F Simple and Serene Living: August 2013 09 10
Saturday, August 31, 2013

have a wonderful Labor day weekend

I'll be taking a few days off while I finish getting my sister and I moved. I hope everyone has a wonderful Labor Day Weekend.

See you in a few.


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Friday, August 30, 2013

bringing the garden indoors

As summer winds down, SIGH!!! I start to think about bringing some outdoor plants inside for the winter and about adding some new plants indoors. 

I have found that if I bring in some of my potted annuals before the first frost, I can extend their life and enjoy them for awhile longer. It gives me the illusion that summer is still here. (I like pretending)


I love the idea of repurposing an old ladder or building a new one to keep those precious plants over the winter.


love these lantern terrariums


and cloches make perfect terrariums to set on a table by your chair while you read or quilt


side story here. My oldest daughter told me a few years ago that she loves terrariums and couldn't figure out why. What she didn't know was that back in the 70s, when she was a baby, she had a terrarium in her room that looked just like this. 


I think both of our tastes may have evolved, although I kind of wish I had that old terrarium back.

Okay, now that I have completely gotten off track, strolling down memory lane.

I love these. I always called them airplane plants, but I'm not sure if that is the correct name. I know one of you can tell me. You can take the babies and root them in a glass of water. Pretty soon you have airplane plants all over your house. If I seem like I may have been carried away with this at some point in my life, you're right. There must be an airplane plant support group somewhere.


A steamy bathroom is a perfect indoor  environment for plants, although I'm thinking I might not be bathing in front of those windows. 


Herbs in the winter are a must for me, so I have to have a kitchen herb garden.



and if you are lucky enough to have a big beautiful sunroom, you can surround yourself with plants and never know that it is winter. (Just don't look outside)

source unknown

For more indoor garden ideas join me here.

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Transformation on a Thursday...creating new beginnings

Welcome to Transformation on a Thursday. I am devoting each Thursday to a positive affirmation or to inspirations in my life. There are so many ways we transform ourselves. It may be through meditation or prayer, by taking a class to learn something new, by involving ourselves in public service, or even changing something in our homes.

Today was the last day of my 21 day meditation challenge. It has been a wonderful experience and has gotten me into the habit of starting each morning with a meditation. It is a time for centering myself for the day ahead. 

Throughout my life I have spent a lot of my time trying to fix things that were broken......relationships, career choices. decisions.......all things that have somehow gone wrong. I have learned, though that...

Isn't it wonderful that we are never too old to start over and create something better. As we go through our lives we are constantly learning and accumulating knowledge that we can use to make positive changes.

Yesterday I talked about the changing of the seasons. You can read that here.

Although there is a certain sadness that comes with the ending of summer, I do always feel that the start of a new season also brings about thoughts of moving ahead, of making changes in my life. 

So as the leaves begin their slow change into Autumn

I too am inspired to make changes. 

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

channeling Rip Van Winkle

I know that Rip Van Winkle fell asleep on a mountain and slept twenty years, but I am beginning to feel like I may have missed something. 

Last night when I fell asleep it was August. The cicadas were singing, the lightning bugs were still lighting the evening, and the air was warm and redolent with the smells of summer. 

This morning, on my walk, I noticed a subtle change. The light was softer and I found this,

and I wonder where summer has gone.

When summer’s night is nighing
And skies at evening cloud,
I muse on change and fortune
And all the feats I vowed

By AE Housman

The end of summer brings on a certain melancholy. A knowing that as the seasons change so do we. In winter I long for the summer days. The days of being carefree. The days that seem to last forever. The days of childhood. 

But I know, that just as we can't stop the seasons from changing, we can't stop the inevitable changes in our lives. If we are lucky, we grow older and all the seasons of our lives combine into a wisdom that enriches us and those around us.

So although I will cling to the days of summer a bit longer, I will also look forward to the days ahead and the changes they bring, and be happy that I have only slept one night, not twenty years. 

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Monday, August 26, 2013

just like the flowers

"Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one. "

Eleanor Roosevelt

I love that quote. As I wander around on my morning walks, I notice all of the flowers in my neighborhood. 

The flowers don't compete with each other. 

They don't look at the flower next to them and think, uh oh I am not as thin as that flower.

or that flower is prettier than me.

or people don't like me as much as they like that flower.

As women, we tend to spend too much time agonizing over the norms that society has set for us. As we age, we realize that just like the flowers, we are all beautiful in our own right.

We were created to be beautiful just as we are, to grow and lift our faces to the sun, and shine as the individuals we were meant to be. 

So, I hope as you pass a mirror today, you will pause and look at yourself and say, "I love you and you are perfect just the way you are."

You are certainly perfect to me.

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

dreaming of cottages

Lately I have been dreaming of cottages and bungalows. Is there a difference between the two? Does it have to do with actual style, or where they are located? I could probably Google it if I wasn't feeling so lazy, but to me they both evoke  feelings of coziness.

Is this too big to be a cottage? Or are they considered attached cottages. So very English.


What could be more adorable than a little pink cottage with a white awning and a green door named Polka Dot.


Can you imagine anything more wonderful than stepping out of your cottage for an early morning swim.


Cottages need a porch to sit, rock, and visit. Because when you are in a cottage you are part of a community.


A cottage can be surrounded by beautiful countryside,


or right on the street of a small town.


Cottages may be colorful,




or they may be a simple white,


but their coziness, picket fences, and old world charm all spell home to me.

If you love cottages and bungalows check out my board on Pinterest.

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

transformation on a thursday - the winds of change

Welcome to Transformation on a Thursday. I am devoting each Thursday to a positive affirmation or to inspirations in my life. There are so many ways we transform ourselves. It may be through meditation or prayer, by taking a class to learn something new, by involving ourselves in public service, or even changing something in our homes.

Each day for the past two weeks, I have been continuing my 21 day meditation challenge. It has really been helpful in centering and calming me through a difficult time. 

Yesterday, after writing my post, I took an extra 15 minutes to sit and meditate quietly. I felt a calmness come over me and knew that no matter the outcome, I would be okay.

Right after coming to that realization my phone rang and the deputy said she had reached the woman who has my property and although she is being difficult I think we are going to be able to work it out. 

There has been so much change happening in my life recently, but I know that I am finding my direction. I am learning from each of the difficult experiences  and moving forward.

I know that the seasons of our lives are constantly changing. That in each moment we are all looking for our direction. 

Sometimes it just seems so hard to know which is the right road to take, but when we sit quietly and let the world come to us I think the path becomes clearer. 

I have many decisions to make in the coming months. I have been so busy taking care of my mom and my sister and her husband that I have failed to take good care of myself. 

So for now, I am going to continue meditating and enjoying my alone time during my morning walks, and when things start to settle down I am going to focus on what it is I dream of in my quiet moments.

I hope you will, too.

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

is it possible to be.....................

too naive

too gullible

too sweet  

too kind

too accommodating

too DUMB

because if it is, then I am definitely all of those things.

For those of you have been reading my blog for awhile, you followed the saga of my personal property. The last time I posted about it here I was very excited, because I was told the woman who had my property had agreed to give it back to me in early September. I agreed to give her until then, because she said she would be out of the state for most of the summer on business. 

I was making my plans to drive to the beach and pick it up in two weeks.

my family antiques

my children's baby photos

my life

Then yesterday, my own personal deputy at the Sheriff's office called and told me the woman's phone was disconnected and so was her daughter's who was living with her. 


Has she really stolen my property after all?

Had she already sold it when she agreed to give it back?


All I have to say is

Thanks to my reader and friend Lynn for posting this on her Pinterest board. You will want to follow her here, because she has great pins.

As for me, I sure am glad you all are my friends, because I sure picked one heck of a doozy for one in North Carolina. 

and once again I wait and wonder, is it possible to be........

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

they love me, they love me not.....

they love me, they love me not.............

Do you ever feel, as a blog writer, that you just want to go out into a field of daisies and start plucking the petals off?

Do you worry and stress over the number of comments that are left on your posts?

The number of visitors in a day?

While sipping your morning cup of coffee and attempting to working the morning crossword

does your mind wander to your next post. 

As you push your cart through the aisles of Trader Joe's, do your eyes look over at the tubs of flowers while you wonder if you should splurge on a bouquet so that you will have something anything to write about?

and after you return from your morning walk do you excitedly upload your photos only to find that half of them look like this?

Then you creatively spend literally waste thirty minutes trying to figure out what in the heck it is.

Do you then give yourself this look, followed by a head slap


because really there was a time when no one read your blog, not even your mother, and no one left comments (how could they when no one was reading it).

I of course never do any of these things. 


I always was a terrible liar. 

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Monday, August 19, 2013

rolling, rolling........

rolling on the river.......

Okay, I wasn't actually rolling on the river, but I was lunching by the river.

It's seems that lately good food and peaceful surroundings have been good for the soul, and I hadn't been to Hall's on the river for many years. 

I'm not sure what kept me away from the serene setting and the wonderful food. It is after all just a short and beautiful drive to reach this restaurant tucked in a hollow by the muddy Kentucky river.

When you get there you feel like you have stepped back in time a few years. You know nothing has changed. The old canoe and the ship's wheel are still hanging on the wall of the deck

and the view of the cliffs and the river while you eat is spectacular.

I don't even want to tell you how much food was consumed, but let me just say there may have been some Hall's Beer Cheese, a catfish platter, and some bread pudding with bourbon sauce. I can't actually confirm this as there are no pictures to prove it.  

I can tell you that it was one of those perfect days. The temperature was in the low seventies, there was a gentle breeze, and the only sounds were the ducks quacking on the river.

If I could have bottled it up I would have. It was definitely worth the calories consumed.

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