Jack and the Beanstalk

Me and the fur kids are camped out on the couch again today…

Long story short, my palindromic rheumatism (which flares up every few years) caused the big ol’ Bakers Cyst behind my knee to rupture, and I’ve been limping around since Friday night. Short story gross– there’s a bloody/cyst-y mess the size of a piece of bacon trapped in the tissue around my calf. I’m off to see an orthopaedic surgeon tomorrow, to make sure it’s okay to just let it heal on its own, but in the meantime, here I am. On the couch again.

I’ve been watching way too much Undercover Boss (pass the tissues, please), and reading lots of oldie-but-goodie shelter mags. This morning I got lost in a sweet little book I bought at a flea market last week. It was stacked on top of a shelf full of other previously-loved books, and I was drawn to it like a magnet the minute I saw the words “pop-up” on it’s spine. The sticker on it’s cover readย $1.25, but the vendor was having a 50% off sale at the time, so I was able to take it home for just 63 cents. Score!

Every single pop-up is in perfect condition, and the whole book is only 4 pages long. Absolutely fascinating!

I feel like I’m extra drawn to pop-up books because of a blurry-edged memory I’ve got stored somewhere at the back of my brain. I can’t see the title or the pictures anymore, but I do have the faintest flash of turning a paper dial on the outside edge of a page, and seeing something move as a result. Pure magic!

I was enchanted to the edge of my seat back then, and I found myself feeling that exact same way again when I discovered Jack and the Beanstalk the other day. It’s crazy how memories can race across time and pop-up pages to reignite those kinds of feelings again!

Have you come across something that’s thrilled and transported you like that lately? If so, I know someone who’s stuck on a couch that would love to read about your experience if you feel like sharing it.

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Green Paint Colors

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  1. Ana says

    Did the book with the dial happen to be A Christmas Carol?? We had a pop up one with a tab that turned a dial and changed the picture… Hope your leg feels better soon!

  2. says

    Hey sweet girl! I’m SO sorry you’re still suffering with your rheumatism! :( I’ve been praying for you every day since you told me.
    Hey, I sent you an email….wasn’t sure if you got it or not because my crazy internet has been screwy. That’s what happened to the email I didn’t get the other day that we discussed. :) I wrote you to tell you where we’re staying. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Oh…the book from my childhood was a little book about dollhouses…I remembering loving that book. I now have three dollhouses…two of which I built. I think it instilled a lifelong love in me of all things miniature. :)
    Hope you’re feeling better today!
    Love ya

  3. shelby says

    Bummer, I am sorry to hear that. I have rheaumatoid arthritis so I feel ya. After painting the kitchen island this week and painting the great room + kitchen I have two swollen knees. Oh joy. However there is great blessing in “forced temporary retirement” slowing down and indulging in those little pleasures such as reading is one of them. I see you have good company, good for you. Prayers and thinking of you. Thanks for the blog, it blesses me:)

  4. says

    Hi Layla, I hope you are feeling better really soon and that you have a super speedy recovery. I was transported back to my childhood the other day when I found my first nursery rhyme book that I had when I was a little girl, I love that book so much growing up. The book cover is hanging on by a thread and the pages are all yellowy and soft and worn around the edges but I think this adds to its appeal. I showed it to my kids and to my delight they were just as taken with it as I was. Take care

  5. Rosette says

    Owie! Sounds painful. Hope you feel better soon!

    Going off topic, I just wanted to let you know that I made your mother-in-law’s taco soup today for my nephew and nieces and it was a huge hit! The kids asked for seconds and some of them even asked for thirds! Little Jenna doesn’t like anything and even she thought it was good. Thanks for the great recipe!


  6. Laurie says

    I didn’t realize that childhood books brought forth such memories for other people like they do for me! I had several pop-up type books when I was growing up, too. I remember one was a joke or riddle book. I’m currently trying to find a book I read over and over from the library. I can’t remember the title or the author, but the cover had 3 little girls on the front – they were sisters in stairstep size. They always wore matching dresses. Seems like they lived in a walk up apartment in New York. I keep searching Alibris.com & ebay…someday I’ll find it! I love children’s books and have bought a bunch that I remember from my childhood.

    Hope you feel better soon!

  7. Linda says

    So sorry you are having problems. You are normally SO active and busy it must be hard to just sit.

    Prayers for healing go out for you.

    Take care,

  8. says

    i took yesterday off and explored downtown with two friends and several cameras. pittsburgh has some spectacular architecture so we had great fun finding special adornments and even buildings we never knew existed. my one friend brought her daughter, who is six and a half (can’t forget the half!). a
    fter a hot morning in the sun and a lot of walking we stopped for lunch. once recharged, but back in the heat, i suggested we go to the water feature over in ppg place. alexis asked to run through the dancing water so us adults were talking while watching her smile and laugh while becoming as wet as she would be if we dunked her in a pool. she happily ran over to us and asked us to join her. i could see her face fall as excuse after excuse after no crushed her.
    then she got to me. i smiled. she smiled. about that time the “i dare you” sweetly escaped her lips. it was met with my “OH IT IS ON!” as i took off for the water shooting out of the ground at various heights and locations. didn’t take long for my giggles and belly laughs to match those of alexis.
    it was a good day. and took me back to the pure simple joy of playing in a sprinkler with my mom, aunts, and uncles.
    hope your leg heals quickly and gets you ready to run in a sprinkler again. xoxo

  9. says

    Hi Layla, I’m sorry to hear you are hurting right now :( Your story made me think of the recent visit I had with my nephew. I took him to the zoo that I used to go to back home when I was little. Sure, the zoo had been changed/ upgraded a lot since then but all sorts of memories flooded back into my mind from when I was little. It made it fun to point out all the things that fascinated me as a child to my nephew as he saw them for the first time in his life. We even rode a camel, the zoo had the same camel ride station! I think I was as excited as he was when he saw it, LOL! Anyway, I hope you get feeling better soon! We’ll send positive thoughts and prayers your way!

  10. trish says

    Hi Layla:
    I love your site and its ability to motivate me to try things out. I have a large LA Modern home that I struggle to decorate and while I can’t re-create it, I always admire your ability to see what a room has potential to look like. That is an artistic spark that you were not only born with but have spent much time and energy fanning to a roaring flame.
    When I was a small child (4 to 9) I had a next door neighbour, Mr. Gehrke and had a huge greenhouse that he had built himself — it was at least 3000 square feet built largely bungalow style. The glass panels were opened and closed using long hooked sticks. He raised all his bedding plants from seed and planted the flats using old wooden tools and bare hands. There was a gigantic rain tank that collected runoff from the roof, a tiny office, and he sold the bedding plants out the back door in spring. I “helped” him daily and I remember one day bringing him some pop-up books I had taken out from the library, which was right across the street. He went through them page by page with me.
    At the age of six I could name all the bedding plants by their starting shoots, and he used to get me to show the customers this feat. I can’t do it now though. :) But I still love gardening and the smell of a greenhouse is the safest smell in the world.
    Hey, I have PR and enteropathic arthritis and take Humira. It is a fantastic medication and I am so grateful that my husband’s insurance provider pays for it. My PR flares are very brief and intense, causing complete immobilization of the joint for a couple of days. The thing I struggle with the most is the fatigue between flares and I am always amazed at how much work you do yourself in your projects. You might want to join the forum at this site: http://www.palindromicrheumatism.org/ — it is small but there are some nice people there. Take care of you so we can see more of your fantastic feats when you feel well again.

  11. says

    Oh it’s funny how we can encounter something that suddenly triggers memories we’d forgotten. I had a pop up book as a wee one, and like yours I can’t really remember it in any detail. I just remember it was also a fairy tale and I loved to open it up, watch the figures and scenery rise magically off the page. I *think* there were also some moveable characters in the scenes, but all I have a strong memory of was the act of turning the pages and seeing the scene literally unfold….

    Thanks for memory lane trip, and hope you feel better soon!

  12. says

    When I was in about 6th grade I discovered Cherry Ames. These were books like The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew except Cherry Ames was a nurse. I loved them! I just ran across the first “Cherry Ames, Student Nurse” at a used bookstore. Talk about taking me back in time!
    Hope you are up and around soon!

  13. says

    Hey there. I am so sorry to hear how poorly you are feeling. It sounds like you have a wheelbarrow load of yuck, although I must say that you are dealing with it quite eloquently.

    So what would I recommend for someone feeling punky? How about:
    Movie: What About Bob? – my favourite for dealing with the blues
    Book:Jennifer Crusie’s Faking It – hilarious book about forgeries and coining the infamous “poor baby’ response for any bad day
    Book: Lisa Lutz, and book in the Spellman Series – a smart-mouthed disfunctional detective family – you’ll be talking like a 40’s movie by the time you are done
    Music: Quartetto Gelato – an odd choice perhaps, this gypsy-like classical music group but you immediately feel like you are walking down a cobble-stone street in Italy

    ‘Hope that some of this helps. When I need a mini break from my consulting work, I head over to your site. Thanks for the enjoyment and feel better soon.

    Cheers from Canada

  14. Toni C. says

    for me.. it’s silly~ it’s the sound of a wet mop going across a floor. A cleaning crew used to come into my office which had a tile floor, a couple of afternoon’s a week. They would use an industrial style mop with a wringer bucket. The first time, I heard it… it took me right back to being a litle girl. In the summer, my mom would bring us home from the swimming pool, spread a cool sheet on the living room floor and put a fan on us so we could take a cool nap. She’d go into the kitchen and mop the floors. When the cleaning crew would use that mop….my stress would immediately go away, and I’d get so sleepy– it would take me right back to those sweet summer afternoons. I’m getting sleepy just thinking about it. :)

  15. says

    Sorry about your leg, hope you’ll recover soon!. Specific scents definitely spark memories for me too. Feel better hun!

  16. Kelly says

    Sorry about your gross fatty bacon knee! ๐Ÿ˜‰ JK that sounds awful but if your looking for something to read kisses from Katie is amazing and you will love it! Soooo inspirational! Hope all goes well!

  17. says

    So sorry about your leg! :(

    A couple of things come to mind that have taken me back in time recently. At a thrift store, I found a book that had been discarded from a library. It was a book I read in 5th grade (checked out from my school library), and loved so much that I slept with it at night until I couldn’t keep it any longer. I now have my very own old and faded library bound copy (which is exactly how the book looked when I read it back in 5th grade).

    The other is that we recently downloaded the first Super Mario Bros. Nintendo game on our Wii. When I played it for the first time, I was instantly transported back to the 80’s. My 7-year-old asked, “How can you go so fast, and how do you know where all the hidden stuff is???” :)

    Hope you’re feeling better!

  18. kathleen says

    Speedy recovery to you. I have enjoyed your blog over the years, seen your mast head change, laughed at your video antics and the like. Your story abut the book with the magical dial… as a Discovery Toys consultant from Years ago, a sweet book for a child sold included a dial to transform the image of say a caterpillar into a butterfly — perhaps it was called Metamorphosis, rather heavy for a child’s book or maybe changes?? I think there was a tadpole into a frog too, anyway that is the book I know of, perhaps your Mom has it in a box up in the attic or it was given to a relative that also knows of it. Also, Discovery Toys sold toys popular in Europe, always the toys were multitaskers as Alton Brown would say.

  19. ReneeM says

    Love to go to yardsales and the like, but haven’t been to many this summer due to my mother-in-law having to move in with us, needing full time care. But just this morning my hubby was happy to let me get out for a while with my daughter and granddaughters so we hit a few local sales. We all found some treats(dolls, books, butterfly pillow), but my daughter and I both found little project pieces. She found a wooden shelf with coat hooks, and she wants to clean it up and repaint it for her girls room. I found a wonderful old picture frame that I want to put an old calender print in(fairies) and hang in my guest room. Love your blog, it is such an inspiration! Hope you are on the mend and feeling better by now!

  20. Tamela says

    Yes! I grew up in South Africa and had a wonderful book called “The Magic Faraway Tree” by Enid Blyton. It was the most magical book. None of my friends in the U.S. had heard of it and I couldn’t find it in any of the children’s bookstores here. Finally I found a copy online and had it shipped from the U.K. It was dreamy to finally have it in my hands again after all these years!

  21. says

    I have a love for pop up books also. If you have not seen the amazing work of Robert Sabuda. You should check his work out. It is amazing what he does with folding paper.
    One of the highlights of Christmas is reading his Chirstmas books to my children.

  22. says

    Hey Layla! I hope you are feeling better. I followed your link to the wikipedia page on palindromic rheumatism and I just had to comment! I had an attack just like this a few years ago where I had sudden onset of joint pain, which started in my wrists and then progressed within a day or so to my ankles and knees and eventually (over the course of a week or so) all over my body to the point where I could barely walk across a room or get out of bed. It was the weirdest thing and at the time I thought for sure I had rheumatoid arthritis. I had made an appointment with a neurologist but because I was a new patient couldn’t get in for at least a month or so and by the time the appointment rolled around, the pain had disappeared so I never went. I have always wondered what in the world that “attack” could have been and why it appeared so suddenly, lasted maybe two weeks or so, and then disappeared! In all the research I did during that time, I never came across palindromic rheumatism before and now after reading about it, I’m convinced that had to have been what mine was. But now I’m wondering if this is something that could likely reoccur at some point. You mentioned that your attacks flair every few years? I wondered how old you were when you had the first one and how many flairs you had before you were able to get a definitive diagnosis for it? I’ve always heard that any time of autoimmune type disorders are very hard to diagnose. I know you’re a busy gal, but if you have a chance, I’d really be interested in hearing about your experiences if you would be willing to share!

    Love your blog and absolutely love all the inspiration I draw from it! :)