Moving at a snail’s pace

Life has slowed way down for me these past 18 months that I’ve been retired. It’s not been just what I’d expected, either, or planned on. Worsening arthritis to the point of debilitation has put the squash on any plans I had of getting out more, traveling more, gardening more, walking more, and generally moving more than I ever did while I was sitting and typing all those many years of my working life.

But whatever it has become, my life has slowed down to a crawl here at the cottage on the hill. My latest accomplishment, the new reading room made out of the old dining room, is getting a lived-in look now… here it was when I came down this morning:

morning in the reading room


morning in the reading room

Funny how the dogs are reacting to the new space. Em always used to love sitting underneath the dining room table, in amongst the chair-legs… like it was a secret hiding place maybe. In the warm/hot weather, I would find her over in front of the fireplace on the bare floor, soaking up the cooler surface. I’d take the carpet up in there in the really hot weather and she loved spreading out under the table on the bare floor.

Kip never did any of this. He likes to be in one of three places: 1) plopped in front of the front door looking out the storm door to the front yard and street beyond; or, 2) plopped on the floor in front of the rear hallway looking out into the kitchen/breakfast room where Paul would be sitting at the table and I’d be in my chair, and he could keep a close eye on both of us at the same time; or, 3) he’s on the sofa, probably his favorite spot in the whole house, taking a snooze.

If Paul and I are both home, like today, and we are on different floor levels, the dogs will almost always be on MY floor level, but with an ear cocked to hear if Paul is moving around or intending to go out, maybe on walkies! We don’t utter that word around here very often or lightly. Once it’s been said out loud, both dogs will go into overdrive and start barking loudly, running back and forth around the house, until Paul can get his coat on and the leads pulled out and onto the necks of my two collie doggers. Happy dogs… is what they are then.

Now, the thing about the reading room, which I must say is also turning into a “music room” for me, is that so far, Paul has not spent any time sitting in his chair yet reading! He says the light is not right yet, so the other day I ordered two floor lamps that should be arriving today, I think, which are a tiny bit weird but I think will work for us. They have goose-necks that are adjustable. They have tiny LED lights underneath the main body and a big magnifying glass in the middle so you can put your book under the glass, if you’ve forgotten your glasses, and see better. I keep a set of reading glasses at all places I land in this house, but Paul only has two… so this should work well for him, see below:

I’m trying to keep the new room neat and orderly but I also want it to feel homey (or as the British say, “homely” – which means the same as our “homey”). So I put the radio/CD player in there and only put in a bunch of classical CD’s – I want to create a peaceful ambiance in that room and not turn it into a loud, foot-tapping, rock-n-rolling type of place. A serenity room, more or less.

As you can see, my forsythia have bloomed and even have green leaves on them now:


I won’t keep them indoors too long, and I’m thinking that these stems may develop roots while sitting in water in here, and I might plant them in two bunches out front along the wire fence and see if I can get a couple of forsythia bushes going out there… the more color in the yard the better, as I always say.

morning in the reading room

I still have work to do on things in here. The sheers that you see in the picture above need to be hemmed at the top. I have them pinned up because they were too long, and I’ve had Paul cut 11 inches off the 2 wooden curtain rods there, one for the off-white curtains and one for the sheers, so I want to hem those sheers up so they will slide easily on the wooden rod. Sewing is a big project for me as I will have to do it out in the breakfast room now on the table, whereas before I would use the dining room table.

So things are moving along – slowly…

See you another day and cheers,


It’s in every one of us to be wise;

Find your heart, open up both your eyes.

We can all know every thing without ever knowing why.

It’s in every one of us, by and bye.

~ John Denver & The Muppets ~

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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9 Responses to Moving at a snail’s pace

  1. TopsyTurvy says:

    I hope you’re starting to enjoy your new room. I think the idea of the reading light/magnifying glasses are great. I can understand what Paul means about the light not being right, though. Yep, I too am getting to the point where reading is hard unless there’s lots of light.

    I wish you’d check into taking better care of your health, Bex. There are simple solutions out there to arthritis pain, even exploring items as simple as Aleve, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen.

    I don’t understand why you sit there in pain when you can explore options. Pain is debilitating and makes life a misery. Opt for relief and happiness, please…



  2. The room is lovely – arranged for good use and comfort and eye appeal – no easy task!


  3. Eric Mayer says:

    It looks almost like spring with that forsythia. Nice looking room. And what an interesting lamp. I’ve never seen such a thing. I can see how it is supposed to work, now the question is will it?


  4. WendyNC says:

    What a lovely, restful room you’ve created.


  5. Bex says:

    Karen, This is where I got the lamps, from amazon. I think they were delivered today, I haven’t opened the box yet.

    I don’t do any kind of medicine actually, not conventional or alternative. Spent too many years working for and with doctors to put my life in their hands.


  6. Karen G. DiCicco says:

    Well, I just wrote a note to you but it disappeared.
    I just stated that Em sounds like Lad in the Albert Payson Terhune books. I also wonder if you had rheumatoid arthritis? Have you tried any alternative therpies outside of western medicine? Have you considered a scooter? The small kind that can be easily stowed in a car etc.?
    I love your lamps. Where do you get them?


  7. Sandy Freel says:

    so sorry you have to have such pain now.
    You sure have made a wonderful room to enjoy and the fuzzies time Paul will get there.
    Nice to see spring blooming in your home


  8. Bex says:

    The thing that sold me on the lamps is that you can do close-up work with them – like needlepoint – which I need to get back into – and the magnifier should prove invaluable.


  9. Loving the forsythia! The lamps you describe sound wonderful, can’t wait to see them.


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