F Simple and Serene Living 09 10
Monday, August 14, 2017


In the eight years that I have been living here, other than going to Macy's once or twice a year, I think I have walked through the mall twice. 

That has now changed. 

I love to walk, but after my knee injury I knew I couldn't walk my hilly neighborhood. My knee would start aching and swelling when I did. 

However, I was gaining weight and feeling tired. I knew I had to find a way to start walking again, so I went to the mall. 

At first it was tiring to walk around the entire mall, which is over a mile, and my walking sandals didn't have enough cushion for walking on concrete. 

Once I switched to tennis shoes and walked on an almost daily basis though, I found the walking was becoming a lot easier. 

I am now up to two miles on the days that I walk. I am feeling better, plus I have fun seeing what is in the shop windows as I walk, and engaging in one of my favorite activities, which is people watching. 

The mall is just a five minute drive away so it is also convenient. 

I know that walking isn't enough, so this week I have started on my healthy eating plan and a couple of days a week I go and exercise somewhere else. 

I'll share those with you later. 

I am never tempted to detour to the Cheesecake Factory. That would require a twenty mile walk to work it off. 
I would love to start swimming, but I don't have access to a pool so that won't be happening at this point. 

Do you have an exercise plan? I would love to hear what you are doing or if you have plans to start something new. 

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017


I have good intentions I really do. 

I plan to write my blog at least twice a week. 

Then suddenly I realize that time has gone by and it has been a week since I have posted. 

Life has been getting in the way. 

I lost a very good friend last week. Leo was the first person I met when I moved into my apartment last year. He was such a funny nice man and he along with a small group of others have become like family to me. 

One minute he was laughing with us and the next minute he went to his apartment and had a massive stroke. 

It is definitely a down side of living in a retirement community, and as I am the youngest person here I know that there will be other losses. 

However, I wouldn't trade the experience of getting to know these older people. I love their stories. There has been so much tragedy in their lives, and yet they still laugh and look forward to their days. 

It's nice to have a community of friends where at any time of the day there is someone to talk to. 

But that gets me back to my good intentions. I still need to earn some extra money each month, so I need to schedule my time a little better. I need to get to my booth more often, list things on Etsy more often, and write my blog on a more regular basis. 

The one thing I have done is schedule an exercise program. I'll let you know how that is going. 

Good intentions aside, we all need to take care of ourselves both mentally and physically. 

A belated happy birthday to my mom who turned 93 on Monday. She has taken pretty good care of herself.

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Monday, July 31, 2017


Summer seems to be telling me to get in lock step with the season, because it is quickly marching on, and I may be left behind.

Would being left behind in summer be such a bad thing?

It's my favorite season. 

I look forward to it with the anticipation that I had as a child for so many things, but which now seems to be blunted.

I love the deep green of the leaves, the brilliant blue skies, the sound of thunder in the night. 

The cicadas are singing their summer song, and the lightning bugs are lighting the path in the evening. 

The sweet smell of roses greets me and brings flashes of earlier days. Days when summer seemed to go on forever. 

I speak to summer, asking it not to be in such a hurry, but the calendar tells me that August is already upon us. 

I know that fall will be here before we know it, but in the meantime I will try hard to savor each moment of summer. 

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017


The first year that you garden in a new place is always somewhat of an experiment.

You never really know how what you plant will turn out. Will it thrive or will it die?

I have been fairly lucky with my attempts at a small container garden this year. 

I wasn't really sure how the impatiens would do. I knew the area got morning sun, but it turned out to be a bit hotter than I would have liked.

Even so, the impatiens in the larger pots have done fairly well. The ones in the smaller pots however, haven't done as well. I have tossed a couple of them and may lose a couple more.

The impatiens that I mixed in with the herbs are growing nicely, and the herbs seem to love where they are placed.

I moved the petunias over onto the garden stand. They love the hot sun they are getting.

I have also had mixed results with the tomato plants and the one green pepper plant. The green pepper gave up the ghost. It has been tossed also. It produced two small peppers, but it was just in too small of a pot. 

The tomato plants on the other hand are producing in abundance. 

This next winter I am going to be on the lookout for some larger inexpensive pots. I would like to try growing some squash next year and maybe try another green pepper. 

I'm really enjoying having a little garden again, although I wish it was a little closer to my apartment. I would sit out there more if it was.

I'm not giving up on having my own outdoor space again some day, and in the meantime I'm going to enjoy the fruits of my summer labor. 

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017


I love this time of year. So much fresh produce, and I am getting a few tomatoes and green peppers from my container garden.

I only planted one green pepper plant, which isn't doing great, but I have managed to get one small pepper from it and there is another one clinging to life.

It is being cut up and used in my breakfast burrito. It's so easy to scramble some eggs with mushrooms and the pepper, add some grated cheddar cheese, and wrap it in a gluten free tortilla. Yummy!!

I'm starting to get more tomatoes, so I think it is time to make my favorite eggplant tomato casserole. In the over 45 years that I have been making it I have never had one person turn it down. 

Eggplant Tomato Casserole
from the original  "The Vegetarian Epicure Cookbook"

1 large eggplant (about 1 1/2 lb.) 

1 1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
2 eggs, beaten

2 Tbs. melted low cal margarine (or butter)
ground pepper,

2 to 3 tbs. chopped onion
1/2 tsp. crushed oregano

1/2 cup dry bread crumbs (I'm making my own gluten free bread crumbs)
2 large tomatoes, sliced thin

2 oz. cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese,

eel and slice the eggplant. Put the slices in a pan with the salt and about an inch of boiling water. Cover tightly and cook about 10 minutes. Drain. Mash the eggplant and mix in the eggs, melted butter, pepper, onion, oregano and bread crumbs.
Butter a shallow 1 1/2 qt. baking dish. Cover the bottom with half the tomato slices. Spoon in all of the eggplant mixture and spread evenly. Arrange the rest of the tomato slices on top. Mix together the cheeses and sprinkle over the top layer of tomatoes. Add a sprinkle of paprika and bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes.

Then just serve and enjoy.

I'm planning on sharing this with some friends in a few days.

What is your garden producing and how are you using it?

I have really been struggling with moving my photos from my iphone to my computer lately, and it has kept me from blogging. 

I was using dropbox, but whenever I filled it up I would either have to delete a bunch of photos or pay for more storage. 

I asked my daughter what to use and she suggested Google Photos. So much easier. Why didn't I know about this before?

Now I am feeling like getting out there and taking photos again. 

The only thing I haven't been able to do is figure out how to get to google photos from PicMonkey. Does anyone have a solution to that? Right now I am saving the photo I want to use to my computer and then accessing it. 

Some days it feels like I spend more time on how to use technology than anything else I am doing. 

I am heading out to dinner tonight and I think I will treat myself to a glass of wine. It's been a long day.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017


I have a new neighbor. Well, to be honest it isn't really an entirely new neighbor, it is a neighbor that has moved into a new and better home.

I love Whole Foods, and I am loving that is is still five minutes from where I live and that it has doubled in size. 

We have a new shopping and dining center called the Summit at Fritz Farm. It is very upscale and Whole Foods opened there a couple of weeks ago. 

Salad anyone?

I haven't walked the shopping area yet, but I did want to check out Whole Foods as my cupboards were getting pretty bare. 

To be honest, I can't afford to do all of my shopping there, but I do love their selection of Kombucha teas.

There are a lot of pros and cons out there about Kombucha, but it really helps my digestion.

There are lots of baked goods. I generally pass those by as I am gluten free, but they looked delicious, and let's face it, who doesn't want to eat cake.

The fruits and vegetables looked wonderful, but for the most part I passed those up too, as I am trying to buy local over the summer.

I think I'm going to stop in tomorrow after physical therapy to try one of their smoothies for lunch.

What is Mochi premium ice cream? 

Apparently it is a confection made from Japanese mochi (pounded sticky rice) with an ice cream filling. Hmmmm!! Have you ever heard of it? Have you tried it?

I chickened out, but I know my curiosity is going to get the better of me soon. 

I am really looking forward to checking out more of the Summit, but it is soooo hot here right now that I haven't had the energy to walk outside. 

Soon though, and then I'll share it with you.

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Monday, July 3, 2017


One of my friends messaged me yesterday to see if I was okay because I haven't posted in two weeks. 

I wanted to reply that getting old is not for sissies. 

It seems that it is always something these days. 

I have been going to physical therapy for my knee and that was getting better, but then a couple of weeks ago I started having a BAD toothache. 

I went to the student dental clinic where I have all of my dental work done and the young man I saw said my tooth was dying. 

Well hello, we all have to go sometime was my thought.

I spent the next ten days suffering through failed root canals and finally telling them if they didn't get that tooth out of my mouth I was going to go home and sterilize the pliers in my toolbox. 

The tooth is gone. It was the back molar and I don't think I will miss it. In the meantime I have had to do a bit of recovery and I missed my physical therapy appointment on Friday. 

Not having PT on my knee for almost a week has caused it to flair up some again. 


That's life.

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P.S. Have a great fourth.
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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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