F Simple and Serene Living 09 10
Friday, October 19, 2018


We are suddenly having perfect fall weather. 

The heat of summer that lingered into the first part of October has given way to cooler, sunny days. 

Highs in the fifties and sixties are perfect for getting out and breathing in the air. 

Yesterday was one of those days. It had literally been several months since I left the confines of my city and on a sudden whim I decided to take an afternoon drive. 

I imagine that this old house was once the home of a large farm family. These days its sad overgrown exterior exudes a sense of melancholy

Although the leaves still hadn't begun to change, there were still some beautiful images that called to my camera. 

The river and the old Valley View ferry were beckoning me.

I love this little ferry. It is the oldest ferry in the state of Kentucky and carries people across this stretch of the river most days of the year.

I couldn't resist taking a ride with my windows rolled down and the wind in my face. 

The river sure was muddy from all of the recent rains, but I loved those few minutes of being on the water. 

I think one of the things I don't like about where I live is the lack of water. I grew up with a river running at the back of my yard and I was seven miles from Lake Erie. It took me a long time to realize how much I took that for granted. 

There are days when I really crave just sitting on the bank of a river or lake and contemplating the meaning of life. 

There is something so calming about water, and that calmness is something I crave in these crazy times we live in.

I love this old building. I think it has been in this same falling down state for the last 25 years. I'm surprised it hasn't completely fallen down by now. 

It sits right on the road, and I wonder what its original purpose was. Maybe back in the day they didn't have to worry about cars slamming into their building. I guess a runaway horse and buggy wouldn't do the same kind of damage.

It's amazing what a couple of hours driving in the country can do to bring back serenity into your life. 

I'm going to have to do it more often. 

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018


Yesterday I had my yearly appointment with the dermatologist to check for skin cancer. Three years ago I had a squamous cell carcinoma removed from my shin so each year I go back for a full body check. So far no more skin cancers. 

As my appointment was on the other side of town I decided to swing by my favorite place and look at houseplants. 

It isn't as if I have a lot of room for more plants, but I do love them so much, and houseplants are beneficial to your health. Good enough reason for me. 

If you have read my blog for awhile you know that my extended family owns Michler Florist here in Lexington, Kentucky. It was started by my grandfather in 1902 and is the oldest florist and greenhouses in the state of Kentucky. 

It is also where I started my love affair with plants. 

The grownup me loves to step into the front greenhouse (I call it Aunt Rose's greenhouse because it is where my great aunt kept her birds) and remember the child me who loved playing there. 

Today that greenhouse is filled with houseplants and succulents. It is paradise.  

I wandered around for a bit breathing in the smell of earth and checking out what was available before heading into the florist to get some professional help. 

None of my family was there, but one of the wonderful employees came out to help me. 

I knew that I wanted a large leafed plant for a pot that I had. The plant that was growing there for several years suddenly died last month. It didn't give me time to plan a funeral, it just dried up and died overnight. 

After a discussion on light requirements I decided on this philodendron. Since I am in a small apartment where I don't have a lot of windows I need plants that are tolerant of low light. I love this plant. 

I also needed to replace a couple of succulents that I killed off last  spring in my little terrarium. I didn't have it in a window and it wasn't getting enough sun. 

So I bought two sweet succulents and placed it in the window. Hopefully, it does better now. 

Nothing left to do but sit back and enjoy them.

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Thursday, October 4, 2018


I'm a 67 year old woman and I feel like I am hiding in the shadows. 

Many days I feel invisible, as if my sell by date has long since passed by and I am no longer needed by this society.

I hide my body because it is no longer the perfect body of my youth. 

I am no longer that perfectly slender girl I once was. 

I have lines and wrinkles and sagging skin. 

full disclosure. this is a couple of years old.

I am made to feel that if I am not youthful and vibrant then I must not be needed. 

I noticed today that there is a new movement on Pinterest (sorry, I mistyped) Instagram that addresses this issue. 

Women do not want to have to hide their faces and hands because those faces and hands are aging.

My hands have done a lot in my lifetime. They have typed term papers, changed diapers, fed a hungry family, worked in various jobs, reached out to hug children, and so much more. 

Women are beautiful at all ages. The lines and wrinkles come from living. They come from the care we have shown the world. 

I am tired of living in the shadows. It's time to come out into the light.
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Sunday, September 23, 2018


Fall has blown in, not with a whisper, but with a full blown shout.

The wind sends dying leaves swirling through the air.

Rain persistently taps against my windows. 

Temperatures that are thirty degrees colder than they were a few days ago urge me to pull out warmer clothing and snuggle under my throw while drinking hot tea. 

As I sit here all comfy in my home I ask Alexa to play some Johnny Mathis, and I am transported back in time.

If I close my eyes I can hear my mother in the kitchen and I can smell the chicken frying. 

The fire crackles in the fireplace as I curl up in my father's chair, and Johnny Mathis is playing on the record player. 

A sense of calm overtakes me and I feel safe and secure.

It's an old school kind of day. Okay Alexa isn't exactly old school, but curling up in a chair, reading a book I've picked up from the library, and sipping tea seems pretty old school to me. 

It feels perfect, and it is time to shut down the computer and turn off the phone so I can enjoy it to its fullest.
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Monday, September 17, 2018


I love looking at photos of cottage kitchens. 

There is something about a small cozy kitchen that evokes feelings of home for me. 

One of the things I am interested in is open shelves and I found a lot of those when looking at cottage kitchens.


Open shelves are a great way to display those things that give a kitchen a cottage feel.

This kitchen uses shelves to display two of my favorite things. White dishes and baskets. 

I love the variation in shelves. These shelves have been painted a cottage white and have been dressed up with some quaint gingerbread trim.

Elsewhere in the kitchen, the owner has chosen a more rustic touch. While the shelves are open, the owner has used an old screen door over them. 

Small cottage kitchens require ingenuity and open shelves can be anywhere you can find the space. 

Here the owner has utilized the space above her cupboards to add a shelf. 

I think it is absolutely charming.

How do you feel about open shelves in the kitchen?

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Wednesday, September 12, 2018


The last couple of days have given us a taste of fall here in Kentucky. Gray skies and temperatures in the sixties drove people, who were staying indoors to avoid the heat, outside to enjoy the cooler temperatures. 

I was one of those people. I knew that higher temperatures will be back, because summer has not really passed. 

I love summer, but I can't walk outside like I can in the fall and I miss that. 

After working in my booth and riding the stationary bike at the senior center I drove down the street to walk in the garden at the Henry Clay home. 

The grounds and the gardens never fail to impress.

This little bee was taking advantage of the beautiful day to finish up some summer work.

We will miss you summer, but fall will arrive with her brilliant colors, and we will remember you with fondness knowing that you will arrive again next year. 

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Monday, September 3, 2018


It never fails to amaze me how many chores there are in such a small apartment.

Labor Day always seems like the time to get a start on Fall cleaning. I know that most people like to spring clean, but I've always been more motivated in the Fall. I think it has to do with the thought that I will be spending more time stuck in the house when winter gets here and I want everything to be clean and organized. 

Yesterday I did something extremely brilliant. I decided to reverse the ceiling fan in my bedroom. This came about because I read that it should be going counterclockwise to get the most from my air conditioning. 

So of course I immediately shut it off, climbed up on my bed, and flicked the switch on the fan. When I turned it back on dust flew everywhere. YIKES!!! My hair was full of big globs of dust.

Message to myself. Clean fan before switching directions. Message number two. Dust the fan more often. I might actually breathe better.

I'm painting some pieces for my antique booth. I got this table at an estate sale and as it was pretty badly scarred I decided to turn it into a shabby chic grey table. After a couple of coats of paint. some light distressing, and a wax sealer it is ready for me to drop it off tomorrow. 

Next up is this heavy old corner shelf. I haven't decided yet what color to paint it, but I want to get it ready to go when I take the table. 

Clean bathroom. Check. Clean kitchen. Check. Now I think I'll get started on painting that shelf and then I am having a potluck dinner with friends. 

I hope everyone had a fun Labor Day weekend. 

Pretty soon it will be Fall Y'all. 

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Saturday, August 25, 2018


Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer....

Apparently they have rolled out because I am feeling extremely lazy this week. 

All of a sudden I realized that summer is winding down when I drove past a tree that was almost completely red yesterday. It was a shock to my system because I realized that summer has passed by without me really participating in it. 

That stupid respiratory infection kept me sidelined for the first half of summer and now my allergies have kicked in big time. 

I love summer. How can it be that it is almost over? I feel like jumping up and down and yelling for it to slow down, but I guess my neighbors might think I have completely lost it. (It probably wouldn't surprise them)

I need to get outside. When I look through my photos I realize that I have virtually none from this summer. I am having to pull older ones to use at this point. 

I am going downtown later this afternoon so I may be able to get some then, but I would really like to drive out into the country and smell the wonderful scents of what is left of summer. Maybe I can do that next week. 

In the meantime I need to order groceries to be delivered to my mom and get her a credit for something that was delivered last week that was expired. (It's always something)

I hope everyone enjoys the rest of the lazy days of summer. I am gearing myself up to start posting more as fall approaches.  
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P.S. Shop for vintage and antique goods at 415 Maxwell.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2018


I could spend hours (I actually do) browsing new decorating trends and gathering ideas for my own home.

Even though I now live in a small retirement apartment, it doesn't mean I have stopped changing things up. I may not be able to move around heavy furniture the way I used to, but there are still so many things I can do.

While browsing, I came across a style that is being called the raw look. To me it just says rustic, but I guess that is the idea. The raw look is just a new spin.

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The idea seems to be that walls and ceilings are stripped down to their original materials giving the room an old world rustic vibe.

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I love the look of this bedroom. The walls have been stripped down to expose the original brick, stone, and wood beams. The furniture has been kept very minimal, which allows the walls to be the stars of the room.

The great thing about this look is that you no longer have to feel bad if you only get the job of repairing old walls half finished. 

Well I guess I've done all of the drooling I can do for one day. 
What do you think about this look?

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For antique and vintage goods for your home shop 415 Maxwell. More items are being added.

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