F Simple and Serene Living 09 10
Friday, June 8, 2018

FINDING YOUR HAPPY PLACE

Happiness can feel so elusive. It is often there just below the surface, and then it disappears like a puff of smoke. 

The times we are living in add to the elusiveness. The ebbs and flows of our country and in our personal lives create static in the air that pop and sizzle around us like dysfunctional fireworks. 


How do we find our happy place? 

For some people it's an actual place, a place that evokes memories or brings about a sense of peace through its very being. 

For others it may be surrounding themselves with people or things they love. 

Some people find happiness through meditation, yoga, mountain climbing, hiking, or riding a bike. 


We are all unique in our individuality and so what works for one person may not work for another. 

However, I think most people find happiness through a combination of things and sometimes looking back and remembering happy times can help us to pull that feeling back up to the surface. 


As we get older happiness seems to shift from feelings of excitement to feelings of peace. The beliefs of immortality that we have when we are very young change. Instead, we crave a sense of contentment in our current lives. 

Yes, happiness can seem elusive, but if we look inside ourselves to find what really makes us feel happy then we can make finding happiness much easier. 

Where is your happy place? 
P.S. You can find more inspiration here.
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Monday, June 4, 2018

A FAMILY GATHERING

It's hard to believe that another year has rolled around and the family has gathered once again for my uncle's birthday.

Karl is my mother's older brother and he is celebrating 98 years. (My mom is a much younger 93. She will be 94 in August.)

Karl and my mom. Probably discussing the time when they were kids and Karl had to churn ice cream all day for my mom's birthday. It's a sore subject to this day.

I love this yearly get together and I know that they will not be happening much longer. Karl is in failing health, and although my Aunt Jean, who is 97, takes excellent care of him, time is not on our side. 


My aunt and uncle met three months before he shipped out for WWII and he wrote her love letters every day while he was gone. She kept all of those letters and their grandkids had them printed up and made into a very large book. I hope that I can sit down and read more of them someday. 

He knew she was the one and I guess you can say that their marriage has stood the test of time. They seem as much in love today as they were so many years ago.


They have two children, five grandchildren, and six great grandchildren. Quite a legacy.

So yesterday we met once again. There was laughter, food, and homemade birthday cakes. It was a wonderful day. 


Happy birthday, Uncle Karl. Looking forward to next year.


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Friday, May 25, 2018

WHAT'S UP WITH KUDZU?

If you are not from the southeastern part of the US, you may not be familiar with kudzu.

Kudzu is an invasive plant that was originally introduced as an ornamental ivy. However, kudzu now covers an estimated two million acres of forest in the southern US. 


YIKES!!! it boggles the mind, but enough of that because the Kudzu I am talking about is an antiques mall in Decatur Georgia. 

The first time I went there it was love at first sight, second sight, third.....well you get the picture. 


When I was in Atlanta last month my daughters asked if I would like to go to Kudzu. 

Was that a rhetorical question, because I am pretty sure they both already knew the answer. 


 I went from pajamas to fully dressed with makeup in 30 seconds. (gross exaggeration), but still record time.

As you can see from the photos there is always so much to see. 


I pretty much wander around in a daze while I am there. 

You would think that there would become a point where I would become over saturated with vintage and antiques, but nope, doesn't happen.


I am absolutely fascinated with it all and I know that I couldn't possibly have taken it all in. 

We only had a bit over an hour to wander through, because we had to go pick up Tessa, but it was a wonderful time.


If you are looking for me I'll be studying these pictures and dreaming of my next visit. 













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Monday, May 14, 2018

MY MOM AND THE MOUNTAINS

My mom has been talking about how she never gets to leave town anymore, so on Mother's Day I thought it might be nice if we took a day trip into the mountains. 


Mom has always loved going up to Natural Bridge State Park for lunch.

It's just an hour's drive from us so it's not too terribly tiring for her. 


She has lost 20 pounds recently and her clothes are all too large, so we went last week and bought her a pretty new lavender outfit for the special day. 

The line for the lunch buffet was out the door, but not one person was willing to argue with a little 4' 9"  93 year old woman when she broke into the front of the line. I may have to take her more places with me. 

I was happy to see her eating as she hasn't had much appetite lately. She does love that catfish.


It was a beautiful day. The temperature was in the mid 80s, the sky was blue, and there was a really lovely breeze blowing, which kept it from being too hot. 

After I got her settled back into the car after lunch we decided to drive back through the Red River Gorge. It is one of our favorite drives.


She was really proud of herself for not falling asleep, and it gave her a chance to reminisce. 

She started talking about the trips she used to take with her mother. My grandmother loved to drive and she would always take my mom with her. Apparently they drove to Ashland Kentucky a couple of times to see a woman name Pherbie. What a name.


My grandmother loved to hike in the mountains, and she told my mom that the first time she went to the Smokey Mountains she rode on a logging train by herself.

She was a pretty strong women. My mom said she thinks I take after her, which was a pretty great compliment. My grandmother often seemed stern, but I know that she kept the family business going through the Great Depression. 


That business is still there today. It is still owned and run by members of my family, and it is now the oldest florist in Kentucky. The blue house on the left is where my mom grew up and where I spent many wonderful visits. 

Mother's Day turned out to be a good day. Hope yours was too.









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Monday, May 7, 2018

SPRING CLEANING MY BOOTH AND WHAT I'M READING

Leaving Atlanta behind was hard, but having to face my filthy, messy booth was even harder. 

YIKES!!! Where does all of the black dirt come from? 


I didn't take any before photos, because I didn't want to ever have a reminder of just how messy it had gotten in a couple of weeks. 

I swear it looked like someone had come in and tossed everything into the middle of the floor. 


There is also the problem of things from other booths being dropped off in mine. 

Thank goodness I only have to take them to a table at the front. The mall where I am located is in three large warehouse buildings. I have had to walk around on occasion to find missing items from my booth (not everyone is good about taking them up front), and it isn't really the way I want to get my exercise.


May is always a slow month. Like me, everyone is out checking out the yard sales. 

It's a good time for me to stock up though, and I also have been buying from some local online auctions. 


As soon as the weather starts really heating up people will start heading back to the mall where they can browse in the air conditioning. I want to be ready.

I am getting back into reading. I was having a hard time concentrating for awhile this winter and wondered if I needed glasses beyond my readers. The eye doctor pronounced my vision to be 20/20. So no more excuses for not doing something I love.

Have you read any of the Maisie Dobbs books by Jacqueline Winspear. I love them.


The books, which take place in England, begin in WWI and have moved forward through time with each book. This latest novel takes place after the breakout of WWII. Maisie is a combination psychologist and private eye. She also does some spying along the way. Along with all of the intrigue there are large slices of life. 

The sun is hiding today so I think I will stay home and list some things in my Etsy shop. 

It's good to be busy.







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Monday, April 30, 2018

TESSA TIME

It was a whirlwind week in Atlanta, but every minute was wonderful.

I have lots to share, but I thought I would focus on my time with Tessa first. 


I have three wonderful grandchildren and I make sure to give time to each of them when I am there, but Tessa, who is five, demands a lot more of my attention. 

Each morning around 6:30 I would hear a light tapping on my door. I would always say, "who is it?", and Tessa would always say, "Nana, it's me Tessa". 

With a little giggle and a giant leap she would be in my bed and under the covers. That was our special time to snuggle, read and look for dragons, and talk about the day ahead. 


On this morning she was accompanied by her purple unicorn that I gave her for her last birthday. 

Watching Tessa play soccer was a real treat. Her coach said she put in a lot of extra effort that day. I think she was trying to impress her Nana, and it worked. I was very impressed. She was the only girl on her team and she was definitely the fastest runner.


One of my favorite days was the day we made stone soup. While my daughter and her husband were working hard in the yard, Tessa and I were hardly working. We collected stones, weeds, grasses, and a few flowers and stirred up a big pot of stone soup in a flower pot. 


After letting it simmer in the sun for a few hours we unanimously decided it was the best stone soup ever. 


There is nothing better in the world than time with a precious grandchild. No matter how stressful the world is, everything seems to fade into the background when you step into their world.


It is a time when life is reduced to rain boots and waders for a day of play in the park.

Perfect.







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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

ON THE ROAD

On the road again....I can't wait to get on the road again.

Actually, I am on the road today heading down to Atlanta. 


It has been four months since I have seen my daughters and grandchildren and I am literally chomping at the bit to see their sweet faces and scoop them up in big hugs.

After enduring another day of blowing snow on Monday I am looking forward to some frost free days. I am so over wintry weather, and although it will be mainly in the sixties while I am in Georgia those temps will be much better than what I have been dealing with.


Whatever the temperatures are I will be too busy playing and visiting with the kids to really care.

I may get in a quick post while I am gone, but I am leaving my laptop at home so that I am not tempted. 


Hopefully by the time I get back to central Kentucky on the 25th spring weather will have finally arrived. 

My friend and I are putting our names into the hat for a garden plot and I am hoping we get one. If so it will be time to start planting in a couple of weeks. 


Hope everyone has a wonderful week and that it warms up where you are.



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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

HOUSEPLANTS AND LOW LIGHT

Anyone that knows me knows that I love houseplants, and I love them even more now that I am living in an apartment with no outdoor space.

Houseplants are pretty much the only way to satisfy my itch to dig in the dirt. 



Here's my dilemma though. I don't have a whole lot of light or space to work with. There is a double window in my living room and a single window in my bedroom. 

I want more plants, but I also want plants that will survive the low light areas of my apartment. 


I love spider plants and I had one that was really thriving. However, a year ago I had an infestation of fungus gnats and my spider plant really suffered.  Most of the babies died. 

I was able to save a couple of them and after rooting and transplanting them they are doing well. I have this pot in the window, but research tells me that spider plants also do well with reflected light and being misted. They also like hanging baskets, so I think I will work on a way to hang this one. 


Diffenbachia (Dumb Cane) is another good choice. This is mine and you can see that it is thriving. I traded a home grown tomato last summer for this plant. I think I got the better deal.


Diffenbachia has a good tolerance for indoor conditions. It likes filtered light and can grow to be quite large. The leaves need to be cleaned regularly, which is something I need to do with all of my plants. 

I love palms and don't have one at the moment. I was afraid that I don't have enough light, but apparently the Parlor Palm tolerates low light.

source

This is one of the easiest palms to grow indoors. I'm glad to hear that because I managed to kill off the last palm I had. 

It has been a long time since I had a rubber plant. Not sure why I haven't gotten another one, because the rubber plant is one of the easiest to grown indoors. 


The rubber plant will tolerate low light conditions although it loves bright reflected light. This is a plant that can grow up to the ceiling. 

It's spring, and this means that I am in the mood to plant, but without an outdoor area I am going to have to be content with adding to my indoor jungle. 

Time to  head out to the garden centers to see what I can find. 







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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

ONE FINE DAY AND THEN

Tuesday was one fine day.

It was a day that is normally typical for April in Kentucky.


The sun was shining, a breeze was blowing, and the temperature rose into the seventies. 

Pretty much perfect. 


And then last night...WOW...

A severe storm rolled through here and everything changed. 

Lightning, thunder, winds over 70 miles an hour, and the threat of tornadoes. 


After that the temperature plummeted. The wind chill was 25 degrees when I got up this morning, and although the sun is shining it is still cold out. 

I'm so glad I stocked up on groceries yesterday and ran all of my other errands, because I refuse to take off my sandals and cropped pants. I'm just that stubborn. I think this guy feels like I do.


The forecast for Saturday says snow and an overnight low of 19 degrees. REALLY??? 

I plan to stick my sandal clad feet up to the window and tell Mother Nature she can take a hike. 



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