F Simple and Serene Living 09 10
Wednesday, January 17, 2018

SNUGGLED IN

The weather outside has been frightful, and although I don't have a fire to delight me I have been enjoying some of the simple things I wrote about here


I have spent the last couple of days snuggled into my little home, only venturing out to go next door to take some bananas to my mom and to clean the snow off of my car and make sure that it would start.

My mom has a cafeteria in her building so she has a steady supply of meals. 


Yesterday I hooked up the new echo dot I got for Christmas and I am currently listening to some tunes I added to my Amazon Prime account. How decadent to be able to sit here and say Alexa play me some Moody Blues. Oh wait, I think I want to listen to the Beatles now Alexa. 

If anyone had told me 50 years ago as I sat listening to these same songs on my scratchy records that one day I would be able to tell a little round box to play them for me I would never have believed it.


I could get used to this laziness, but I need to mop my kitchen floor and clean the bathroom. Unfortunately Alexa doesn't seem to want to do that for me. 

I guess it's a good thing since I gained four pounds over the holidays. I've walked in the mall a couple of times over the last week, but the roads are too bad right now to go over there. (at least it makes for a good excuse)


While I wait for the warm up over the next few days I am going to continue to enjoy being snuggled in. Britbox has a new season of Vera on. 

Have you ever watched Vera? She is an older female British detective who is the boss and doesn't care how she looks. I think I will be her in my next life.

Hope everyone stays warm and safe and that you are able to snuggle in too. 




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Monday, January 15, 2018

SMALL SIMPLE THINGS

Life has taught me that it is the small simple things we experience each day that bring us the most contentment.

A small pot of daffodils on the windowsill to chase away the winter blues.


Morning coffee with close friends. A time for laughter and sharing.

Short text messages with a grandchild to brighten a gloomy day.

Afternoon tea with homemade cornbread and a good book on my Kindle.

A short walk in the snow to share lunch with my mom.


Planning a potluck lunch for a snowy day.

Pulling out a vintage needlepoint project that has been hiding in the basket beside my chair for far too long and realizing how well it will go with my settee.


These aren't exciting things, but they are the simple things that make up my life. They are all things that enrich it.

I am grateful.


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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

CRAZY WEATHER

We are really having some crazy changes in the weather this month.  The first part of the month has been frigid, and I have been spending a lot of time being cozy in my apartment. 


Now, suddenly we appear to be heading into a bit of spring weather followed by a possible snowstorm. 


Even though I am feeling like I may get whiplash, I have to admit that the springlike days will be my favorites. 

Days in the 60's after wind chills below zero will feel amazing. I will definitely be leaving my cocoon. 


I plan to stock up at the grocery before Saturday so that if we do get a storm I will be prepared for another brief spell at home. 

Lentil soup has been on my mind for the last few days and I can't imagine any better way to spend a cold snowy day than enjoying some homemade soup and gluten free cornbread. 

Just in case you can't get by to join me here is my recipe for the soup. 

LENTIL SOUP

1 tsp. vegetable oil
1 onion diced
2 garlic cloves minced
2 carrots sliced
6 cups vegetable broth
1 cup dry lentils
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
2 bay leaves
dash of salt
1 T lemon juice (optional)

In a large pot saute onions, garlic, and carrots in oil for three to five minutes until onions turn clear.

Add broth, lentils, pepper, thyme, bay leaves, and salt. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to simmer and cover. (I leave the cover slightly off) Cook for about 45 minutes until lentils are soft or longer if you have the time. 

Remove bay leaves and add lemon juice if desired.

Truth be told a day of watching it snow wouldn't be so bad. The smell of simmering soup on the stove top and cornbread baking in the oven sounds perfect.






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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

LIVING SIMPLE IN A NEW YEAR

Happy New Year everyone. I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday season. 

I really enjoyed being with my family. The grand kids are perfect and it was wonderful to spend time with my daughters. 


As much as I love the holidays, I am always happy when the new year starts. It feels like there is a clean slate to write on, and I have been thinking about what I want to write on that slate this year. 

I don't make resolutions, but I do try and set some goals for myself. 


I am working on what those goals are, but I know from experience that life will intervene and goals have to be flexible.

One thing that I want to focus more on is living a simpler life even in this complex world that we live in. 


I want my small apartment to be a haven from all of the complexities of the outside world. I want to be able to close my door and know that I can choose to turn off and tune out if I want. 

Now I will have to decide how to do that amidst the activist work that I am doing. 


For me just thinking about focusing on a simpler life brings about a sense of peace.

Do you have plans for this new year? 




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Thursday, December 21, 2017

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from my home to yours. 



It's morning here and I am rushing around, so no time for tweaking photos. 

Tomorrow I am leaving to drive to Atlanta to spend the holiday with my family. I am beyond excited because I haven't seen my grandchildren for nine months. 

They are apparently excited too and Facetimed me first thing this morning. 

Today some friends are taking me out for an early birthday lunch. Really looking forward to some good gluten free pizza. 

I will not be posting again until January so I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday. 
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Saturday, December 16, 2017

BLOGGING AND THE END OF NET NEUTRALITY

Thursday three out of five non elected people voted to end net neutrality in the United States. 

If this is upheld, it will end the way citizens in this country have access to the internet. 




Net neutrality and the end of net neutrality is complicated, but from what I am able to understand it is going to favor large corporations and wealthier Americans. 

You can find information about how it affects individuals here.

I am also very concerned about how it will affect blogs. 



If I write a blog post about home decor will it instead of sending someone to my post redirect them to a large company who is writing about the same topic.

Will we have to pay to have traffic directed to our blogs? 

Will it put an end to small blogs who supplement their income through blogging?



If those things happen I will have to give up blogging and redirect my efforts to another source of income. 

I will miss all of the friends I have made through blogging.

Let us hope that Congress will overturn this decision and listen to the majority of the people in this country who don't support the end of net neutrality.  



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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

CHRISTMAS IS COMING AND PRAYERS FOR MOM

I have finished up my Christmas decorating. Living in a small space has meant scaling back on what I used to have, but I am happy with what I have done. 

I have changed things up from last year, when I had a more playful feel. 


One side of the dining room is taken up with a drop leaf table and two mismatched chairs. Although I seldom eat at the table, it is the first thing I see when I walk in the door and so it is nice to have it looking a bit festive for the holidays. 

I removed the fall things from my two tiered basket on the table and filled it with Christmas items. 


Fruit went in the top basket while a shiny assortment of Christmas balls filled the bottom.

I also chose to mix hog scraper candle holders with a pair of antique tarnished silver candlesticks. 

A pretty ornament tied with a velvet bow adorns the antique fall front desk that sits on the opposite wall. 


My special nativity sits on one of the shelves, but as I forgot to photograph it I'll share it another day. 

As you know, my mom had a mild heart attack in November and has not been feeling well at all. 

She is having constant nausea, difficulty swallowing, and has some internal bleeding. As they aren't sure of its source, she is scheduled for a colonoscopy and an endoscopy today. 

Because of her age they don't want to put her under anesthesia more than once. 

I hope you will add her to your prayers. Hopefully they will be able to determine what the problem is and give her some relief. 

Have a wonderful day. I'll update in a couple of days to let you know how it went.



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Thursday, November 23, 2017

GOBBLE GOBBLE

Hey, it's turkey day also known in more refined circles as Thanksgiving. 

That means Christmas parades, overeating, putting up with your crazy drunk uncle, and yes, reflecting on all of the things we are thankful for. 


I am thankful today for my daughters, my grandchildren, and my son in law, even though I am not with them. I am also thankful to still have my mom with me. 

Hopefully she feels up to going to Shaker Village for lunch, but if she bows out at the last minute I have another invite in my back pocket. 

Either way I plan on getting my fair share of turkey. 

So to all of you I hope that you have a wonderful day, and if you overindulge I have lots of Alkaseltzer. I'm always happy to share.

Have a wonderful day and seee you in a couple of days. 


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Saturday, November 18, 2017

OH MY ACHING HEAD AND CHRISTMAS

I woke up briefly in the night to the sound of pouring rain. I love hearing that sound, and quickly went back to sleep. 

When I woke this morning that pounding rain had warmed the temperatures into the sixties, the wind was really blowing, and I was left with my head pounding. 


Tonight another front will bring more rain and lower tomorrow's temperatures into the thirties. 

Such is fall in Kentucky. The barometric pressure is rising and falling. That, along with allergies, does a number on my head. 


So I have decided to stay inside for the rest of today. Christmas decorations are being pulled from storage and planning has begun. 

My fellow inmates, aka the other people who live in my apartment building, have nominated me to have a Christmas open house in my apartment. 


It will be interesting to find room for a tree, much less other decorations, but I am hopefully up for the challenge. 

At least I will have something else to focus on other than my aching head. 
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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

TIME SICKNESS

In 1982 Larry Dossey coined the term “time sickness” to define the belief that many people have about the fact that time is always slipping away, that there is never enough of it, and that we must go faster and faster to keep up.

Whew!! I'm exhausted just thinking about that. 


"The cult of speed not only affects our health, it also makes us more unhappy and less productive. But it turns out that we can slow down and also be more productive because of it. In order to do that, we should stop worrying so much about time and instead learn to better manage our attention focus. Making our own decisions about what we should be doing at every moment of our life puts us behind the wheel."  Francisco Sáez


I often find myself saying that time is slipping away or feeling like time is zooming by so fast that I just don't know where it is going. 

How do we help to heal ourselves from time sickness, because I know that I am a victim of it and I bet that many of you are too. 


Apparently the secret is fairly simple. We need to learn how to live in the moment, enjoying each moment for what it is and also to decide what our priorities are. 

I have made a decision to do just that. I have been meditating regularly to calm myself when I feel stressed, sitting and enjoying the present moment, and choosing for myself how I spend my time.


It isn't easy to break the habit of trying to do it all, but I know that for my physical and mental health it will be worth it.

How about you? Do you think that you suffer from time sickness, and if so how would you go about healing yourself?

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