F Simple and Serene Living 09 10
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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Friday, May 26, 2017


Everyday I have to remind myself to be grateful.

This morning as I was sitting here resting my knee (Yes I did a bit too much. So easy to do.) I reminded myself how grateful I am for my little apartment.

I waited so long for a place of my own again, and sometimes in the craziness of life I have to stop and remind myself how fortunate I am to have this apartment and be surrounded by the things that I love and hold dear. 

The things I have give me comfort and a sense of home. 

I do miss my family and know that I want to be closer to them, but I am filled with gratitude for a safe place and so many new friends.

Practicing gratitude, feeling thankful, is good for our health.  

If we look around us there are so many small things we can feel grateful for.

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Gratitude means different things to people, but for me it signifies a sense of thankfulness. 

In these crazy times we can often feel hopeless, and it can seem difficult to find things we can be grateful for, but if we lose the ability to feel grateful we will be lost. 

So I am making a vow today. I will renew my efforts to feel a sense of gratitude. I will find at least one new thing each day to be thankful for. 

Today I am thankful for my home. 

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Monday, May 22, 2017


Last Monday I began a series on worry. In my first post I talked about how taking action can help with worry. If you missed that post you can catch up here

We all worry from time to time, and although not all worry is 100% bad if it leads us to figure out a solution, but it can become a real problem when we let it take over our lives.

One of the things in my worry toolbox is meditation.

Many people have the misconception that meditation is shutting down the mind. Meditation is a calming of the mind while remaining alert, and it is through this calming that we find peace of mind.  

Meditation works very well for worry because it allows you to focus on the present moment rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. 

There are different techniques for meditating, and I think finding the one that works best for you is what is most important. 

Sometimes I find that I like a guided meditation, while other times I just like to sit quietly with nothing to distract me. 

I use certain mantras when I meditate. The basic Om mantra is an easy and effective mantra. I used it a lot when I first began to meditate because to be honest I would forget a more complicated mantra and then I would worry that I wasn't doing it right. See how easy it is to worry. 

The point is, is meditation is supposed to take worry away. So in my opinion, if it is calming you, then how can you be doing it wrong. 

If you have never tried meditation there are plenty of ways to get started. You Tube has plenty of guided meditations and music for meditation. There are also books and Google has a lot of information.

Do you meditate? I would love to hear about your meditation practice.

P.S. Thanks for all of your kind comments about my knee. The doctor called this morning and I don't have an infection. Thank goodness. I don't have a definitive diagnosis so I am going with my theory of a sprain and will continue to rest it as much as possible while meditating. 

P.P.S. There is more Inspiration On A Monday here.
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Saturday, May 20, 2017


Wednesday I went to see the orthopedic surgeon about my knee swelling and pain. 

I felt like I was doing pretty good that morning. My knee was swollen, but the pain was minimal and I walked from the parking lot and into the office with no problem.

purple iris flower

Since it has been five years since my first knee replacement and over four years since the second he ordered x-rays for both. 

The x-rays showed no change since the time they were done. That was a relief. The problem was that my knee definitely had fluid on it and he wasn't sure why. He ordered a blood test to check my sed rate, which will show if I have inflammation and possibly infection. Hopefully not.

spring flowers

He told me I could go on my walks if I felt like it and so Thursday. I took a thirty minute morning walk. 


By Thursday night my knee was so swollen and in so much pain I could barely put enough weight on it to get to the bathroom. 

patio container garden impatiens

I gave myself a lecture on slowing down. Yesterday I stayed in the bed and iced my knee and rested. Today it is doing better and I am up moving around the apartment with minimal pain. 

I still think it is a sprain, but I know even sprains take time to heal. It is hard for me to slow down. There is so much I want and need to do, but I am going to continue resting it. 

gardening impatiens container

Next week I will tell you about my first experience with Instacart. We got it here a few weeks ago and the timing was perfect since I couldn't get out to go to the grocery. 

Have a great weekend.

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