Mar 5, 2014

Rear Window

There is cabin fever and then there is 

Hello my lovely friends,

I hope all is well in your world. My world, these past two and half weeks have been a time of testing, a time for resting, and a time for "nesting."

Now before I share my last two and half weeks, I will share a few images I took at an 1800's log cabin that my barber husband and I visited not long ago. He felt I would really love it, since it would be a while before I could be out and about. (More on that in a moment.)

My beloved took me to a very remote cabin on a very cold and windy wasn't an issue, as the cabin had a wood stove. 

There wasn't a bathroom, rather an outhouse (below). No real running water (only water fed to the sink by a well) and no electricity. There were a couple of solar panels, but they were not hooked up at the time, but oil lamps are just the touch to make playing checkers romantic). My handsome barber is making a fire for me above, as I am a fire lover...fires are never long enough or big enough for me. :-)

The privy wasn't bad, to hear the coyotes up close and personal at night. I felt right at home with the little stove...we made great pancakes (or flapjacks, as my father would say) and brewed up some good ole coffee. Sometimes, I really believe I was born in the wrong century. 

The kettles on the wood stove (below) were full of water for washing dishes and ourselves. I loved the little bit of humidity it gave off in the cabin.

The sink was literally a little copper pipe, bent, and a turn knob to get the water going. More than once we got splashed, as it takes time for it to come down the hill...

While I was outside in the early morning chill, snapping photos, my beloved barber (and his very worn long johns) was getting breakfast. I love this image because you can see how small the cabin is (sleeping quarters was up in the loft). But to be honest, the little cabin had everything we needed and never felt cramped - only cozy.

This view from our porch was so serene.  A little farmhouse below in the valley with a bright red barn...

We drove around to visit the other few cabins (all owned by one person) and got permission to do some target shooting. Most people don't know that I absolutely love to shoot - and I will say that I am a very, very good shot. (I have target sheets to prove it :-)! Below, I am shooting our .22 Ruger long rifle. I was more interested in taking pics of this little red cabin area, but did take a moment to help site in the rifle with my barber/chef/shooter/fire-builder...

And of course, the rifle isn't all that I shot, I brought along some props to shoot! No way am I going to pass up such fab light at a great location. Below is just a sample of my styled shots...

While I could go on and on with my styled shots, I will have to show more of them later. I was just in heaven to have a whole day to just shoot, be outside, and be with my beloved. Couldn't ask for more, really.

But all good things must come to an end, which leads me to the present. 


(For those of you lucky enough to be so young you do not understand the reference to "Rear Window," that is a reference to a famous Alfred Hitchcock movie with Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly. Jimmy is laid up, and gets to know his neighbors through his rear window, up close and personal...)

Now, you get to know me up close and personal...maybe even more than you ever wanted or hoped for. But hey, this is reality (via iPhone) and as much I would love the "Pinterest" lifestyle, my life really isn't that "Pinteresting" to be frank.

Briefly to recap the last 15 or so months: Back in Nov 2012, I had "simple" knee surgery that went very wrong. I was in constant pain, couldn't even walk at a fast pace, or without a limp. I gained a ton of weight not being able to move for so long, and I never knew what was going to be a "good day" or a "bad day." I didn't write about it very much in my posts, as it was a depressing topic for me, and besides, I really didn't know how the story would end....

Well, on Feb 13th, I got a total knee replacement. Yup, sort of like the bionic woman, but not so bionic...I have been spending these last two and half weeks mainly in our bedroom...with my iPhone. Do you have any idea how crazy I am going without my camera? I decided this would be the best time to get my pro camera professionally cleaned (takes several weeks). When I am not dozing off, or doing physical therapy, then I have my computer and iPhone. However, today is the first day that I am not too tired to actually stay awake longer than 30 I give you my "reality" below, all in its vivid glory... :-)

This is where my leg (and the rest of me, come to think of it) are almost 24/7. I must be in this passive movement machine 6-8 hours a day for the first three weeks. And the little controller next to me, allows me to increase the bending. My goal, I am told, is 110. I am happy to report that I did reach that today!

I then started to snap pics of my immediate (and daily)surroundings. I wasn't really thinking anything of it, until I downloaded them and started to play with them; I realized that what has become "normal" really isn't all that normal...really...

I realized as I stare at my bedside table, filled with all sorts of things I need throughout the day...I have a large amount of potions, lotions, balms, and skin has never been so dry, and my leg, when not wrapped up in its ace wrap, looks like a small blizzard, or snow globe, has taken residence since I am not allowed to have any cream near my incision. 

My lovely caretaker/barber has brought me home things he finds at the pharmacy, while waiting for my perception to get filled...I am starting to feel like all these old-time remedies would fit perfectly in that cabin a few weeks ago!

What I find so ironic is that my "corn husker" and "bag balm" right next to my antique tea towel...

For those of you with eagle eyes (or magnification enhancers), I am sure you spotted the honey and surgical tape. That is for my very burnt (but small burn, thank God) that I got last night. My beloved was making me a fab dinner, and as I hobbled into the kitchen on my cane, he held out a spoon for me to taste, while next to the stove. I had no idea that he had just taken the sauce pan out of 400 degree stove. I grabbed the handle to turn it out of the way, and well...let's just say I didn't think about my knee for the first time in over a year, for a few hours.

To my left, on my honey's side of the bed, I have my "desk," Every morning, my beloved puts my large basket filled with stuff, along with the leg machine, ice, and fresh water. Actually, I have no idea if any of this interests anyone at this point, but hey, this has been the most exciting day in a while. Plus, I personally love knowing the details of those I see online or in magazines. Yes, I am one of those that will take out a magnifying glass and scope out the details of a pic of someone's desk, or kitchen...I know I can't be the only one!

My basket has lots of very unrelated things in it: My therapy pages, a book on French kitchens, image files to be downloaded, glasses, scissors, kleenex, chocolate chips, almonds...the usual.

Then back on my right, on the floor next to my side table, I decided to take a quick snap from my phone. It wasn't until I downloaded it, did I realize that my pic may need some explaining...

Is it me, or does it seem a little strange (I prefer the word,  "eccentric")that my side of the bed my Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, is leaning next to my Russian, WWII Mosin-Nagant, bolt-action, rifle. And my Mosin-Nagant, is leaning against my antique, linen, monogrammed table cover?? My rifle is very handy, as the arrow below points it out. I have shot it before, (at a shooting range) and I offer no apologies for it...except to my neighboring shooting buddies in the next stall, who said that my gun sounds like a cannon. (I also have a very beautiful Ruger Red Lable, 20 gauge, O/U - over/under that my barber got me). My goal is to own a very nice (old) Smith and Wesson and an old, (decorative) Winchester rifle...I love both those makers. But I digress...

To be honest, I never really thought of neighboring weapon, Julia, and linen, until I took this pic. And the funny thing is, I use all three. Julia is second to none, my Mosin's site is dead on (no pun intended) and my linen table cover has seen many a tables over the years.

So whether this side of me endears you, or fears you, (and I wouldn't blame you if it was the latter), I am who I am... :-)

And who am I? Well, for now, I will say that I am someone who is very loved by my barber husband. I must boast that he has made me(from scratch) delicious meals of Boeuf Bourguignon (beef stew in red wine, bacon,  onion and mushrooms), Paupiettes Deboeuf (braised stuffed beef rolls), and a very rich Reine Desaba (chocolate and almond cake).  (And why is it again, that I have a gained a ton of weight...?)

Well, it is time to do more PT...which I hate and is very painful. But everything is going pretty well and I see the surgeon again on the 14th. I will be up and around before long.

Until then, I will keep resting, nesting, and testing myself with lots of therapy. 

I appreciate and am so grateful to all those who have sent me beautiful cards, stopped by to visit, or sent me some of the most wonderful hand-made gifts that brought tears to my eyes. (The good kind of tears, which I welcome any day!) To all my readers, know that I am thinking of you and thank you for just stopping by for a visit.

Miss you all.
from my side of the bed to yours...



amy of studio four corners said...

my word - what an ordeal you've had! I can only hope that you continue on the road to recovery...with much less pain!

so glad that the barber husband has been so wonderful - and such a good cook...

and though I only know you from this blog and your wonderful photography, I have to say that I was a bit surprised to read that you are an accomplished markswoman...but whatever works for you - go for it!

Mrs. Kelley Dibble said...

So glad you're on the mend! The best is yet to come.

Love x 18 all the breathtaking images.

Hugs and prayers for your full recovery,

Seawashed said...

Oh dear you poor thing! Cabin fever to the extreme!!!! I have never had surgery (I am afraid of Doctors and hospitals) so I have no idea what you are going through. But I have been very ill and in bed for long enough to think my life might end that way. I like how real this post is and I do hope you can go back to that cabin someday. It is AWESOME!!!! I could see you and the Barber living there full time. Really...but you would have an amazing garden and probably animals. I always wished I had been born in the Little House On The Prairie days. I do not care for all this modern progress...not one bit. I keep trying to live without it but then well it gets a bit lonely.

I would dearly love to send you a tiny gift in the mail if you would be kind enough to send me a mailing addie. My email is

Your fancy meals make me want to eat beef again!!! I love beef, but my digestive system no longer did, so it has been over a year since I had any. I do feel healthier without it and lost 30 lbs! I send love, peace, and prayers for recovery. xxo Kerrie

Rita C at Panoply said...

Elizabeth, best wishes for a full and speedy recovery (as per the medical world's timetable, not ours, which would have been yesterday!).

What a woman! I think the last time I said that was in reference to Mary Draper Ingles - that kind of amazing woman! You need to publish a book of your photography & styling - put that in your fire and let it flame!

You & your barber are a match made in heaven. :)

Rita C.

Sandi~A Cottage Muse said...

Good Morning Elizabeth,
So sorry for the long road you have had and am wishing you a speedy recovery so that you may take the long road back to that little piece of heaven in that old cabin real soon!
Your photos always take my breath away!

Unknown said...

These pictures are gorgeous! But is there anyway to ask you a question about your kitchen makeover post back in 2009?? I've been dying to know how you painted the walls!

Burlap Luxe said...

Elizabeth, what à cabin filled with peace, loved the copper pipe for the faucet...I would soooo do this and it makes me want to do it, how about you. Now miss Annie opley you and a gun fit like glove on hand, surprisingly nothing surprises me with you anymore.
That hubby is one brave soul to pose, (not pose) in his under-wear! But so fitting for a barber husband living the 17-1800's life. I was hoping to see the bed covered in your quilts making for a prairie style shoot warm and cozy.

Love all your photos of course, who else could capture this kind of rural beauty then you. Perhaps you should do your own book filled with cabins, cottages, quilts and guns! Oh my! :)
See you and your beauty soon.

Lots of recovery love your way.


girl on a bicycle said...

Thinking of you, Elizabeth. You are in such good hands, I am sure, what with your loving barber husband by your side.Your optimism and spirit shine through in your post. Your photos are great, too. Take care and do what the doctors and physical therapists say. You will be amazed at how great you feel in just a little while.

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hello Amy,

Thank you for visiting only moments after I published this post - it always amazes me (and makes me so happy) to know that a reader can find time in her very busy day to stop by. Glad that my love of shooting, other than camera shooting, doesn't freak you out...haha. I find it a great hobby that I don't get nearly enough time doing. Once better, I plan to learn skeet shooting - always wanted to try it.

Thanks for visiting and giving you lots of big hugs

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hello Kelly,

Thank you for stopping by - and I am hoping you are right - the best is yet to come. But since I have the smartest (and most talented) readers, I am sure you must be right. :-)

Lots of BIG hugs to you always

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hello Kerrie!

Thank you for the lovely comment - I always enjoy your visits. I agree, going back to the cabin would be awesome!! I plan to post more pics of that visit in the future. A dear friend of mine, Dore of Burlap Luxe, pointed out that I didn't share the sleeping area - which I had planned on doing, as the quilt on the bed was REALLY neat - I would love to make a quilt like that...and will definitely share it soon.

You are too sweet and will be happy to email you. Yes, the "fancy dinners" are yummy, but as far as "fancy" I had to laugh, as my chef and I tend to eat all his fab food, on reg dishes, in bed, while watching either Gold Rush, Buying Alaska, or reruns of the linen table cloth or candles...but then again, fire and feather pillows don't go well together. I will be at the table again soon, I am sure! And, hopefully, I will be like you and be able to announce someday (by end of summer, hopefully) that I lost 30 pds too. Congrats on that! You must feel (and look) like a million.

Thanks for visiting and lots of hugs to you

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hello Rita,

Thank you for the well wishes, and as I type this, my leg is in the machine, being moved up and down slowly...S L O W L Y....! But I guess that is something to get used to...healing slowly, but surely!

Oh mercy, I am no where close to anything amazing, and especially no where in the category of Mary Draper Ingles! But, I sure do appreciate your compliment all the same. I would like to think some of my female ancestors were near the level of Mary's amazing accomplishments.

I do know of a woman ancestor, a homesteader, who was in her log cabin, cooking doughnuts, when an Indian showed up and stood in her doorway. Her husband was out in the field, and so for hours, she just kept cooking doughnuts, and the Indian sat on the floor and just kept eating them until the husband came home and ran him off. The next day or so, the Indian brought his wife to the cabin and he wanted to "trade" wives with the homesteader! I guess the Indian really loved her doughnuts...but no trade. The homesteader liked his doughnuts too! haha. But I can't imagine the fear she had, while she stayed calm, and kept him fed and happy - guess men haven't changed much over time - always happy when fed!

Big hugs to you always

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hello Darbi!

thank you for stopping by. Yes, I would love to share what I did with the walls on the kitchen. I used "joint compound" (I think it was ready made, can't remember, but either ready made, or made to mix is fine). I used a small trowel and "wiped" on the joint compound and smeared it in a "plaster effect" way. You don't have to cover the entire wall, or every inch. The beauty is the inconsistency. Let is dry for at least a day or more (more if it is humid). Then I lightly painted it, and then did a simple faux finish on it (a solution I mix custom - you can just use a darker color than the paint, water it down, and lightly brush it on...). It really is much easier than it sounds, the key is to keep the mix soft and close it up tight so it doesn't harden.
Hope this helps you some!

Big hugs and please visit again,

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hello Sandi,

Thank you for stopping by - always a treat to visit your site - which I am in love with your old wood! Your blog header (not sure if new or not) is really beautiful too.

Will stop by again to see your project...!
Big hugs

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hello Dore!
Well, I just don't think "thank you" is enough for your wonderful gift - I will truly cherish it. And those of you who don't know Dore of Burlap Luxe, please visit her Etsy shop (click next to her name above) to discover some real treasures. I am honored to be the new owner of one of her zinc numbers on old painted wood. You must go to her Etsy shop and see for yourself (and before she runs out - all custom made by Dore herself)!

Catching my beloved when he isn't looking is one of my favorite things to do. I didn't realize how "worn" his seat had become until I downloaded the pic and laughed at how you could see his round bum outlined fairly well through his long a little happy face covers it up - but I was really tempted not to! :-)

Would love to drive around the country and take pics of old barns and cabins - another love of mine. Maybe someday?

Thank you for being a very important part of my life,
Big hugs and lots of love

Low Tide High Style said...

Wishing you a speedy recovery from this latest surgery, and also from your burn! I'm glad you were able to have a few days away in the cabin before you were relegated to bed rest. My neighbor had her knee replaced last year and is thrilled with the outcome, so before you know it you will be up and running!

Also, where do you send your camera for cleaning? I am in dire need of having mine cleaned but I hesitate to send it to just anyone. I would love your suggestions.

Take care,

Curtains in My Tree said...

Damn Girl LOL

Well sounds like your on the mend anyway which is wonderful.
I guess I had forgotten what your first problem was, I remember you being laid up at home

You worded it all very nicely I would have been whining a lot more, of course I don't have the french chief barber husband with Julia's cookbook at my house either
seeing the rifle by your bed made me think you live in a bad hood and you was ready for any intruders LOL
I bet you will be on foot before too long and out to estate sales and auctions buying treasures again to take pictures off.
That cabin was fabulous what a neat place to stay a couple days, I didn't know there was places around to rent like that

Well stay warm and fed till next post dear
thinking of you

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hi Kat,

Thank you for visiting, it is always a treat. I took my camera to our local shop (who sends it off to Canada, I think???). It is crazy, but it takes at least 5-7 weeks for a cleaning! They are a big camera place here in town, offer classes, and do the buy back thing with lenses and camera to upgrade and so on. It is pricey (for me at least) just got a call that it will be about $280 to clean and reset some of my adjustments. My light meter and white balance were off a bit...I just hope it doesn't come back screwed up...the amount of time it takes to get it really cleaned is what kept me from turning it in the first place. So better now, while I am recovering...I will let you know if it comes back fine. It does comes with a new 6 month warranty, like a new that is good!

Big hugs to you

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Janice, you are hilarious. I am recovering...just not quick enough for my taste! The rifle would be next to me whether I lived in the city or not...and only once since living here, did I grab it and walk carefully around the house because I could have sworn I heard something (I was alone). Never saw anything out of order, but you never know.

I figure if someone heard how loud it is to chamber my bullet (or also known as "lock and load") , I probably wouldn't even need to fire it! But no, never had an issue living in the city. We actually love it here. We always practice gun safety (I used to be in the military and we both have taken gun safety courses). We have safety precautions and "codes" in place that we follow when we enter the home alone and the other is home already. But, i laughed when I read your comment, as I figured that would be the impression...oh well...I would welcome any of my readers in the city, should they ever visit!

Hope you are well and staying warm!!
Big hugs

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy for you that you are now almost a month into recuperation! Just THINK of how great this summer will be with little to no Knee Pain!
I'm fighting osteo-arthritis now and it isn't bad enough for any surgery. Loose weight, the doctor said.
Yah, yah, yah, I said :)

Love from Nebraska

Claudia said...

Goodness, Elizabeth! I'm sorry you've been laid up but it seems like, in the end, this will be the start of a wonderful healing change. And thank goodness your barber husband is so devoted. He really is wonderful! I'm glad you're being taken care of, my friend.

Love the photos of the cabin - reminds me very much of our family cottage when I was a kid. Outhouse, water from a pump, the whole shebang.


Anonymous said...

I love, love, love your blog and your beautiful photography. I hope it's alright that I often use one of your pictures for my wallpaper on my computer. I especially love the black/white quilt in the industrial area pictures, I always go back to look at those. It sounds like you are on the mend, I know so many people with knee replacements and were happy with the results. Good luck with your therapy and I look forwarding to reading and viewing beautiful pictures on your site. Thank you, Mickey in Pennsylvania.

Anonymous said...

I hope your recovery will be speedy. I can understand a bit of what you are going through. On Jan 31, I slipped and fell. I broke my knee cap and my right femur, 6 compound fractures. I had to have surgery, he put in screws, 6 incisions. I am still using a 2 wheel walker to get around and a wheel chair with leg rest. All I can say is our, yours and mine, future mobility is in God's hands. Physio Therapy is in the future when I am weight bearing.
I will be praying for your recovery. Please pray for me too.
Jacquelene L

Margo@A Beautiful Mess of Grace and Flesh said...

What a fabulous post Elizabeth! I was laughing at the can even make normal laid up shots look impressive! My favorite shot of the fabulous cabin? The out house! That one is awesome girl!!!

I hope you are feeling a bit better every day. Is the pain subsiding a bit? Read and sleep, that will speed the healing forward. And, I want that French Country Kitchen book!!!

Hugs and love to you dear one!

chasity said...

Hello beautiful!!
I hope that your knee is doing well~ and that you can sit in the wonderful warm sunshine and feel the peace today.
Much love and hugs to you~


Elizabeth Maxson said...

Mary Beth!!

How nice to hear from you! I hope you get better as well. Thank you for stopping by and please know your visit brought a smile to my face :-)

Big hugs

Low Tide High Style said...

Thanks so much for the info on camera cleaning. I am dreading sending mine in due to the amount of time it takes to clean them, but I really need to have it done! I hope yours comes back better than new! :)


Burlap Luxe said...

Elizabeth, i havé béen meaning to check in on you dear, I hope you are mending well, feeling that life is just around the corner to dancing the two step again.
I also wanted to get back to you on all that is in your future, make room for me I want to be your neighbor :)
Pick your creative brain, teach me how to take beautiful photos :)
And just sit and create together from time to time.
Well, my dear friend, I will get back to you soon and soon as things settle down around here :)

Prayers and blessings to you and yours.

Tina said...

Darling girl! Rest and recover. Knee surgery is a challenge and you will come from that like a beautiful butterfly, drops on a hot skillet, some other metaphor which means that I know you will be back at it soon and making up for lost time. Be gentle with yourself and spoil yourself (and accept hubsters spoilings) with smiles and joy! I send you peace!

Monica said...

Oh my! I've often thought of you while strolling around the English countryside, up and down the hills and stiles... wondering if your knee had healed completely. Had no idea you needed a total replacement!
My dad had it a few years ago, but couldn't come home, and he had to stay for quite a while in the hospital room, for the machine... his mood went down because of that... but fortunately you're at home with your loving husband!
Keeping you in my prayers and thoughts.
Monica xo

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Thank you lovely readers for checking in with me - it means so much to me. When not in PT, I am usually sleeping, as it is more tiring than it looks! ;-) I think of you all often and how blessed I am to have such caring readers.

Big hugs to you all,

deb said...

hi Elizabeth ~ your little red cabin is amazing ... love all the rustic elements like the copper kitchen pipe ♥
sending love & best wishes as you strengthen your knee and heal.

Monica said...

Checking how you're doing... hope great!
Sending a bunch of virtual daffodils- blooming everywhere here now. Soon you will be running in the meadows among wildflowers!!!
Big hugs,
Monica xo

Burlap Luxe said...

Hope you are doing well my friend,
Are you up and around these days, or slowly recovering.

Prayers and blessing Elizabeth.
I am thinking of you, and was asked to post a return of Prairie Style magazine for Fifi.
I used some of my gathered prairie photos the top two and bottom so I could build a story for her.

See you soon.
Let me know how you are doing and if the recovery is healing smoothly.

Lots of sis love

martha said...

Oh my! I had no idea. You write so beautifully about a difficult time. Your husband is a blessing straight from God! You don't need me to tell you that. May God grant you a quick and simple recovery.

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Thank you Martha, I appreciate your lovely comment. I'm getting better every day.

Happy Easter and please visit again,
Lots of hugs

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