the last minute, authorities shut it down. I was told the FBI was following the correspondence, and I suppose wanted it to continue.

Sadly, the cases have never been solved. 

But I will never forget seeing the pain of uncertainty up close and personal. What a family looks like and sounds like that has a loved one that never came home. And never finds out why.

And I will never forget corresponding with a killer. He has since died. So the answers, if there are any, died with him.

Nor will I ever forget a phone call I received on a Saturday night in 1987 during the time of that correspondence, purportedly from a man in NY. He warned me to leave it all alone and step away. He insinuated that this was part of a much bigger crime ring of girls being kidnapped.

I was alone that evening when that very strange conversation came about. I never found out who he was or how he fit into the picture, if at all. 

Yes, I have woven my own story into that of my review of Lou Berney's book. I don't know how I could not have, given the circumstances. 

I will say that this is a book that you read rapidly because you want to know the answers. But at the same time, you don't want the book to end. Because the writing is tight and very good.

Berney was very clever in his plotting of these two stories, and how he constructed the endings. I will definitely be reading more of his books. 

Berney is a television and screen writer, who now resides in Oklahoma, where he teaches writing at the University of Oklahoma (where I got my journalism degree) and at Oklahoma City University. 

I can only assume the accounts of the two cases prompted him to write this book. Though it is different from the two real cases altogether, you feel that that was his starting point somehow.

Funny how things come back from long ago and strike a chord within you. Bringing back times in your life you've let settle down with dust. And then prompting you to wipe the dust away and look at them again. 

Tweak It Tuesday #130

Last week on Tweak It Tuesday, A Cultivated Nest has gotten her new living room decorated.

Grandparents Plus made this butter pecan angel pie.

Chatfield Court took some gorgeous photos on their vacation.

A Stroll Thru Life repurposes a piece of furniture for a bar cart.

Rose Vignettes shows a knitted cutie.

Ashtree Cottage shows a comfy spot in her home.

Little Brags showed us her entryway.

Buttercup Bliss shows a renovated kitchen.

22 Applegate Lane shows her first project for her quilt group.

Seeking Lavender Lane shows off her fireplace and mantel.

Rowhouse Blog does a tablescape.

Lou Lou Girls made some lime sugar cookie bars.

Wisconsin Magpie shows us her shadow box full of pretties.

Posed Perfection baked some nutty brown sugar brownies.

Okay, let's see what you've tweaked this week.

Start Garden Seeds Early This Way

If you want to start garden seeds early and don't have a greenhouse, this is an excellent way to do it. On the very, very cheap!

It's a little later than this man started his. But if nothing else, I shall remember this for next year. 

I need to go through my Seed Savers Exchange catalog anyway. Because I do not have the indoor gardening lights or enough windows to start seeds inside.  

Check it out!

Tips For Keeping Your Home Fresh & Inviting

Decorating Tips for Your Home

If you own a home, you do not want your investment to go to waste. It is important to keep your home looking as beautiful as possible. This will have several benefits. Not only will it make your home a more enjoyable place to live, it will also increase the value of your property if you should ever decide to sell it at some point in the future. 

A Wonderful Day With My Daughter & Grandson

I had a wonderful day with my youngest daughter yesterday. She and little Andrew came to pick me up and she took me to a belated birthday lunch, as she works during the week. 

Then we went to her house and Andrew ate his lunch. Then I played with him a bit. He doesn't want to be on your lap long. He wants to walk around the perimeter of the seating area by holding onto furniture. 

This is the happiest baby. So good-natured. Just smiles all the time. 

Then K.C. and I went to run a few errands while his daddy put him down for his nap. 

Woke up to more snow piling upon snow. The galvanized gardens were still covered from last weekend. 

I guess I should have gotten a shovel and tried to shovel the big hump of snow that has been just outside the patio door since last week. I don't think they will do things for you here on your patio.

K.C. and I went to Target, where I picked up a few things I had forgotten last time. Sweet potatoes and bananas, a staple around here.

I always have to look at the Clearance stuff, and look at the pillow I found for $5.08. Odd price, but a pretty plush pillow I was happy to buy!

It was nice to have her with me, as I could send her off to find something that was aisles away.

Then we went to my favorite nursery in Tulsa. It has lots of indoor plants and pretty pots. Along with bird houses and feeders, outdoor furniture. Pretty much anything you want. 

This is a place that, on a weekday during the growing season, I love to just walk around and listen to all the chimes tinkling and the water fountains flowing. It is so relaxing and something I look forward to. 

I am teaching my daughter about plants. How they purify the air naturally as well as look pretty. We picked out an airplane plant and a pothos and she picked out pretty blue ceramic pots for them.

I think they will be perfect on her huge kitchen island where there is so much light. And benefit from the humidity that is often found in the kitchen area where cooking is done. 

This is the biggest kitchen island I have ever seen. Probably the size of my entire dining space plus some!

So I had a wonderful day yesterday! It did my heart good.


(Update: Finally my ex called this past week. Apparently his wife had been blocking all communication. I guess she did not realize the ramifications of such an act until I left a message that I was going to try to file a contempt charge.

He is having severe health problems; congestive heart failure. And he needs a defibrillator, but is once again without a job. I think he may be looking at having to retire before too long. He has been putting off getting the defibrillator, and I know that is not good.

Very hard to kick someone when they're down. So am trying to figure out what to do. If he isn't working, there is no money to go after.)

Six On Saturday: Share The Link Love

This week on Gardenista I was smitten with this cactus privacy "fence." I imagine it would keep burglars at bay as well!

Classic Casual Home wrote about styling your coffee table. I have to get back to this one and check it out more.

Rough Luxe Lifestyle joined Classic Casual Home in the styling of coffee tables.

Poor Kim at Exquisitely Unremarkable got hacked over at Wordpress, experienced something of a nightmare (as reflected in her drooping tulip leaves) and is back here with us on Blogger again.

Like me, Kim listened to all the WP hype and jumped into a pool of technical stuff that showed us we were WAY out of our element, and had to learn the hard way. But life is about learning. 

If you like WP and can afford it, great. I sincerely hope you don't get hacked.  

Life & Home At 2102 redid her closet. This reminds me of a place a stylist would use to change out items for home magazine photographers!

Tone On Tone showed his gallery wall display and a chair to complement it. 

Farmhouse 5540 showed off some rustic blue and whites in her pretty farmhouse home.

Back Porch Musings set a beautiful new table in her new home. She can set the most gorgeous tables!

Confessions Of A Plate Addict showed us ways to bring a touch of spring into our winter homes.

Pam from House Of Hawthornes wrote about how life is like photography, and shared that life is not just new lamp shades or thrifted finds. 

Pam, I commend you. Life is certainly not just pretty pictures. And I don't know about you guys, but frankly I get bored fast with blogs that only show those pretty pictures. 

Life is day-to-day reality. 

Sharing your downs as well as your ups builds a special kinship. And as a blogging community, we can help and learn from one another. And also circle the wagons when one of us needs us it.

Share the link love.