F Simple and Serene Living 09 10
Wednesday, July 19, 2017


I love this time of year. So much fresh produce, and I am getting a few tomatoes and green peppers from my container garden.

I only planted one green pepper plant, which isn't doing great, but I have managed to get one small pepper from it and there is another one clinging to life.

It is being cut up and used in my breakfast burrito. It's so easy to scramble some eggs with mushrooms and the pepper, add some grated cheddar cheese, and wrap it in a gluten free tortilla. Yummy!!

I'm starting to get more tomatoes, so I think it is time to make my favorite eggplant tomato casserole. In the over 45 years that I have been making it I have never had one person turn it down. 

Eggplant Tomato Casserole
from the original  "The Vegetarian Epicure Cookbook"

1 large eggplant (about 1 1/2 lb.) 

1 1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
2 eggs, beaten

2 Tbs. melted low cal margarine (or butter)
ground pepper,

2 to 3 tbs. chopped onion
1/2 tsp. crushed oregano

1/2 cup dry bread crumbs (I'm making my own gluten free bread crumbs)
2 large tomatoes, sliced thin

2 oz. cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese,

eel and slice the eggplant. Put the slices in a pan with the salt and about an inch of boiling water. Cover tightly and cook about 10 minutes. Drain. Mash the eggplant and mix in the eggs, melted butter, pepper, onion, oregano and bread crumbs.
Butter a shallow 1 1/2 qt. baking dish. Cover the bottom with half the tomato slices. Spoon in all of the eggplant mixture and spread evenly. Arrange the rest of the tomato slices on top. Mix together the cheeses and sprinkle over the top layer of tomatoes. Add a sprinkle of paprika and bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes.

Then just serve and enjoy.

I'm planning on sharing this with some friends in a few days.

What is your garden producing and how are you using it?

I have really been struggling with moving my photos from my iphone to my computer lately, and it has kept me from blogging. 

I was using dropbox, but whenever I filled it up I would either have to delete a bunch of photos or pay for more storage. 

I asked my daughter what to use and she suggested Google Photos. So much easier. Why didn't I know about this before?

Now I am feeling like getting out there and taking photos again. 

The only thing I haven't been able to do is figure out how to get to google photos from PicMonkey. Does anyone have a solution to that? Right now I am saving the photo I want to use to my computer and then accessing it. 

Some days it feels like I spend more time on how to use technology than anything else I am doing. 

I am heading out to dinner tonight and I think I will treat myself to a glass of wine. It's been a long day.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017


I have a new neighbor. Well, to be honest it isn't really an entirely new neighbor, it is a neighbor that has moved into a new and better home.

I love Whole Foods, and I am loving that is is still five minutes from where I live and that it has doubled in size. 

We have a new shopping and dining center called the Summit at Fritz Farm. It is very upscale and Whole Foods opened there a couple of weeks ago. 

Salad anyone?

I haven't walked the shopping area yet, but I did want to check out Whole Foods as my cupboards were getting pretty bare. 

To be honest, I can't afford to do all of my shopping there, but I do love their selection of Kombucha teas.

There are a lot of pros and cons out there about Kombucha, but it really helps my digestion.

There are lots of baked goods. I generally pass those by as I am gluten free, but they looked delicious, and let's face it, who doesn't want to eat cake.

The fruits and vegetables looked wonderful, but for the most part I passed those up too, as I am trying to buy local over the summer.

I think I'm going to stop in tomorrow after physical therapy to try one of their smoothies for lunch.

What is Mochi premium ice cream? 

Apparently it is a confection made from Japanese mochi (pounded sticky rice) with an ice cream filling. Hmmmm!! Have you ever heard of it? Have you tried it?

I chickened out, but I know my curiosity is going to get the better of me soon. 

I am really looking forward to checking out more of the Summit, but it is soooo hot here right now that I haven't had the energy to walk outside. 

Soon though, and then I'll share it with you.

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Monday, July 3, 2017


One of my friends messaged me yesterday to see if I was okay because I haven't posted in two weeks. 

I wanted to reply that getting old is not for sissies. 

It seems that it is always something these days. 

I have been going to physical therapy for my knee and that was getting better, but then a couple of weeks ago I started having a BAD toothache. 

I went to the student dental clinic where I have all of my dental work done and the young man I saw said my tooth was dying. 

Well hello, we all have to go sometime was my thought.

I spent the next ten days suffering through failed root canals and finally telling them if they didn't get that tooth out of my mouth I was going to go home and sterilize the pliers in my toolbox. 

The tooth is gone. It was the back molar and I don't think I will miss it. In the meantime I have had to do a bit of recovery and I missed my physical therapy appointment on Friday. 

Not having PT on my knee for almost a week has caused it to flair up some again. 


That's life.

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P.S. Have a great fourth.
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Monday, June 19, 2017


No matter how much we try to be independent there are times in each of our lives that we need support.

Medical Definition of support system: a network of people who provide an individual with practical or emotional 

Last week when my knee surgeon told me there might be the possibility that I would have to have revision surgery that need for support came home to roost. 

I have spent so much of my adult life worrying about everyone else, that when I suggest I might need support I am met with accusations of being selfish. 

Then two friends independently of each other asked me where my support system was. 

How nice they said, that everyone else in your family has support, but where is your's. 

It was then that I realized that I have to have a support system. I need to live near family so that if I have an emergency there is someone close by.

Nothing is perfect, and there are no assurances in life. Being financially challenged means that we have less options, but it shouldn't mean that we have to forego a support system. 

I certainly don't need anyone to take care of me, but I'm getting older and there are times when I need help or even just the comfort of family. 

I also want to continue to be a source of support to the people I love. I know it should always work both ways, but I think the time has come for me to seriously talk to my daughters about my need for support.

Have you had to have this conversation with your family? Who do you consider to be your support system?

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Friday, June 16, 2017


Just a short post this morning. 

I choose love. It isn't always easy, because we are constantly bombarded with evil. 

However, love is so much better than fear. It opens us up to so many possibilities. 

So I will practice, practice, and practice some more. 

Each time I begin to feel fearful I will consciously change that feeling to love. 

I am headed off to physical therapy for my knee. Went back to my surgeon and he showed me the x-rays of my knee. The implant is a tad crooked, but it has always been that way. 

I am going to try physical therapy to see if I can strengthen my knee so that I can avoid revision surgery.

I am just loving my knee. It is the best knee ever. 
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Monday, June 12, 2017


Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
                                    Ralph Waldo Emerson

How often in life do we follow the path that is set out for us by other people? 

Where have those paths led us?

Did they make us happy?

Did they allow us to follow our own dreams.?

Late in life I have come to realize that we each must follow the path that will maybe not take us where we imagine we want to go, but that will take us in new and unexpected directions.  

This past year I have found myself taking on new and unexpected things, and although some of those things have not been easy, they have allowed me to meet interesting new people and to stretch myself in new ways.

I have also finally come to accept that it is not my job to please everyone and that no matter what I do there will always be people who don't like or agree with me. 

The most important thing in choosing a path is to like yourself and to be proud of what you are doing.

I am proud of the advocate and activist I have become. The path isn't always easy, and I often have to step out of my comfort zone, but it is a good path for me. 

We are never to old to start down new paths. New paths keep life fresh and interesting.

How about you? Have you started down any new paths recently?

Find more Inspiration on a Monday here.

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Saturday, June 10, 2017


This has been a busy week for me. Most of the swelling has gone down in my knee and although I still am having a little pain, I have really fallen behind in all of the things I need to do so, I have been trying to catch up. 

The week started off with my Uncle's 97th birthday party. This is my uncle along with my mom who will be 93 in August. I sure hope I inherited their longevity genes. 

Speaking of family, I finally got through all of the family photos I found at my sister's and divided them up for the family. I'll share more of them later, but thought I would share this photo of my mom, my older sister, and me. 

This was taken after my mom had all of my long curls cut off. She said she was tired of trying to get a brush through them. 

I've started selling again, and although I am selling locally and a few things on Etsy, I am not really happy with the direction Etsy has taken. This has led me to consider attaching a shop to my blog. I will be working on finding ways to do that this next week.

I was really excited this week to see the farm market around the corner from me open up. First peach of the summer season is always a highlight for me. Yummy!!

Have you read the Maisie Dobbs books by Jacqueline Winspear. I love them and I was so excited to read the newest book in the series this week. If you decide you want to read them you need to read them in order. 

It's been a busy week, but I like being busy. Today I am going to cook some fresh green beans with tomato slices, new potatoes, and corn on the cob. Later I am playing Rook with some friends. 

Hope you had a good week and that you have a great rest of your weekend.

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Monday, June 5, 2017


In recent weeks I have been doing a series of posts on ways to combat worry. You can catch up on them here and here.

We all know about time outs. They are when we give someone a period of time or take a take a period of time ourselves to stop a behavior. 

Today I want to talk about the idea of taking a "time in" to worry. At this point you may be asking yourself why I am promoting worry, which would be a fair question. 

What I am actually doing is promoting the idea of setting aside a specific time in your day to worry and making the rest of your day worry free time. 

First of all make it a brief period of time, say 15 to 20 minutes. Plan it at the same time each day, but DO NOT make the time right before you go to bed. 

Worrying thoughts are bound to crop up during the rest of your day, but make a note of them and then move on. 

When your worry time comes up, address what is worrying you then. You may find that some of the things you were worried about have already been resolved. If so put them aside and focus on anything else that needs your attention. 

When the worry time is over, move on with your day. 

I plan to come up with some actions I can take during that time, which may help to resolve the worry. Afterwards I plan to meditate for 20 minutes. You can read more about meditating for worry here.

It is almost impossible to completely stop worrying, but I am hoping that if you confine your worry to a brief time each day you will be able to break the habit of constant worrying. 

Let me know if you try it, and if you do how well it works for you. 
You can find more Monday Inspiration here.
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Saturday, June 3, 2017


June is busting out all over. The weather is perfect, and my tomato plants are already starting to produce. 

This is what my tomato plants looked like less than a month ago. 

I never imagined they would grow so quickly. 

They seem to love where they are planted and I know I am going to love eating them.

Thanks to my friend Pat who has kept our little garden watered while my knee has been healing. 

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Monday, May 29, 2017


Today is a day we honor all of the men and women who have served our country.

It is a day that I remember my father who fought and was a POW in WW11.

He fought bravely to protect this country from fascism. 

Today I will relax and enjoy my day because of him and the millions of others who have served. 

I plan to have lunch with my mom and then we will play some cards, because that is what she wants to do. Later I will spend some time with friends. 

I hope everyone else has a happy and relaxing day.

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