F Simple and Serene Living 09 10
Thursday, August 18, 2016

SIMPLE SUMMER DAYS

A couple of days ago I was complaining about how quickly summer seems to go by and how much I miss simple summer days.

Then I came across this in my Facebook feed, (You can find the source here.)


I often wonder just when did we stop doing all of the things that made summer so much fun. Did we think we were too grown up? Were we too busy? 

I for one have decided that I want to get back to enjoying the simple pleasures of a childhood summer. 

Yesterday, I began. It was a moody, rainy day. Perfect to sit by an open window, and read a book while enjoying the smells and sounds of a summer day. It brought back memories of days reading Nancy Drew books in my shorty pajamas. 


The day seemed to drift by at a tempo I seemed to have forgotten existed. 

I still love to go treasure hunting. That is what yard sales, auctions, and even walks are for. Seeing a beautiful flower can be treasure enough for me these days. 


Tonight, I am going to head outside at dusk just to look for lightning bugs and listen to the cicadas. Maybe I will hear some neighborhood children playing hide and seek in the dark. 

There are so many simple pleasures to be enjoyed, and most of them are free for us to take. Summer may be drawing to a close, but it's not too late to get out and bring back some simple summer days of your own. 

What are some of your favorite summer memories?
post signature
Read More »
Saturday, August 13, 2016

GOOD GRIEF ENOUGH WITH THE TEETH ALREADY

First of all I want to thank all of you for your sweet comments concerning the death of my brother-in-law. My sister seems to be handling it well and is moving forward.


Now, about that teeth, or should I say tooth, issue. My life over the last week has been wrapped up with one stupid tooth. Monday and Tuesday were spent getting a complicated root canal and Thursday I had 3 1/2 hours of periodontal surgery.

I am now recovering, although I am not sure how long it will take to recover from the money I forked over. So much for getting a new chair and ottoman. That will definitely have to wait for more savings. 


Since I am having to rest for a few days (well rest is always relative with me) I am planning my next venture. I am going to expand my local vintage and antique business to another booth in a new location. 

I have decided to cut back on my Etsy business. I am getting a bit tired of the shipping after eight years, and I am not happy with the control they are exerting over the way I take payments. Etsy is not the seller friendly place that it used to be. 


The periodontist has restricted my lifting etc. for the next week so I am going to work on pricing the things I want to move from Etsy to my booth. 

There is not a lot more that I can do on my apartment right now, thanks to the pesky dental bills, but I am satisfied with what I have done and will start showing it to you next week. 

BTW my periodontist said she had never had as much fun doing a surgery as she had doing mine. I chose not to have sedation so that I could drive myself there and back, and I kept her and my dental student laughing the whole time. Apparently I can be quite entertaining when I am nervous. 


Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. Summer has been zooming by and I sense a change in the light outside, which always signals that fall is not far off. 

post signature
Read More »
Monday, August 1, 2016

INEVITABILITY

There are so many things in life that we consider inevitable. We are born, we go through ups and downs, we age, we pay taxes, and of course we all must die. 

Even though we think we are prepared for the death of a loved one, I am not sure that we ever really can be. 


You may have noticed that I was absent last week. At 1:30 on Tuesday morning my phone rang. A call from an unknown local number at that time can never be a good thing. 

It was the nursing home where my sister's husband was a patient. They called me to let me know that he had unexpectedly passed away in his sleep. It was up to me to get dressed and go to my sister's home to break the news. 



My brother-in-law Don was a good man. He was highly intelligent, a prolific writer, and most of all he loved kids. 

He spent many hours teaching chess to underprivileged children and he entertained his nieces and nephews with an unlimited repertoire of stories. He loved to make up scary stories to tell to my daughter Katy for when we were travelling around the state of Kentucky.

He had an amazing knowledge of the state of Kentucky, which he shared through his newspaper column and in a book he wrote. 



You can read a wonderful tribute to him, which appeared at the top of the front page of our paper here.

Don will be missed by many, but he will be especially missed by those of us who called him family.

Rip in peace Don. We are happy that for you there is no more pain.


post signature
Read More »
Tuesday, July 19, 2016

FARMER'S MARKETS

We have several farmer's markets where I live, but I think the Sunday market has become my favorite.

farmers market

It is the same market that they hold downtown on Saturday, but the parking is free and it is a bit closer to where I live. 

There is still the same wonderful produce. I love the fresh smells and the warmth of a peach that has been picked that morning.

fresh picked peaches produce farmer Kentucky

It is wonderful to wander down the row of booths and pick from all of the offerings.

Anyone for a juicy heirloom tomato?

heirloom tomato produce summer

Oh and of course we can't forget the entertainment.

It may not be Carnegie Hall, but it is down home folksy Kentucky .

Kentucky entertainment


There is definitely an eggplant tomato casserole in my future this week. You can find the recipe here.

fresh produce vegetables farmer

Do you have a favorite farmer's market in your area?

post signature
Read More »
Friday, July 15, 2016

LIVE AND LOVE EACH MOMENT

Yesterday brought us another terrible tragedy. This one in Nice, France.


As soon as I heard about it I realized that there was a personal component for me. I knew that my son-in-law's parents are vacationing in Nice this week, and so of course I became very concerned for them. 

They are a part of my extended family and also have become friends. 

More than that, I know how much my three grandchildren love their Grammy and Popup and how devastating it would be for them to lose them. 


Life can be fleeting for any one of us. We really only have the guarantee of this one moment, and so we should embrace it. We should open our arms to it and breathe in its wonderful aroma of love. 

Hate can only be conquered by love and so no matter how much we hate the terrible acts of individuals, there is still so much love in the world. We have the love of our families, our friends, and all of the people in the world, who like us, want love not hate to win out. 


I believe that if each one of us practice living and loving each moment of our lives that all of that love will resonate out into the world. 

I am grateful today that my family members are safe, but I also grieve, with love, for all of the families of the victims of this and other acts of violence, and I pray for the healing of hearts. 


I know that I personally will spend more time consciously living and loving each moment. I hope you will too.

post signature
Read More »
Monday, July 11, 2016

SIMPLE LIVING MANIFESTO

When I came across this in my Facebook feed a few days ago, I stopped to think about how much of this am I actually practicing.



Eat less, move more. I am eating less, but I am also eating more. That may sound like it doesn't make sense, but what it means is that I am eating very little processed food and eating more natural and organic foods. 



Isn't it wonderful that summer is here and the local farmers provide us with so much to choose from. I am so grateful for their hard work.

I am on a mission to move more. Every day (well almost every day) I am out the door around 7 am to take my morning walk. I may be groaning some days, but I am never sorry once my feet hit the pavement. 


I love how the morning sky is different each day.

Buy less, make more. Well, to be honest I am buying things for my new apartment, but I am trying to buy primarily vintage and antique items and I am selling things I already have so that I am not adding to waste and to hurting the environment. 

I don't do a lot of making my own things anymore unless you count cooking my meals from healthy ingredients.


Stress less, laugh more. I definitely feel less stressed since I have moved into my own apartment, and I am seeking out people who make me laugh more.


That girl knows how to live.

Feel blessed, love more. I am waking up each day remembering all of the things I am blessed with and all of the people I love. 

 
There are many.

Find a quiet spot every day and breathe. This is something I do numerous times throughout the day and I've found it can be done anywhere. 

 
For me, life is so much more serene when it is lived simply.
post signature
P. S. You can find more inspiration  on a Monday here.
Read More »
Tuesday, July 5, 2016

GOOD MORNINGS

I love mornings. They have always been my favorite time of the day, and now I love them even more.

One of the reasons is what I see when I walk out of my bedroom each morning. 


I love how my living room is shaping up. I am slowly getting the English cottage look that I want by using things that I have had for many years along with some new purchases. 

It is an eclectic mix that I will share more of later with you. 

Today, I just wanted to show you my first view of the day. A view that puts a smile on my face. 

Oh and I almost forgot. Tomorrow is a special day. It is my granddaughter Tessa's fourth birthday. 

I won't be there, but I left her a special present. One that she made sure I knew she wanted. I hope my daughter will text me a photo of her with it. If she does I will definitely share it with you.

I'll give you a hint. It is pink (her favorite color), has one horn, and is not alive (although she wanted it to be and told me exactly how she would take care of it).



Happy birthday to a funny, sweet, very serious, and very smart girl. 

Wish I was there to celebrate with you. 

post signature
Read More »
Monday, June 27, 2016

CREATING A SMALL SPACE HOME - MY OLD PINE CUPBOARD

WHEW!! It has taken me six days (not as fast as I used to be), but I have sorted through and put away most of my belongings. 



I am now in the process of starting to do some decorating. After seven years of not having a home of my own I am loving every minute of it. 

Okay, all the bumps and bruises and a possible broken toe haven't been fun, but they will go away and I will hopefully be left with a space that is all mine.

One of the first things I had to do was fix my old pine cupboard. It had been completely shaken apart in transit. The movers, who unloaded for me at the last minute because the original movers I hired didn't bother to show up, looked at it, shook their collective heads, and pronounced it dead. (no, of course I didn't take a before photo)



I just shooed them on their way and told myself that I never give up. However, in this case I thought I might have to call in a furniture restorer, which I definitely can't afford. 

I fixed myself a calming cup of tea, pulled up a chair, and studied it. Thank goodness for my good mechanical skills. 

After pulling out all of the shelves, I figured out which peg went into which slot and got them started on their way. Once I had that done I lifted the bottom piece, and with a hammer I lightly tapped it into place. Voila!!! The entire cupboard just slipped back into its rightful place. 

Once I had all of the shelves back in it was as sturdy as could be. Time to start decorating. 



First thing I did was place the remains of my childhood rocking horse on top. It is over 60 years old and has seen a lot of use, but looking at it makes me smile. 

I had originally planned to put the cupboard in my dining area, but it was just too large, so my fall front desk is in there. I'll show you that another day when I have it ready.



For now I am using a combination of pieces, including some of my white vintage china, white ironstone, and some of the blue and white Dalton china that my father gave my mother when I was growing up. 

My mom gifted the china to me several years ago and I loved pulling out all of the pieces that I had packed away and stored in my sister's garage.


  
I am so happy to have my cupboard back. It fits perfectly into my small space living room. 540 square feet is more than adequate for my needs. 

Now the only thing I need to do is replace one piece of glass that was broken and I will be done with this project for the time being. Believe me, I have plenty more to do. 

It is so much fun being able to decorate again, and I will definitely be sharing it all, so stay tuned.

This also means I will have more time for visiting. Hooray!! 
post signature
P.S. Find more small space living tips here

P.P.S. Visit my small space home here
Read More »
Monday, June 20, 2016

THROUGH THE EYES OF A CHILD

Through The Eyes of A Child 
Ah, to see the world through the eyes of a Child,
They seem to make life so simple!
It is through their eyes that there is such a pure honesty in life!
It is their simple understanding and love that one should seek.
They hold no grudge or anger that lasts.
They show their sadness when they are sad,
And they show their love to everyone.
Their minds are not cluttered with trivial things.
To them life is simple and they see it for what it is!
And ah they accept us for who we truly are!
They have the power of knowing who really is true to them.
And when they quarrel everything is said and gone and all is forgiven !!
Their needs and wants are simple,
And they bury the past and go on.
They heal quickly from tragedy as they see it for what it is!
And they smile with delight with all their happiness.
I see their needs are small and but their joys are great!
Ah through the eyes of a child,
We could learn so much.
by MaryP 



Being ill and then spending a week with my grandchildren helped to put life into perspective. 

I was very disappointed when we unloaded my things from North Carolina last week. I realized that yes, the woman who had tried to steal all of my personal property, had indeed stolen many things, and what she hadn't stolen she had done her best to destroy. 

Gone or smashed was most of my great grandmother's china that had been brought over from Germany in the late 1800's. Gone was the beautiful cut glass dish that my grandmother had received as a wedding gift and then lovingly passed on to me when I was married. My furniture was beat up and I literally threw away half of what had been in storage.


I was still able to give some things to my daughters and keep a few things for myself. The truck has arrived here in Kentucky and will be unloaded tomorrow. I will have my work cut out for me working on the furniture, but as I looked around at my family last week I realized I had the most important things. 

So like a child I will bury the past and go on, because the only person I would be hurting by holding a grudge would be me.


Life is meant to be lived with joy, in the moment, and with gratitude. I will be trying hard to do just that.

post signature
Read More »
Wednesday, June 8, 2016

WHERE'S LAURA?

I know that some of you have been wondering where I have been and why I haven't let you know what is going on.

I can't believe it has been almost a month since I posted, but I have actually been quite ill. 

I contracted some type of bacterial intestinal illness that was extremely virulent and caused me to get colitis. 

green leafy garden arbor

It was the sickest two weeks I have ever spent in my life, and during that time I had what I can only describe as a near death experience. 

Thank goodness for my mother, who brought me things I needed every day and kept on me many times a day to make sure I was hydrating. 

old potting shed leafy bower

I have spent this last week recuperating, and although I am not 100% back to my normal self, I am so much better.

Tomorrow I am packing up my probiotics, Greek yogurt, kombucha tea etc. and heading down to Atlanta. 

My two daughters went to North Carolina last week and oversaw the loading of my storage unit into a You Pack. That You Pack is now sitting in my daughter's driveway and I am going down to spend a week with my family looking through my things and deciding what I want to keep. 

old greenhouse water garden

I think all of the grandchildren hugs and kisses I will get will definitely help in my recovery. 

I will probably not post again until I get back home, but then there may be something I just can't wait to share. 

Thanks so much to those of you who checked on me. I can say that being so ill made me realize what is truly important in life and so I will probably cut back on posting for at least the rest of the summer. 
post signature
Read More »