A New Year and A New Me!

Just a quick note to let you know spine surgery #3 went well. I am now the proud owner of 2 rods, 6 screws, a connector piece, and several cadaver bones. All of the previous hardware in my back (2 rods, 4 screws, and a metal plate) had to come out to make room for the new. NOT fun, I assure you! The first 2 weeks post-op were horrifyingly painful – akin to an episode of “The Twilight Zone” – but I made it through.

Back view of spine showing staples


Side view of spine

While still following the BLT Rule (no Bending, Lifting, Twisting), I’m making great strides with each passing day. For instance, I am now able to use the stairs (very slowly, one at a time, with supervision only), get in and out of bed -albeit slowly- without assistance, and sit without fatigue or pain for almost 20 minutes.

Me sitting up in a chair less than 24 hours post-op!

I’ve also ditched the walker in favor of my cane until I’m steady on my feet again. The staples…all 24 of them…came out Thursday. My surgeon doesn’t want me to start PT until 3 months out to ensure the fusion takes hold. (The first fusion apparently didn’t take, PLUS one of the 4 screws had broken in two!) Meanwhile, it’s all about walking, walking, walking and doing squats against the wall to rebuild strength in my legs and maybe drop the 25 lbs. gained pre-op due to inactivity.

Thanks from the bottom of my heart for all the well wishes and prayers. I couldn’t have done it without you and all the family, friends and neighbors who kept a vigilant watch over me and made sure Ramon didn’t have to do too much cooking! I want this 3rd time to be a total success, so I’ll be following doctor’s orders to the letter and won’t be posting again until late Spring. I wish you and yours the very best in this New Year, and once again thank you for hanging in there with me. See you in 2018!!!

With hard work, determination, and your prayers, it’s going to be alright! See you in 2018!!!

Better Late Than Never, Pt. 4/The Final Chapter – Christmas 2016 in the Kitchen

At long last! The end of my 2016 Christmas decor!!! Took long enough, huh? But I saved the best for last: the kitchen!

Before we hop into the pictures, I want to share with you that I will be having yet another doggone spine surgery on Wednesday of this week. As some longtime readers may remember, I had 2 such surgeries (in addition to a shoulder surgery!) in 2015 that kept me down and out for quite a long time, then 2 more in 2016. This one, too, will be very difficult (laminectomy, hardware replacement and fusion), but I’m hoping to have a clear enough head to bring you my 2017 Christmas decor along with…drumroll, please…a “Better Kansas City” segment taped right here in our home last Friday!!! I’ve been preparing for it since October (walking with the assistance of a cane and walker slows me down considerably!) and wanted it to be extra special knowing I will not be posting again for quite some time. I do hope you’ll look for that post (if the post-op pains and/or drugs aren’t too overwhelming!) coming sometime before Christmas. My husband will deliver a quick post on how I’m progressing along with a “proof of life” photo. 🙂 The surgery itself is expected to take only 3-4 hours (half the time of that 2nd one in 2015 that was 8 hours long!), and my hospital stay will be 3-4 days. Then it’s home to start getting better for 2018!!!

Enough of that! Let’s look at some pretty pictures!!!





I spend so much time in the kitchen year round, but especially during the holiday season. I like for it to be as cheery as the rest of the house so that I’m never feel deprived. I played on the existing black & white buffalo checks, adding touches of red in the form of faux berries, candy canes, and the 222 Fifth “Wexford Plaid”. Bits of Christmas greenery and a flurry of acrylic snowflakes add seasonal whimsy. (Check it out…even my reading glasses are black & white checked!!! 🙂 )





One of the most fun changes in the kitchen is the aluminum tiered stand on the kitchen table. It generally takes days to figure out all the different elements to add to it each season. ..and I love it!!! Christmas 2016 found the tiered server with a fun Chef Santa on top. Stacked 222 Fifth “Northwood Cottage” bowls, sweet red vases embellished with the word “Noel”, candy canes in a silver julep cup, pine cones, acorns, snowflakes, wooden Christmas ornaments, and red berries mixed in with the everyday essentials.





The side table in the window is festively decked with a thick lighted garland draped behind ironstone and ceramicware. Snowflakes in the windows mirror snowflakes hung outside around the deck perimeter. Truly magical even without snow!


I had lots of different Santas around the kitchen including this one standing inside a large lantern on the breakfast bar. I put a cluster of string lights beneath a handful of faux snow to set it aglow. The top of the lantern is made festive with a black & white gingham bow, greenery and red berries.





I gave up on this utterly useless desk space a long time ago. No need for it since I have a home office upstairs. Now I just use it for dishes, displays, and an extra bar. Here I added a layer of soft “snow” uplit from beneath with string lights, another Santa figurine on a vintage sled and a reticulated ceramic jardiniere brimming with hypericum berries to the existing decor. Up above the decor stayed the same as usual excepting the addition of cascading red berries, a sprig of frosted greenery, and a tiny gingham bow at the base of the coffee cup.



Even the cookbook stand on the portable island and the sink area got a little somethin’-somethin’! Again…I tend to spend A LOT of time in this kitchen!

So…that’s it, y’all!!! Thank you so much for your friendship and readership over this past year since I’ve been back. It literally and figuratively pains me to leave again, but I hope to return sooner than later in 2018 with a new & improved spine, a positive outlook, and a whole new lineup of tablescape and home decor ideas for your enjoyment!
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and may God bless you and yours this season and always!

To see “Better Late Than Never – Christmas 2016” parts 1, 2 and 3…
Better Late Than Never, Pt. 1 – Foyer and Library
Better Late Than Never, Pt. 2 – Dining Room
Better Late Than Never, Pt. 3 – Family Room

I’m joining the weekly link parties, Dishing It & Digging It” at with Linda and “Celebrate Your Story” hosted by Sandra and Chloe.