F Simple and Serene Living: September 2012 09 10
Sunday, September 30, 2012

Cozy Reading Spot

Shhhhh!!! I have a guilty little secret. Oh well, I guess I I don't have to feel guilty about it, but I need a vice. I don't seem to have one and I don't want to appear boring. I don't want people going, "That Laura, she is just plain boring."

I am an avid reader. I always have at least one and sometimes more books going at all times. In the morning I grab the newspaper, skip through the negative stuff, and read from front to back before tackling the crossword. I'm one of those people who would sit and read the cereal box if there was nothing else available. Okay, maybe I am just a tad bit boring.

Since today is Sunday, one of my favorite days for reading along with Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,.......okay you get the message, I thought I would look for some reading inspiration places. I am always on the lookout for that perfect place to get cozy and curl up with a book.

Okay, if a person couldn't get cozy here, I don't know where they could.

source unknown

A light cozy spot to put your feet up.


What a great idea for a front hall. I could grab the morning paper off the front porch and curl up here with a cup of tea.

source unknown

I love this living room. You have your choice of two big comfy chairs or that wonderful sofa for a nice long read.


and finally, at night, when I want to curl up in a bed for that final read before drifting off to sleep.


Sweet dreams. oops, I meant to say sweet reads, That last photo got me a little too cozy.

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Saturday, September 29, 2012


Are you a thrifter? You know who you are. You're that person who loves to hit the thrift stores and find that perfect buy. 

Your eye drifts upward to the highest shelf and you catch a glimpse of something pushed to the back.

You carefully edge it closer as you try to see just what it is.

It's quite large and bulky. Be careful!! Is it what you think it is?

Oh my, it is. A mid century modern lamp at its finest and the price is $3.50. 

That is when you have to restrain yourself to keep from letting out a big SQUEAL!!!

This is my favorite thing this week. Now all I have to do is find the perfect lampshade.

Linking to:
A Favorite Thing Saturday

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Friday, September 28, 2012


The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry’s cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.
The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I’ll put a trinket on.

       by Emily Dickinson

Have you noticed how the autumn flowers are bravely struggling to extend our summer pleasures. 

Just as the daylight hours ebb away, so do the colors of the blooms, though, they stretch bravely toward the lingering sun to catch its final warmth.

Soon, the brilliant greens will fade to brown and we will know that the seasons have once again changed.

Sometimes it seems as if we are viewing life through an old worn window. 

As if life is like an old rusty wheel, that needs to be oiled to move it along at an ever increasing pace.

But as quickly as the malaise sets in, we view the flowers and know that just as they will reappear next spring, so will the warmth of the sun that lifts our spirits and warms our souls.

Linking to:
Fishtail Cottage Garden Party

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Can't Get Used To Losing You

As a teenager, I can remember my mom turning on the hi-fi in our living room. She would open up the top of the cabinet (the one we weren't allowed to touch) and she would put on her favorite records. One of her favorite singing artists was Andy Williams. I loved his soft style. 

Today, Andy Williams passed away at the age of 84 after a career that spanned nearly three quarters of a century. 

RIP Mr. Williams. It will be hard to get used to losing you. Thanks for your wonderful legacy of music.

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Monday, September 24, 2012

let the games begin.....

.....Rummikub that is. Have you ever played Rummikub? It's a bit of a favorite of my sister and mom and we have played so often that we have worn the paint off the tiles of two games and are now working on our third. 

Try not to show your jealousy of my exciting life. You know what they say about jealousy. What do they say?????

Rummikub is fun, but sometimes I get a little bored and that is when I shhhhhh!! don't tell anyone CHEAT!!!!! Okay, before you get your knickers in a twist that I am cheating on my little 88 year old mother, let me tell you that my cheating is blatant. 

If I see a tile where I don't want it I just give it a little flick and send it soaring across the table.

Mom: "What was that?"
My Sister: "It was just Laura flicking a tile out of the way. Just put it back."

I seriously get no respect in this family and Mom is always beating me. 

$5.95 from RustyCharm

I know, last Monday I promised I would have Shopping On Monday this week. Although, I did say that I might be dreaming of moving to Costa Rica instead. 

Fact is I was just too busy cheating at games to browse Etsy. But I did manage to throw in one item, so I am not a complete liar. 

Tomorrow I am heading down to Knoxville, Tennessee to pick up my little sister. She flew in from Arizona a few days ago to see her daughter, who graduated from vet school and is doing an internship year in Knoxville.  She says we are now allowed to call her Doctor Lori. Seriously???  I changed your diapers, kid. 

Aren't they cute?  (That's savvy in the middle.)  Can't wait to see her. It's been over two years. (Maybe she doesn't know my great cheating tricks)

So, I'll see you in a couple of days and hopefully I will actually remember to take my camera with me tomorrow.

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Saturday, September 22, 2012

enjoying my garden

Today is the first official day of fall, and although my garden has started to fade, I am finally able to enjoy sitting out there in this cooler weather. 

The impatiens are actually loving this cooler wetter weather and I think this is the prettiest they have been all summer.

The hosta leaves are starting to brown, and our naughty raccoon family has been busy digging and knocking over things.

I saw a pair of hummingbirds on this hanging plant yesterday. They are migrating now, so I am sure I will see more. I love hummingbirds. They were a favorite of my dad.

The begonias outside my mom's window are still doing good. She has enjoyed looking out at them this summer.

The mandevillas are still getting new blooms, although they didn't put out as many shoots in the hot dry summer that we had.

So, my favorite thing today, is enjoying my garden. I know it won't be long before it is gone and fall cleanup will begin, but I'll think about that tomorrow.

Joining up with:
A Favorite Thing Saturday

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

It's so hard....

.....being 2 1/2 months old. 

First of all, it takes a lot of work trying to get that thumb in your mouth, and then once it's there, what in the world are you suppose to do with it.

Next, you've got to spend a lot of time giving and getting hugs.

There is lots of family playing time.

Laughing sure takes lots of energy.

Insisting on standing up way before you are suppose to definitely takes lots of energy.

And finally there's all that important stuff you have to learn from big brother and sister.

It's enough to tucker a girl out.

I sure appreciate all these photo updates from my daughter. They are keeping me from feeling too lonely until I get to see them next month.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

apples and...

well....just apples. It's apple picking season. The days are getting shorter, the temperatures have cooled down, and there is a softness to the light. 

When I was a child growing up in southern Ontario, we had apple and pear trees in our back yard. I can remember the torture I felt having to go out and pick up the fallen fruit from the ground while my father picked the perfect fruit from high in the trees. I didn't realize at the time how special those memories would be. 

At night, my mom would bake up delicious apple and pear crisps and pies. Now, my mom has grown weary of baking and my dad is no longer with us. I am on a gluten free diet and thought I would never have a delicious fall apple dessert again. That is where knowing other wonderful bloggers comes in. 

Just when I was feeling a bit melancholy, I read a post from Judy at Cranberry Morning. I hope you have met the lovely and sweet Judy. She has a wonderful blog so be sure and pop by.

Judy shared this gluten free recipe and I can't wait to try it.

Apple Cheesecake

Autumn Apple Cheesecake, Recipe:
(Also Gluten Free)

1 c graham cracker crumbs (I would use a gluten-free cookie or cracker)
1/2 c finely chopped pecans
3 Tbs sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 c butter, melted

3 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
3/4 c sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
4 c apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (I used Granny Smith, but only because the original recipe called for them. I think they hold up better than my McIntosh do.)
1/3 c sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 c chopped pecans
Caramel sauce

Heat oven to 350. Mix crumbs, pecans, sugar, cinnamon and butter. Press into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. bake 10 minutes.

Beat cream cheese and 3/4 c of the sugar at med speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each. Blend in vanilla; pour over crust. Toss apples with combined 1/3 c sugar and the cinnamon; spoon mixture over cream cheese layer. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Bake 1 hour and 10 minutes. Loosen cheesecake from rim of pan; cool before removing rim of pan. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Drizzle with caramel sauce. 

Judy reminds us to chill in the refrigerator several hours before serving.

Hello??? Oh sorry I was rooting around in the cupboard for the springform pan. I know it's in here somewhere. SIGH!!!

Well, as soon as I lay my hands on that pesky pan, I'll be trying this. If you would like to bake it, you will find the recipe here. Don't forget to say hi to Judy while you're there.

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Monday, September 17, 2012

fall cleaning frenzy

I know that most people do their heavy cleaning in the spring, but I've always been a fall cleaning kind of girl.

HaHaHaHa!!! That is definitely not me.

This is a lot more what I look like (except I am in a raggedy old pair of jammies). Work a little, sit down and contemplate, write my blog....................... 

Hmmmm, maybe I need to do a little more working and a lot less of the other things.

Seriously??? I dreamed someone else cleaned my house and when I came home Cameron Mathison was waiting for me in his apron with a glass of wine in his hand. Read here.

SO ladies, I am off to actually clean (Where does all the dust come from?)

In case you happen to be a fall cleaner, too this might just help get you going. I am already singing and dancing.

I promise to have shopping on Monday next week, Well you never know about me. I could be dreaming of a life in Costa  Rica next week. 

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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Drop Dead Diva

My two daughters who own Prairie Seed Dry Goods recently had one of their aprons featured on Drop Dead Diva and look who is wearing it. 

Cameron Mathison

Gotta love Cameron in an apron. Especially if it is from Prairie Seed.

Those two girls just can't seem to stop making their mama proud.

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Saturday, September 15, 2012

favorite things

When I saw that one of my favorite bloggers, Claudia at Mockingbird Hill Cottage has started a blog party, I knew I had to join in this week. 

I have two favorite things that belonged to my grandmother and are now mine. Hooray!!!

I apologize for the somewhat blurry photos, but the light wasn't the best this morning and I was just too excited to wait.

I love knowing that my grandmother used these in the early part of the last century while handmaking clothes and quilts and darning socks. 

The mammy pincushion is tattered and worn, so she mostly sits and watches while I sew. I use my own handmade pincushion for my day to day work. I used the darning egg last winter when I was patching my felted wool slippers. My mom said she remembers my grandmother using it when she patched her socks as a child.

I'm glad my favorite things are joining  A Favorite Thing Saturday

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