Books On My Night Stand


I just got back from seeing Andrew. Almost 3, Andrew doesn't sit or stand still more than a few seconds. He wants to be outside and he wants to run.

Shattering Glass Ceilings


Yesterday I decided to close my Verizon cell phone account. 

Lunch, Books, Plans & Pupsters


It is sunny and bright today. A beautiful landscape of sky and clouds. I think I hear a mockingbird squawking outside.

A Little Kitchen Project Finished


I wanted to show you a project I just finished. I never quite knew what to do with this cow I found at the antique mall some time ago. 

What I Did On Christmas Day


How I Spent Christmas...

I cooked a pork tenderloin, scalloped potatoes and green beans. It was delicious and there were leftovers, which I love. 

Dining Room Update


Well, I'm done painting for awhile. I hope!

Merry Christmas, Readers!


I'm taking a few days off to relax. But I wanted to tell you all Merry Christmas! And thanks for being Cozy Little House readers.

I'll be back in a few days with the dining room. No more brown walls on the lower half! Yay!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend spending it however you please.


Book Review: Luckiest Girl Alive


This book is about a young woman with a difficult past. Every aspect of her life seems to revolve around the trauma when she was betrayed by her teenage friends.

Purging More Than Things


Last night I laid awake in the dark thinking about some things. 

The Crazy Christmas Train


It's been some years since I got off what I refer to as "the crazy Christmas train."

The Painting Continues & Another Book Begun


Believe it or not, in this frigid weather I'm painting with the ceiling fan on. 

Snow & A Book Review

  

To my surprise it started snowing yesterday afternoon. Not a thick snow like so many of you northward get. But snow nevertheless.

Regret Is Meaningless


Yesterday I went through things in the kitchen and in one bedroom closet, and gave quite a few things to the complex manager. 

Decorating Trends & My Opinion


It is what you might call a bitterly cold day. It really seems strange to me that we almost literally went from it being hot to it being cold. And no in between. 

Cozy Minimalism?



It's funny how our preferred style of decorating changes over time. 

What will not change is my happiness over the sight of a stack of unread books

Movers & Breakers


Boy, is it cold out there! It is overcast. Not a ray of sun in sight. 

Home For Christmas Link-Up Party

 

Bloggers, now is the time to link up your holiday posts! This link up will be open for a couple of weeks, so everyone should have time to get their decorating, etc., done. Have fun!






Strategizing My Space


I know most still have Christmas on the brain. But as usual, my mind has skipped ahead to the new year, and what I want to get accomplished in my apartment. 

First, I want to really make my space more streamlined and less cluttered everywhere. 

I am looking at every nook and cranny to see where I might better revise, create optimum storage space, and get things better organized. 

My Dining Area...

As I sit here in my chair with a pupster on either side of me keeping me warm in this rather frigid weather, I am gazing into my dining space and wondering how I might better utilize that space.

Somehow there is just too much for my eyes to land on. It is too busy and frenetic in there.

My beloved outdoor space is highlighted by the patio doors, and I must keep that area clear so I can gaze outdoors during the winter months while I can't get out and garden.

So, less furniture? A different set-up altogether? Moving things around? Wall shelves?

The Rest Of My Apartment...

As it is, I think I've just about squeezed all the space for storage I can in the kitchen. At least until I stumble across a better idea.

I like my big bedroom, and as you know I have just painted the furniture on either side of my bed. So not much to do in there but, once again, clean out both closets and purge even more "stuff."

The living room is fairly stuck on how I can arrange furniture due to the way the space is laid out. 


My Gallery Wall...

I am reconsidering the gallery wall around my TV, however.

Somehow it is beginning to be "too busy" for these eyes of mine. I'm thinking of a more calming look.

So, how can I create a better layout for that dining space I stare at from this chair as I work on my laptop every day?

Well, that's what I'll be rethinking for the new year.


Do you have a space you'd like to recreate or better utilize for your needs? If so, maybe we can work on this task together.

As time goes on, needs change of course, and we must change our surroundings with them.

Tomorrow's Blogger Christmas Link-Up...



Remember the Home For Christmas link-up will go up at 9 a.m. tomorrow morning on both mine and Debra's blogs.

The Red Ottoman


My son-in-law just came and picked up the blue coffee table to take to a consignment shop. The red ottoman came yesterday while I was at the vet with Abi.

It's a much better size for someone who needs to have two sets of doggy steps near it and me in my boot much of the time.


It's actually only about 8 inches smaller all around than the coffee table, but the round shape makes all the difference. 

You just need a few things to decorate the top. And if I want to sit there and put up my feet, I can move them. However, I'm always in my chair. Unless I'm lying on the couch, which isn't often.

The other great thing about this ottoman is that I can take the top off and there's storage inside. Something someone living in a small space must keep in mind.


Here's a view in the other direction. 

I told you the curtains were way too short. But with the lining made the way it is, I don't know quite what to do about it. I've lowered the rod as much as I can.


Here's Charlie's new favorite spot. The other day I threw this red dog bed on the couch while I was cleaning or doing something. And Charlie immediately got in it.

So, though it isn't part of my decorating theme, I leave it there because he loves it so.


This is how he looks most of the time. His tongue lolling out the side of his mouth for lack of teeth. He does not know he looks goofy, so let's not tell him.

And this photo is rather blurry, but while he's yawning, look how long that tongue is!


Poor thing. Thank goodness he's spayed, because I doubt many female dogs would find him very handsome.

But I do. And I'm his mom and a little biased. But he's worth his weight in gold to me.


Abi's Vet Visit


We just got home from the vet. Abi has sprained her ACL, not torn it, thank goodness.

They used some sort of machine to massage it. And gave her medication to help with swelling and pain. 

So hopefully we'll get through this one without any surgery.

I thank you all for your kind and thoughtful comments. 

I've fed the pupsters and now I've got to eat something myself.

As for the coffee table, my son-in-law is going to bring his pick-up and take it to the consignment shop around the corner. I hate to bother him on his weekends, but this was the best way I could figure to get it over there.



Out Of The Fray


This morning I stood at the patio doors waiting for the dogs to come back in. 

I watched as the leaves came raining down on the patio. 

We didn't really have a fall season here this year. 

The leaves, they were still green.

Solitude...



I've been thinking about the responses I got to my post about sticking one's head in the sand. 

I'm wondering if it's perhaps a natural inclination when you get to a certain age. To pull back a bit from the media and the huge scope of the outside world. 

Is it self-preservation in some ways? 

I really don't think of it as pulling away like people do when they're depressed. 

Just pulling away because our bodies and our brains tell us it's time to get off the merry-go-round. It continues to whirl and twirl so fast. 

Whether we're aboard or not.

To just be able to stand back where we can be still and watch. And savor. And enjoy what's around us. 

Stillness.

I just want to have peace and quiet and be out of the fray.


On Being Alone...

I don't feel alone. Well, I'm not really. I have the pupsters.

I like being the only human in the house. 

I like eating alone.

Having the bathroom to myself.

Going to sleep and waking up in the quiet.

I like to lie awake at night, in the darkness, and contemplate the day. 

I don't fear growing older. I thought I would when I was young. 

But I don't. I really don't.


And The Leaves Came Falling Down...

It's afternoon now and I just looked out the patio doors. Almost all the leaves from the tree are now a thick carpet on the ground. 
 
And now, there are piles of them everywhere.

Winter weather, I suppose, has commenced. 

And as I look outside, with my reflection staring back at me in the glass, I realize how proud I am...to be my own knight in shining armor.

Press...

Look what I literally stumbled across this morning...

Thrift Blogs To Inspire Your Creativity

Alert: I'm in it!

Thanks to Patrice, who is the author of one of the blogs, who posted it to me on Twitter.


Abi's Apparently Hurt Herself Again


Do you all recall this time last year that Abi had to have ACL surgery? 

And she wouldn't leave it alone and as soon as I got her home, I had to turn right around and take her back so they could put the dressing on her wound again?

And then we went through about 8 weeks of misery because I had to watch her constantly? Which is no easy feat.

Just like I've had to watch Charlie through his recent two eye surgeries.

Well, late yesterday afternoon she started hopping around holding one of her back feet up. Her right foot.

I had a moment of sheer panic. 

I picked her up, felt around on the pads of her feet to see if she had anything in there that was hurting her. 

Nope. She never flinched. So it surely can't be her foot.

So I called the vet and, pretty much holding my breath, asked them which leg she had to have surgery on last year.

And yeah, it was her right leg.

So we have an appointment for Friday morning.


Heavens, I just got Charlie's eye surgeries paid for. 

But then I guess in doggy years, the pupsters are 70 years old.

When I would take Charlie to the eye specialist the past two months, we'd be sitting in a waiting room full of people with old dogs having things done like cataract surgery. 


Oh, Abi. 

We live in a one bedroom apartment. I have three sets of doggy steps with carpet for you two. There's no need to jump at all. So why must you jump???

One set of doggy steps to the bed. One to the couch. And one to the chair. 

Which is primarily why I have to get this coffee table out of here. I tend to trip on either the doggy steps or the coffee table when I get up from my chair.

And if Mama goes down, who's going to take care of you two?

Now what Sam fool thing have you done? Torn your ACL again?

Heavens to Pete, I sure wish you could understand what I'm telling you. 

I wish we could go one month without an injury around here of some variety.


Is There Anything Wrong With Having One's Head In The Sand?


Now that I'm finished with my Christmas decorating, I'm getting more cooking done. And resting.

This Week's Menu...

Yesterday I cooked a pot roast in the crock pot. Then I like to take it out and put it into the Breville oven for about 10-15 minutes to make it a little crisper.

I've managed to stretch the scalloped potatoes all the way through the meatloaf and now the pot roast. And I now have one more serving for tonight with the leftover roast beef. 

I finished up my pan of cornbread last night. 

Of course it was a daily staple when I was growing up.  

That was good eating. Cornbread with fresh eggs gathered (usually be me) from the hen house.

Kids nowadays probably don't know as much about fresh food as we did "in the old days."

But then again I read many blogs that have somewhat "returned to that era" and are canning vegetables and fruits from their gardens. Making more foods from scratch.

Jemma, I guess you've got canning down to a fine art after this past summer. I'm impressed that you got so much done your first summer in your new Texas home!

What I'm Watching, Or Not Watching...


Do any of you watch the show Criminal Minds? If you do, what do you think of the show without Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore this season?

I've only seen one episode. I just could not bring myself to watch more without the two characters, Hotch and Derek. They were such an integral part of the show!

Is it any good with them gone? 


The Blacklist...

The Blacklist was a little disappointing this past season, although I think it starts up again next month, like many prime time shows will.

I do still love the mannerisms of Red (James Spader). I think he invented that character and absolutely nailed it. 


It is a little distracting though with Liz and her hair changes every season. I wish she'd just go back to the way it was when the show began. (See above photo)

The last two seasons, her hair kind of looks like someone forgot to tend to it before she went before the camera.



Good Old Law & Order...

I'm sitting here with Law & Order reruns going in the background. I guess I'll watch them forever. 

I consider Sam Waterston a fine and distinguished actor.

Back in Texas I had People magazine coming in the mail every week. And I read it front to back.

Now I have no idea what's going on in Hollywood. Who got who pregnant. Who's been seeing who behind their spouse's back. Who's in rehab and who's fallen off the wagon. 

And really, I don't much care.

Just got my stubborn old head in the sand...

What I'm Reading...


I started this book last night, "Under The Influence" by Joyce Maynard.

It came in the mail yesterday. And I'd just finished a book the night before, so I decided to start reading it. 

I review books for Harper Collins and then post my opinion here, as you know.

This book is about a woman who has lost custody of her son due to her problem with alcohol.

On Being A Hermit...

I seem to live under a rock these days. 

If what's going on in the world doesn't appear on my laptop when I first turn it on in the morning, before I click over to read email or write on this blog, then I usually don't hear about it. 

In a way, it's kind of comforting to live "out of the loop." 

I tend to watch reruns of old shows, read books, and I only know about an earthquake if it shook this apartment I'm sitting in. 

I gave up on local and national news a few years ago. "If it bleeds it leads" got old. The drama of the newscasts left me frustrated. 

Some would say I've got my head in the sand. 

But my little ordinary life pleases me just fine.

In the last few months before my 60th birthday, I just want to live in my little hermit's nest. 

And do most of my socializing with all of you readers.

While the pupsters snooze happily beside me. 

And old Law & Order shows continue to run in the background, just as good now as they were the first time around. 


Book Review: Dakota Blues


Karen seems to spend all her time working. Her career defines her.

Her husband tells her that he has gotten a woman half his age pregnant and needs a divorce.

Her mother dies and she flies back home for the funeral, chastising herself for not taking time off to go back and visit her while she was still alive.

While she's back home, her boss decides to fire her. 

At age 50, Karen is facing a divorce and the end of her job and possibly her career. She wasn't as important and influential in her position as she'd thought. 

She has worked long enough to make good wages. And the powers that be oftentimes fire women and men like her, so they can hire someone younger and pay them less. 

I think this is a good book for any woman to read, particularly if you are in this age group.  

It often takes a disaster or a divorce or both to make us pause for reflection. To look at where we are in our lives.

Money is one thing, as everyone has to pay the bills. 

But no one wants written on their gravestone: "I worked myself to death and while I did I somehow missed out on living."

So many words of wisdom in this book! 

I downloaded this book free on my Kindle through one of the freebie e-book sites. But I would have gladly purchased this one in book form. 

This book is about a woman who is forced to look at what is truly important in life. What she first thinks of as a horrible turn of events ends up being the best thing that has ever happened to her.

And with this epiphany, she realizes that the little every day things in life are what is most precious. 

Rain on your face. Touching the velvety softness of a rose petal. Watching the sun rise and set.

All these things have no dollar tags, therefore they are free to enjoy. If only one takes the time.

Reading this book while Karen learns this lesson herself is a gift in and of itself.