Sunday, February 4, 2018

A Weekend In Downton Abbey

What to do on a weekend with nothing to do but stay home and heal.
How about a trip to Downton Abbey!
No I didn't get to travel to England but I did have a marathon of watching this wonderful production from Masterpiece Theater.  Oh yes I've seen all the episodes in the series and I've even watched most of them at least twice, but I felt like I needed a 'get away' and this was it.
Maybe someday I'll get to really visit
Highclere Castle
Of course watching Dame Maggie Smith brings many smiles and outright laughs.  Such an amazing actress.
In fact the whole cast is excellent and draws you into their lives!
 Marriages, Births, Deaths and so much more in this series that covers 12 years from 1912 until 1926.
So many things to love but of course the costumes are truly amazing.
Several years ago there was a traveling exhibition of Downton Abbey costumes and it came to The Biltmore Estate.  This estate was built by George Vanderbilt and it is comparable to the style of Downton Abbey.  
A group of my friends and I went and had a grand time.  I blogged about it here.  No photos were allowed inside but I found many photos online that I could share.
So back to my weekend at Downton Abbey!  I've enjoyed submersing myself in this lovely show.  It's given me a lovely trip back in time and I might even have 'acquired' a British accent!

If you somehow missed Downton Abbey I encourage you to watch it.
Also one of my favorite quotes comes from this show!
I wish you many memories! 

Thursday, January 25, 2018


Thank you for all your well wishes and prayers for my surgery.  It went well and now to heal up and get on with life.
Right before surgery selfie! I think I had some sleepy drugs onboard already!
  The Surgeon did find 3 hernias instead of just one and told Sara that 2 of them were caused by my gallbladder surgery 18 months ago.  I am hearing it is a possible complication from laparoscopic surgery.  I'm wearing a lovely 'binder' to keep that from happening again I hope.  The healing will take 6-8 weeks.

I pulled out my collection of white pottery and I'm enjoying it in the cubbies and in the bookshelf.
I have a few other white pieces that are on other shelves but I forgot to take a photo.  Whoops! 
I pulled out the blue glass and sheep for the other cubbie.  I see some of this leaving my possession soon.  I am still in downsize mode.

In some very sad news, my Mom's cat Sam crossed the Rainbow Bridge.  
He was 17 and had been sick but hanging in there until the Friday morning of my pre-op. Mom called and said we had to take him now.  Our wonderful Vet helped us take the next steps and we are thankful for her compassion and kindness.
We all miss him.  Mom most of all.  
One of my favorite photos.  
Tiger said he was being a cat and hanging out with Sam. 
 We miss you old boy! 

So it's been a hard couple of weeks here at A La Carte.  My daughter Sara has taken great care of me!  My Mom has been cooking and checking on me several times a day.  I'm still in some 'pain' and a bit of discomfort but it gets better everyday.  The worst part is not being able to do much.  Lots of watching TV and trying to read (it's been putting me to sleep though).  I'm taking it easy like I'm suppose to and letting the healing happen!

Wishing you all JOY,


Thursday, January 11, 2018


Finally some answers!
If you are a regular reader of my blog you know I have been having pains in my mid-section on and off for months.  My Doctor's have been relentless in running tests and trying to figure out this pain.  Good news was no cancer or masses.  I do have a hiatial hernia and so was referred to a surgeon.
random photos just because

The surgeon said my hiatial hernia which causes reflux and is controlled with medication was not causing my pain.  BUT...I have a Supraumbillical Ventral Hernia. What?? This is a hernia that is right in my midsection above my belly button.  When it pokes through it presses on the intestines and can (and does) cause great pain!  So the solution is surgery.

While not thrilled that I must have surgery I am so hopeful this will stop the pain I'm looking forward to it.
It will be done out patient at the hospital.  I go for pre-op tomorrow.
I was curious what might have caused this and discovered that my laparoscopic gallbladder surgery which included an incision in my belly button might have weakened the area.  Then last Dec/Jan/Feb I had the cold and flu to end all colds and flu. It included coughing that just took forever to get better.  That was most likely a contributing factor in the weakness of that area along with too much belly fat (just keeping it real here).

I am scheduled for surgery on Jan 19th.  Sara will be with me and take care of me Friday and over the weekend if needed.  It's outpatient surgery so how bad can it be ... right??

I've been missing the Grands as they have had some colds and I can't get sick so I haven't seen them in a few weeks!

They are both well now so hopefully this weekend I can get some Grandma love! 

In other news, my Mom had cataract surgery yesterday on her left eye.  It went well and now we are on the eye drop regime.  Good thing I live next door as it is 4 times a day the first week and no way could Mom get them in her own eye.  We are hoping for good results and will schedule the right eye in the future after we are both healed up!

Thank you all so much for your concern, prayers and well wishes during this last six months.  I'm so thankful for all of you.
If you would keep me in your thoughts and prayers on Friday Jan 19th I would be so grateful.

Wishing you all Good Health!


Thursday, January 4, 2018

Looking Back at 2017

January found me downsizing again and doing a pretty good job of it.  I also started gathering supplies to start watercolor classes!
The craft room continues to be an ongoing project for January 2018!

February was hard.  I got sick with a cold/flu and didn't seem to be able to get better.  I did find some time to start watercolor classes online and found a new passion.

March seemed all about watercolors but I did stop in a few thrift shops and found a little favorite to share
This adorable nativity which joined the others for Christmas this year. 

April is Birthday month around here.  Both Tiger and Scout were born in April.
They turned two and six!  It's been a great year with them and boy have then grown since then!

May was super busy with a church rummage sale which I helped set up and run.  
As I continued my downsizing I donated many vintage items to the sale.  It was a fun but exhausting week and much was sold.
Annie Belle and I became closer and she helped ease the pain of missing Charlie!

June brought a birthday which I tried to ignore this year and more watercolor.
Started to see real improvement in my paintings.  I also continued my downsizing as I realized I no longer wanted to decorate for every holiday!

July was a fun month as I was able to plan a little trip to the mountains with my friend Carter.  It was my Birthday trip so I indulged and bought myself a few presents...vintage of course.
All Pink!  This was also the month that started my health issues.
I ended up in the ER with awful pains in my lower quadrant and was afraid I had pancreatitis.  It wasn't and so I was sent home.  The pain has come and gone since then and I've been having lots of tests and Dr's appointments trying to figure out the cause of this. Answers soon I think! 

August wasn't a very good month.  Hurricanes, floods, racial violence and I lost my beloved mother in law. 
She was a great lady and is missed by all. 

September found me blogging only once.  It just seemed a busy month with nothing much to say.  My health issues were starting again and I had lots to deal with. 

October and results from my MRI were pretty good.  No stones or masses.  Additional tests scheduled and the discomfort and pain persisted.  I made some dietary changes which helped a little.  Still life goes on.
These two kept me smiling! 

November and another month where I only posted once.  
More tests ruled out cancer and other bad things.  Still no diagnosis but an appointment with my Dr cleared me to take the trip to Texas at Thanksgiving with my Mom.

December!  A month to relax and enjoy the holidays and family.  I downsized more Christmas decorations and it made me feel so good.
I did not get a cold or the flu and was able to enjoy church activities, family fun and a visit from daughter #1.  The Grands were so excited this year about Christmas.  I was truly blessed! 

I find that I'm happy to say goodbye to 2017.  Not the worst year of my life but not a good one either.  Health issues were my main focus for the 2nd half of the year and I'm ready for some answers and solutions to this pain and discomfort.  I've been so thankful for my blog friends this year.  You stayed with me and encouraged me to keep blogging even when weeks would go by and I felt like I had nothing to say.  It's amazing the friendships we've made without ever meeting in person!

I don't make resolutions but I do set some goals.  I'll share that with you in my next blog post! 

Wishing you JOY,


Saturday, December 23, 2017

December 23rd!

I hope everyone is ready for Christmas! Any last minute shoppers out there!
I think I'm done shopping but haven't even started wrapping yet. But first I thought I would share a little more of my Christmas decorations this year.
I don't have a lot of Santa's but my good friend Patsy was selling these at our church rummage sale and this one just had to come home with me!
He is watching over my 'Night Before Christmas in Paris' book!
We don't do Elf on a Shelf but I found this one at a thrift shop and he is happy to live with me and watch over the bills instead of naughty or nice children!
Here is the kitchen tree hung with all sorts of cookies and baking goodies!
Do you see the fortune cookie?
I do love my Maileg pixies!
This year my Mom and I are giving each other Ancestry DNA kits.  It will be fun to see what they show.  I've been feeling my roots lately.
So Norwegian Helga has been reading to the brother & sister mice a nice French Christmas book!(it will be fun to see how much Norwegian and French blood I do have) 
Christmas pillows on the couch!
The Christmas tree is hard to photograph but it's been so much fun this year.  Vintage, new, handmade, bought, memory and souvenir ornaments adorn it!
I'm so blessed that my wonderful friend Donna@ Distressed Donna Down Home dyes the most amazing little trees each year.  This year some of them came out Flamingo Pink and she gifted me some in various sizes!  I just love them!!
Annie is enjoying all the ornaments but is careful with them.

But one of my favorite decorations is
Scout in her pink Santa hat with a big bow!!  She is so excited this year about Christmas! 

December 23rd is a special day.
11 years ago my daughter married the love of her life Blake!
I love them both so much!

Two years ago on Dec 23rd my brother reached the end of his life.  
I miss him and my Dad so much!
I'll be spending Christmas morning with Sara, Blake, Tiger and Scout!  Mom will join us for dinner along with Ashleigh!  She is flying in very late Christmas Eve and I can't wait to hug my girl.  Sara and Ashleigh's Dad will also be joining us Christmas night as he travels from Minn. with stories of snow for the Grands!  It promises to be a loud love filled day! 

Merry Christmas and as always...
I wish you JOY!