F Simple and Serene Living 09 10
Friday, January 18, 2019


I love poetry and I especially love poetry that is simple and speaks to my soul.

Mary Oliver's poetry did that for me as it did for so many others. There was a joy in her nature inspired poetry, but she also wrote about the darker side of life. She wrote about the abuse she suffered as a child and about the lung cancer that almost took her life. 

Although she won a Pulitzer Prize, what she seemed to want more was that her poetry spoke to people. Oliver said, "Poetry to be understood must be clear. It mustn't be fancy,"

Inspired by her long walks in nature, she captured a spirituality that appealed to so many people.

Mary Oliver left this life on Thursday. She was 83 years old and had been suffering with lymphoma. 

Her poem, "When Death Comes" spoke of how she wanted her own death to be.

When Death Comes

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox

when death comes,
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

and therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as a possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it's over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it's over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real

I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.

--Mary Oliver

I hope you found your final journey to be a joyous one full of curiosity.

I know that you left this world a richer place.

Thank you.

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Saturday, January 12, 2019


We go through so many changes in our lives, good and bad. The week started off with temperatures in the sixties, but today I woke up to this. 

After almost sixty eight years of having a mother to talk to I have had to learn to live without mine. 

Every day I find myself almost picking up the phone to call her about something only to realize she is no longer on the other end. It's difficult, but it gets a bit easier each day. I don't think we ever completely get over losing our mothers, but I know that my mom wanted me to move on with my life.

I am the executrix of her estate and it requires a lot more work and responsibility than I thought. I have three siblings, so I have to make sure that I am very careful with everything. 

In the middle of all of this I am getting ready to make another change in my life. I will be moving to Atlanta soon. I put my name on a waiting list for a senior apartment there a couple of years ago and my name is getting ready to come up. 

The timing is good as I am now the only member of my immediate family left in Kentucky, but it is also bittersweet. 

So, in the middle of handling the estate, I am packing up my apartment and trying to get the merchandise in my booth sold. I am not planning to have a booth in Atlanta. It's time to move on from that. 

I have temporarily shut down my Etsy shop and my online shop while I make the move. I do plan to continue selling online, but may make changes in how I do it. I have a lot of vintage jewelry that was my mom's and I will be selling that along with some vintage lingerie. I'm thinking Instagram may be a good place for those items. 

I am really looking forward to living close to my daughters and grandchildren. They are most important to me. 

Life is always changing and we either have to go with those changes or get left behind. I for one don't plan on getting left behind.

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Friday, December 21, 2018


This has been a difficult month since the death of my mom, but it was also a favorite time of the year for her. I remember when she had three large Christmas trees and other small ones in her home. She loved decorating. Well in later years she really loved directing us as we decorated her house. 

Tomorrow I leave for Atlanta to spend Christmas with my family. It will be wonderful to be distracted by the excitement of my grandchildren and to think about normal things. 

I hope all of you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. For those of you who may not celebrate Christmas I hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

I will be back to blogging after the New Year and may have some news to share with you. 

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Sunday, December 9, 2018


It has been a very hard few weeks. My mom who at the age of 94 maintained fairly good health, passed away November 30th. 

This photo was taken about 15 years ago. Not very clear.

She had a mild heart attack the week before Thanksgiving, and her health deteriorated very quickly over the next couple of weeks. 

My mom had always set a goal of living to be one hundred and we all believed she would. After all her older brother is still living at 98 and she was in better health than him. 

However, it wasn't meant to be and after a tough couple of weeks she left us. She had been admitted to the hospital on Wednesday the 28th and was very ill. Still, the nurses and the doctor were shocked when she was talking to them one minute and the next she closed her eyes and was gone.  

The last thing she told me as I walked out the door Thursday night was that she loved me and I said I love you too, Mom. 

She had told me several times over the last few days of her life that she was ready to go, but I didn't believe her. I'm glad that when she decided it was her time she went peacefully. 

My mom was always known as a firecracker, but everyone always talked about how sweet she was. I guess that was a good combination. Her feistiness will be missed.
I don't think we are ever prepared to lose our mothers, no matter how old we are. Like many mothers and daughters we didn't always have a perfect relationship, but I will miss her terribly. I already do. 

I find myself reaching for the phone to call her to talk about silly things. We spoke every day. I wish I could hear her voice just one more time. 

I know she is happy now and there is no more pain. She is reunited with family and friends who have gone before her. For her there is nothing but pure joy now.

Those of us who are left behind will have to survive on our memories.

P.S. I will hopefully get back to posting more soon. I am trying to clean out my mom's apartment and as I am also the executor of her estate there is a lot to do with that. 

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Thursday, November 22, 2018


I hope you all have a holiday weekend filled with simplicity and serenity.

With love from me to you,

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Monday, November 19, 2018


Time really flies when you are and aren't having fun. 

The not fun.

Last Sunday my mom called me in the middle of the night to tell me she had called the paramedics and she was going to the ER. She might possibly be having a heart incident.

We have been down this road several times and it turned out not to be her heart. This time it turned out to be a mild heart attack. So good thing she called, although she waited two hours before she did. 

She was in the hospital three days and while she was there they sent in a wound specialist to look at a small wound that had happened three weeks earlier, had been seen by another physician, and was healing. 

He walked in, applied some medical honey, slapped a bandage on it, and walked out.

The next day at home the entire bottom of her leg had turned black and looked like a mountain range was erupting. Back to the ER we went. The people in the ER said it was the most impressive hematoma they had ever seen. They  tried to drain it with no luck, wrapped it in a bandage, and said to see her doctor the next day. 

They also handed me some bandages and said for me to rebandage it. Seriously??? Do I look like a medical professional? If they left it up to me she probably would have lost her leg.

The next day when we went to see her doctor I got them to send in a referral for a home health nurse. 

The fun.

At that point my two daughters and three grandchildren decided to drive up from Atlanta on Thursday. 

Two days with my grandchildren whom I hadn't seen since April was definitely the fun part. It actually snowed some when they arrived Thursday night and Tessa who is six was extremely excited. 

Not so fun.

I woke up Sunday morning with the stomach flu, which meant I wasn't able to meet them for breakfast at Shaker Village to see them off to Atlanta. 

More not so fun. 

Remember my last post where I said I was having some issues with my computer? Well, it completely died. When I tried to power it on Sunday afternoon nothing happened. 

Even though it wasn't in my budget, I knew I would have to break down and buy a new one. This afternoon I went to Best Buy and got a new HP computer. It was on sale for $100 off the regular price, which was good. I know that I might have been able to get a better deal on Black Friday, but do I seem like someone who goes out on Black Friday? Nope!!! Not this girl. 

So that is where I have been for the last nine days. Now, as I happily type on my new computer, I am hoping that things will get back to normal, whatever that is.

Have a great day.

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Saturday, November 10, 2018


My computer seems to have broken bad. Tuesday I laboriously typed out a blog post, but as soon as I was ready to post it my computer wiped it out. This has happened three times over the last month. The other two times I rewrote the posts, but with my hand in a brace and the fact that it is painful for me to t ype, I just gave up.

The other thing that it is doing you can see in the word type in the previous paragraph. It is doing it constantly. I can't afford a new computer right now, so if anyone has any experience with this I would love to hear your suggestions for fixing it. 

I am copying and pasting it into a second blog post as I write so that I won't lose it all, but it definitely is a pain.

The weather seems to be changing on a daily basis. It has gone from 60 degrees at the first of the week to the 20s this morning . Tuesday we are expecting our first snow. I am not ready for that.

I have been spending  more time on Instagram lately. I have found that I am enjoying it more. It's not easy to build up a following so if you have an account I would love to have you follow me and I will definitely follow you back. 

I think I have gotten over 500 followers about ten times, but then I drop back down below 500 again. Frustrating.

Life seems to be zooming by. Every time I turn around it is the weekend again. I can't seem to figure out what happens to the rest of the week.

In less than two weeks it will be Thanksgiving and before we know it it will be Christmas. 

I haven't decided if I am going to decorate for Christmas this year. I think it will depend on my hand. I love Christmas decor, but as I spend Christmas in Atlanta I'm not sure what I will do. 

Well, I think my hand has had enough. I'm going to spend some time reading a new book I just picked up at the library. I love Barbara Kingsolver books. She is a great Kentucky writer.

Have a great rest of your weekend.

Christmas is coming. Don't forget to check out my vintage shop at 415 Maxwell.

Well, I think my hand has had enough. I'm going to spend some time reading a new book I just picked up at the library. I love Barbara Kingsolver books. She is a great Kentucky writer.

Have a great rest of your weekend.

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Thursday, November 1, 2018


Yesterday was a lovely warm day here in central Kentucky. It was cloudy and a bit windy before the heavy rains hit, but the 70 degrees felt wonderful. 

It was doctor day for me. In Kentucky if you are on Gabapentin you have to see your doctor every three months to have your prescription renewed. My doctor thinks it is ridiculous, but you have to follow the rules, so I dragged my old bones out the door.

While I was there I got my flu shot and the other pneumonia shot I needed. It wasn't fun trying to sleep last night with two sore arms and with this lovely addition.

I had been having a lot of pain from my wrist into my hand for about six weeks and it was getting really bad. It had gotten so that I couldn't write with a pen. I thought is was arthritis, but seems it's a problem with a tendon and I need to immobilize my thumb for the next few weeks while it heals.

Typing is not easy.

Last night the rain moved in and will be hanging around all day. I was afraid the beautiful leaves would all be blown off the trees last night so I stopped and got a few shots on my way home. 

I had hoped to get started on some needlepoint today, but that's not going to be happening now. Instead I am going to work on my shop some and snuggle down with this new book I picked  up at the library yesterday.

Have you read any of the Tana French books? Mystery, crime, suspense, and Ireland all thrown in together. This is her latest.

My stomach is telling me it is past lunchtime. I'm never one to argue with my stomach.

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Looking for vintage finds? Check out my shop 415 Maxwell
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Monday, October 29, 2018


Saturday started out as a typical day for me. I took advantage of a break in the rain to get out and drop off my newly painted table to my booth, stop in at Trader Joe's to pick up a few things, and then head home to enjoy my cozy apartment. 

I was in a great mood as I drove home. The trees were turning beautiful colors and I had found a new type of squash that I was excited to try out with my dinner that night. 

When I arrived home I switched on my TV to see what was going on in the world. That is when the heartbreak happened. I saw that a gunman had opened fire in a Jewish synagogue. My heart literally dropped into my stomach. 

How could this be happening in my country. Where does all of the hate come from? I have never understood antisemitism. I am not Jewish, but I do have Jewish relatives. My daughters' great grandfather was Jewish. I am a Christian. I believe that we should love everyone. 

Today my heart goes out to the families of those who were killed, to their community, and to all the Jewish people who live along side of us and call this country home.

Today I will mourn and then I will get out and fight the hate that is happening. This hate is not my country. 

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Friday, October 26, 2018


The forecast for my area is calling for a rainy weekend. When I woke up this morning it was so dark I thought it was still night. Imagine my surprise when I saw that it was 8 o'clock.

I hadn't gotten up once in the night, which was another surprise. That doesn't happen very often, but it sure is nice when it does. 

I have so many things on my "to do" list and rainy days are a good time to work on that list. 

Do you actually make lists of things you need to do? I still do because it is so satisfying when I get things done and can cross them off.  I have a dream that one day I will get through all of the things on my list before I start adding more items. It never seems to happen. 

The first thing I had to do was try and figure out why my speaker was no longer pairing up with my Echo Dot. It seems like technology takes a big bite out of every day. WHEW!! Now that I have that done I can enjoy some relaxing music while I get on with the rest of my list. 

I have been battling fungus gnats for the last month since I made the mistake of opening a window. After one flew up my nose I decided I had had enough. 

Fortunately the yellow sticky traps, the gravel on the top of the soil in each plant, and watering with a combination of hydrogen peroxide and water seems to have done the trick. I am tentatively taking that off my list. 

Today I need to paint a little table I got at the thrift store so I can drop it off at my booth tomorrow, add more items to 415 Maxwell, finish my blog post (almost done), and do some cleaning. We'll see how much I get done. I don't seem to have the energy to push myself like I used to.

I was hoping to do some canvassing for my congressional candidate this weekend, but if it is pouring rain that may have to get put off. I'm not much good at slogging around in cold rain anymore. 

Time to get busy.

What do you do on rainy weekends?  

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Shop for vintage at my new online store 415 Maxwell
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