F Simple and Serene Living 09 10
Thursday, July 5, 2018


Once the 4th of July is over, and I never thought it would be over as the neighbors were shooting off loud fireworks until one in the morning, it seems the sultry days of a southern summer set in. 

Yes, it has been very hot this week, but when I stepped outside this morning it felt like the humidity was off the charts. 

I love summer and will take it over cold gloomy weather any day of the week, but when the humidity causes the heat index to be over 100 it becomes a tad uncomfortable to spend time outside. 

"On humid days, when the air is already saturated with water, sweat evaporates more slowly.
This explains why it feels so much hotter in high humidity. When relative humidity reaches a high enough level, the body’s natural cooling system simply can’t work. Sweat evaporates very slowly, if at all, and the body heats up. In extreme cases, people begin to suffer from heat cramps or heat stroke, which is basically organ failure as the body begins to cook itself." (source)

Well that explains why I feel like I am being roasted on days like today. 
I have been trying to get over a summer virus for three weeks and finally had to go see a doctor on Monday to get an antibiotic for a sinus infection. 

I was told to take it easy. Pffft!! Too much to do I thought, but when I hit the outside air today taking it easy seemed like a good plan. 
It is supposed to cool down to a manageable temperature this weekend so I guess it won't hurt me to spend a day or two indoors. 
I have more sorting and purging that I need to do and I can do a lot of it with my feet up.

I've been sorting through my vintage linens and have put a couple of pieces in the shop. You can see them here
I took two pretty pieces to my booth earlier this week, but someone immediately shoplifted them. That certainly didn't help to keep me from overheating. 
I have never been able to understand stealing. 

I have started posting in Instagram again and would love to have you as a follower. I am offering 10% off in my Etsy shop to my followers. The code is INSTY10. Oops I guess I just told you so you can have it even if you aren't a follower, but I would love to see you there. Here is where you can find me.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend. 

Read More »
Saturday, June 23, 2018


Like almost all children I had dreams about what my life would be like when I grew up. 

I can remember that I wanted to be a ballerina, and for awhile I thought that was a possibility. At age nine I danced in my city's ballet company. 

I loved being a part of that, but then that summer we moved to a small town in Canada and although I was able to keep dancing it wasn't the same. Later, I found that I had an inner ear problem that stopped me from doing the turns. Being a ballerina wasn't going to work out for me. 

In my teens I thought that I wanted to be a forensic psychiatrist. Not sure why, but it just sounded interesting. Life got in the way, but in my forties I did go back to school and earned a masters degree in counseling psychology. By that time I had no interest in the forensic part. 

I always wanted to get married and have two daughters. I dreamed of the perfect husband who I would spend the rest of my life with, who would share my love for my daughters.

I got married and had the two daughters, but unfortunately I didn't count on my husband having a serious mental illness. I didn't plan on all of the heartbreak or that I would end up raising those two girls myself. 

I wasn't prepared.

I became a grownup, but did I ever really completely grow up. There are times when I don't feel grown up and other times when I don't want to be a grownup. 

There have been so many times when life's burdens seem to be overwhelming and I wish I could retreat back into those days of dreaming, but that isn't possible. 

As I think about the remaining years of my life I wonder what I really want to do with them. I am on my own. It isn't a place that I thought I would be. I am financially challenged. It isn't how I thought things would be. 

So these days I think about what I want to do with the rest of these grownup years. 

Maybe, when we get to a certain age we don't have to be quite so grownup. Maybe we can revert just a little bit back to those carefree days of our youth.

Maybe we don't have to worry so much about what the future holds, but instead focus on today. 

Sounds good to me.

Read More »
Friday, June 8, 2018


Happiness can feel so elusive. It is often there just below the surface, and then it disappears like a puff of smoke. 

The times we are living in add to the elusiveness. The ebbs and flows of our country and in our personal lives create static in the air that pop and sizzle around us like dysfunctional fireworks. 

How do we find our happy place? 

For some people it's an actual place, a place that evokes memories or brings about a sense of peace through its very being. 

For others it may be surrounding themselves with people or things they love. 

Some people find happiness through meditation, yoga, mountain climbing, hiking, or riding a bike. 

We are all unique in our individuality and so what works for one person may not work for another. 

However, I think most people find happiness through a combination of things and sometimes looking back and remembering happy times can help us to pull that feeling back up to the surface. 

As we get older happiness seems to shift from feelings of excitement to feelings of peace. The beliefs of immortality that we have when we are very young change. Instead, we crave a sense of contentment in our current lives. 

Yes, happiness can seem elusive, but if we look inside ourselves to find what really makes us feel happy then we can make finding happiness much easier. 

Where is your happy place? 
P.S. You can find more inspiration here.
Read More »
Monday, June 4, 2018


It's hard to believe that another year has rolled around and the family has gathered once again for my uncle's birthday.

Karl is my mother's older brother and he is celebrating 98 years. (My mom is a much younger 93. She will be 94 in August.)

Karl and my mom. Probably discussing the time when they were kids and Karl had to churn ice cream all day for my mom's birthday. It's a sore subject to this day.

I love this yearly get together and I know that they will not be happening much longer. Karl is in failing health, and although my Aunt Jean, who is 97, takes excellent care of him, time is not on our side. 

My aunt and uncle met three months before he shipped out for WWII and he wrote her love letters every day while he was gone. She kept all of those letters and their grandkids had them printed up and made into a very large book. I hope that I can sit down and read more of them someday. 

He knew she was the one and I guess you can say that their marriage has stood the test of time. They seem as much in love today as they were so many years ago.

They have two children, five grandchildren, and six great grandchildren. Quite a legacy.

So yesterday we met once again. There was laughter, food, and homemade birthday cakes. It was a wonderful day. 

Happy birthday, Uncle Karl. Looking forward to next year.

Read More »
Friday, May 25, 2018


If you are not from the southeastern part of the US, you may not be familiar with kudzu.

Kudzu is an invasive plant that was originally introduced as an ornamental ivy. However, kudzu now covers an estimated two million acres of forest in the southern US. 

YIKES!!! it boggles the mind, but enough of that because the Kudzu I am talking about is an antiques mall in Decatur Georgia. 

The first time I went there it was love at first sight, second sight, third.....well you get the picture. 

When I was in Atlanta last month my daughters asked if I would like to go to Kudzu. 

Was that a rhetorical question, because I am pretty sure they both already knew the answer. 

 I went from pajamas to fully dressed with makeup in 30 seconds. (gross exaggeration), but still record time.

As you can see from the photos there is always so much to see. 

I pretty much wander around in a daze while I am there. 

You would think that there would become a point where I would become over saturated with vintage and antiques, but nope, doesn't happen.

I am absolutely fascinated with it all and I know that I couldn't possibly have taken it all in. 

We only had a bit over an hour to wander through, because we had to go pick up Tessa, but it was a wonderful time.

If you are looking for me I'll be studying these pictures and dreaming of my next visit. 

Read More »
Monday, May 14, 2018


My mom has been talking about how she never gets to leave town anymore, so on Mother's Day I thought it might be nice if we took a day trip into the mountains. 

Mom has always loved going up to Natural Bridge State Park for lunch.

It's just an hour's drive from us so it's not too terribly tiring for her. 

She has lost 20 pounds recently and her clothes are all too large, so we went last week and bought her a pretty new lavender outfit for the special day. 

The line for the lunch buffet was out the door, but not one person was willing to argue with a little 4' 9"  93 year old woman when she broke into the front of the line. I may have to take her more places with me. 

I was happy to see her eating as she hasn't had much appetite lately. She does love that catfish.

It was a beautiful day. The temperature was in the mid 80s, the sky was blue, and there was a really lovely breeze blowing, which kept it from being too hot. 

After I got her settled back into the car after lunch we decided to drive back through the Red River Gorge. It is one of our favorite drives.

She was really proud of herself for not falling asleep, and it gave her a chance to reminisce. 

She started talking about the trips she used to take with her mother. My grandmother loved to drive and she would always take my mom with her. Apparently they drove to Ashland Kentucky a couple of times to see a woman name Pherbie. What a name.

My grandmother loved to hike in the mountains, and she told my mom that the first time she went to the Smokey Mountains she rode on a logging train by herself.

She was a pretty strong women. My mom said she thinks I take after her, which was a pretty great compliment. My grandmother often seemed stern, but I know that she kept the family business going through the Great Depression. 

That business is still there today. It is still owned and run by members of my family, and it is now the oldest florist in Kentucky. The blue house on the left is where my mom grew up and where I spent many wonderful visits. 

Mother's Day turned out to be a good day. Hope yours was too.

Read More »
Monday, May 7, 2018


Leaving Atlanta behind was hard, but having to face my filthy, messy booth was even harder. 

YIKES!!! Where does all of the black dirt come from? 

I didn't take any before photos, because I didn't want to ever have a reminder of just how messy it had gotten in a couple of weeks. 

I swear it looked like someone had come in and tossed everything into the middle of the floor. 

There is also the problem of things from other booths being dropped off in mine. 

Thank goodness I only have to take them to a table at the front. The mall where I am located is in three large warehouse buildings. I have had to walk around on occasion to find missing items from my booth (not everyone is good about taking them up front), and it isn't really the way I want to get my exercise.

May is always a slow month. Like me, everyone is out checking out the yard sales. 

It's a good time for me to stock up though, and I also have been buying from some local online auctions. 

As soon as the weather starts really heating up people will start heading back to the mall where they can browse in the air conditioning. I want to be ready.

I am getting back into reading. I was having a hard time concentrating for awhile this winter and wondered if I needed glasses beyond my readers. The eye doctor pronounced my vision to be 20/20. So no more excuses for not doing something I love.

Have you read any of the Maisie Dobbs books by Jacqueline Winspear. I love them.

The books, which take place in England, begin in WWI and have moved forward through time with each book. This latest novel takes place after the breakout of WWII. Maisie is a combination psychologist and private eye. She also does some spying along the way. Along with all of the intrigue there are large slices of life. 

The sun is hiding today so I think I will stay home and list some things in my Etsy shop. 

It's good to be busy.

Read More »
Monday, April 30, 2018


It was a whirlwind week in Atlanta, but every minute was wonderful.

I have lots to share, but I thought I would focus on my time with Tessa first. 

I have three wonderful grandchildren and I make sure to give time to each of them when I am there, but Tessa, who is five, demands a lot more of my attention. 

Each morning around 6:30 I would hear a light tapping on my door. I would always say, "who is it?", and Tessa would always say, "Nana, it's me Tessa". 

With a little giggle and a giant leap she would be in my bed and under the covers. That was our special time to snuggle, read and look for dragons, and talk about the day ahead. 

On this morning she was accompanied by her purple unicorn that I gave her for her last birthday. 

Watching Tessa play soccer was a real treat. Her coach said she put in a lot of extra effort that day. I think she was trying to impress her Nana, and it worked. I was very impressed. She was the only girl on her team and she was definitely the fastest runner.

One of my favorite days was the day we made stone soup. While my daughter and her husband were working hard in the yard, Tessa and I were hardly working. We collected stones, weeds, grasses, and a few flowers and stirred up a big pot of stone soup in a flower pot. 

After letting it simmer in the sun for a few hours we unanimously decided it was the best stone soup ever. 

There is nothing better in the world than time with a precious grandchild. No matter how stressful the world is, everything seems to fade into the background when you step into their world.

It is a time when life is reduced to rain boots and waders for a day of play in the park.


Read More »
Wednesday, April 18, 2018


On the road again....I can't wait to get on the road again.

Actually, I am on the road today heading down to Atlanta. 

It has been four months since I have seen my daughters and grandchildren and I am literally chomping at the bit to see their sweet faces and scoop them up in big hugs.

After enduring another day of blowing snow on Monday I am looking forward to some frost free days. I am so over wintry weather, and although it will be mainly in the sixties while I am in Georgia those temps will be much better than what I have been dealing with.

Whatever the temperatures are I will be too busy playing and visiting with the kids to really care.

I may get in a quick post while I am gone, but I am leaving my laptop at home so that I am not tempted. 

Hopefully by the time I get back to central Kentucky on the 25th spring weather will have finally arrived. 

My friend and I are putting our names into the hat for a garden plot and I am hoping we get one. If so it will be time to start planting in a couple of weeks. 

Hope everyone has a wonderful week and that it warms up where you are.

Read More »