F Simple and Serene Living: September 2013 09 10
Monday, September 30, 2013

one last gasp

Just when you have finally said good bye to summer. Just when you have donned your first fall clothes. Just when you have purchased your first pumpkins. You come across these.

Sitting proudly in a planter. Snubbing their nose at fall. Saying, aren't I the prettiest shade of geranium you have ever seen?

You sigh, pull your summer sandals back out of your closet, pull on a pair of shorts one more time, and vow to have just that shade of salmon colored geranium on your patio next summer. 

So tomorrow I will face the reality of fall again, but today I am going to raise my face up to the warm sun and pretend it is summer for just one more day. Because PSSSTT!!! tomorrow is October.

Read More »
Friday, September 27, 2013

who is crystal

As I walked the lonely beach one morning on my vacation, I saw this bench.

And I wondered. Who is Crystal? Where has she gone? 

Does she still come here to sit and watch the sea?

If I sit, will she join me? Will I feel her presence?

Like a long lost friend? One who has passed on but still hovers to share the beauty? To watch the endless changing of the tides?

Yes, who is Crystal? I wonder.

Read More »
Thursday, September 26, 2013

transformation on a thursday....dreaming confidently

How do you dream,

Henry David Thoreau 

and what are your dreams made of?

My dreams include supporting myself through my Etsy shop and my blog, which means I have to start focusing more on my business. So happy that I have been able to put some things behind me in the last few months and that I am able to start doing what I love again. Yesterday I hit some thrift stores and today I am heading out to an auction. Time to get my shop stocked up for the fall buying season. 

See you back here tomorrow, and don't forget to dream. I have confidence in you!!

Read More »
Tuesday, September 24, 2013

this and that on a tuesday

I woke up this morning thinking, I bet all of those people out in the blogosphere are really just itching to know about my fabulous day.

I mean really, the excitement is over underwhelming. 

So here it is in a nutshell, because I don't want to be the reason for you losing any sleep.

(A lot of this actually took place yesterday, but I don't have enough excitement in just one day)

Went to the library and picked up this wonderful book to read.

It is Louise Penny's just released book in the Three Pines series. I have read all of the rest, so I am so excited to get started on this one. (I wanted to start off with a bang, because it really is exciting)

I decided to go through the bags of clothes I tossed into my car in North Carolina a couple of weeks ago. Mostly old tee shirts, etc. but in the middle of one I found this.

As you can see, they are a bit wrinkled and musty smelling, but they were my mom's baby clothes. So I am thrilled. A little hand washing and ironing will have them back in wonderful condition. 

Okay, that was exciting, but now on to the really good other stuff.

While going through the bags and checking out my closet I realized my fall wardrobe is a bit lacking, so I went shopping. It takes a lot to get me clothes shopping. I don't know about you, but I hate those fitting room mirrors. 

I did come away with a few basics, but couldn't find any shoes or boots that I like without selling one of my feet to pay for them.

I already have lots of turtlenecks so I can mix and match.

Next is a self pedicure. I realized that my toenails are less than spiffy and even though I am now wearing closed toe shoes, I may want to go and check out a few more shoe stores today.

Then it is off to Trader Joe's and Whole Foods.

You may notice that I have hung the bags on the doorknob so I can't possibly forget them. Okay, I have been known to take the bags off the knob, set them on the floor, and walk right out without them, but that only happened once, maybe twice, or.......

Read More »
Monday, September 23, 2013

natural fall decor

Fall is officially here and so I am looking for natural decor ideas.

I love this mixture of white ironstone, milk glass, and white pumpkins. Definitely a table I would like to sit down to.


Even if your leaves haven't started to really change yet, some acorns and drying leaves on an old worn table make a perfect rustic display.

origin unknown

It's apple picking season and nothing says fall more than an old zinc bucket filled with the day's harvest. I wonder how long they will last before they are turned into pies and other treats.


Dried flowers and some white pumpkins added to pitchers and vases make perfect mantle vignettes.


A single perfect pumpkin can make just the right statement.

source unknown

And for a warm autumn welcome, a bittersweet wreath combined with pumpkins and gourds.


I think what I like best about fall decorating is that much of what you use can be collected on your nature walks. I'm ready to get out there and start searching.

Read More »
Saturday, September 21, 2013

welcome home uncle charlie

Thirty five years ago my grandmother told me I could go up into her attic and take whatever I wanted. She said there wasn't much there but "some old junk", but if I wanted it I could have it. 

Oh boy!!!!

What she considered old junk was an attic full of family heirlooms. I took quite a few things, but left much more for my cousins. What I did take was part of what I had to put into storage. You can read how that turned out here.

Before I left North Carolina a couple of weeks ago, I put a few things that weren't packed in boxes into my car to bring home with me. One thing I really wanted to have with me was this.

It is a large framed photograph of my great uncle Charlie when he was a child in the 1800's. Wasn't he a cutie in his sailor suit?

I know it is Charlie, because after I got the picture I visited Uncle Charlie, my grandfather's brother, who was very old and bedridden. When Charlie saw the photo, he cried and said "that's me, that's Charlie". 

So I have brought Uncle Charlie home once again'

He is currently residing in my bedroom,

where he is sitting atop my grandmother's chest of drawers. The one that she refinished and made into a desk when my mother was a child.

He is accompanied by a new little bird and an old pitcher and wash basin that I also had in storage.

It's a simple vignette. Just the kind I like. 

Welcome home Uncle Charlie. It is so good to have you back.

Linking today with:
Be Inspired

Read More »
Thursday, September 19, 2013

transformation on a thursday...watch me

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.

I don't know about you, but this happens to me on a regular basis. I used to listen and second guess myself. Now I just go full speed ahead. If I make a mistake or fail at something, it's okay. Success never happens without some failure.

Read More »
Wednesday, September 18, 2013

here it comes

It is creeping up on us like a thief in the night, and like a thief it is stealing our summer. No more lush greens. No more hot sultry nights. No more.................

Am I lamenting? Whining? Gnashing my teeth?

Well, actually I am, but as there is nothing much I can do about it other than relocating to the southern hemisphere, I am going to jump on the Autumn bandwagon.

So without further ado, here are some great Autumn finds from Pinterest.

There is just something wonderful about an old crock filled with bittersweet.


A fall picnic is perfect for early fall days, while the weather is still warm.


Pumpkins and gourds, oh my!!


A perfectly primitive Autumn.

original source unknown

A simple fall vignette.

original source unknown

and I am definitely a sucker for an old soda crate filled with fall flowers.


After realizing that I had three separate Autumn boards on Pinterest, I have now combined them into one wonderful board, which you can find and follow here, if you just happen to be looking for some Autumnal inspiration.

Read More »
Monday, September 16, 2013

what's a girl to do?

Do you ever have a To Do list that is so long that you just want to chuck it all, crawl under your covers, and read a good book?

My day is definitely like that today. I want to sit and dream. I want to squish my feet down into the sand again. (Good thing I repainted my toenails right after I took this, because boy, they sure were looking bad)

I want to walk down a long lonely stretch of beach at dawn, while the sky pinkens.

I want to sit on a porch rocking away the hours as I listen to the sound of the waves.

I want to take a ferry ride over to Ocracoke Island

and eat fresh fish on a picnic table under a brightly colored umbrella.

I want to shop for seashells from an old row boat.

I want my only conversation to be with a lonely little shorebird. 

What I don't want to do is this To Do list. But as Mama always said. "Laura, it won't get done by itself."

SIGH!!! Mama's always right. How annoying is that.

Read More »
Saturday, September 14, 2013

change is in the air

Early Thursday morning I sat on the deck of the home where I was staying in Nags Head meditating and enjoying my last few moments by the ocean. 

I knew that my wonderful reprieve from the "real" world was coming to an end, but as I faced the long trip home I also felt a sense that it was time for change. 

Just as the seasons are changing from summer to fall, I know that I am ready to make changes, too. 

So often there is a sense of nostalgia as we leave something we have known and perhaps loved to forge ahead into unknown territory, but it is just at those times that I send out love for the old and the new and ask for love in return.

And just at that moment, when you are squirting some mousse into your hand, to tame your crazy curly beach hair, you look down and the universe has sent you a little message of love. (Sorry it is so fuzzy, but I was inside a room with no windows.)

Like my trip that day, which was very long, tiring, and full of absolute gully washers in the mountains, I know that my trip ahead will not always be easy. There will be ups and downs, obstacles to overcome, and uncertainties. I also know that there will be love and new things to enjoy and I am looking forward to all of the changes that will come my way. 

Yes, I will miss my room with the spectacular view, 

just as I will miss all of the things that I know were stolen from me. But even though I can return to that room whenever I want, and I will, I am leaving those other things behind. I have used up enough of my energy on them and they are free to enhance the lives of others. 

I am ready for the seasons to change and bring new things.

Read More »