F Simple and Serene Living: November 2013 09 10
Saturday, November 30, 2013

don't make me go

It is the Saturday after Thanksgiving and we all know what that means. The shoppers are out in full force clogging the roads. They are honking, they are complaining, they are acting downright rude. This is all done in an attempt to get to Macy's, where you would think this is the last sale day of the season. 

Seriously people??? We all know there will be a new sale everyday from now until Christmas. Besides, this is Small Business Saturday, which means that you can avoid all of those big box stores and spend your money at a small local business. If you live in my town, you can buy from me online and I will even be happy to deliver it to you free of charge. Insert large smiley face here!!!

So, you are probably asking yourself what the title of my blog post is all about. Well, the cupboards are bare, and I do mean bare. There is not a crust or crumb to be had. As I sit here enjoying the play of the light on the bottles in my window,

I think of what I can do to keep from going out. I've dusted, I've vacuumed, I've even mopped, (sorry, I draw the line at dragging out that iron) so I am running out of things to keep me at home. I know I can call and check on my mom. Oh wait, I've already done that. SIGH!!!

You see, the problem is that Trader Joe's and Whole Foods are both over by the big mall and that means nothing but trouble. Yes, I can take the back road to Trader Joe's, so I guess I am going to have to bite the bullet, make my list, and just do it. Besides, the thought of making nutty loaf for dinner is kind of spurring me on. 

So, if you are out there today and you see someone singing along to Christmas carols and waving at cranky old drivers, that will probably be me, and if it isn't well, just wave back anyway. They probably are on a grocery shopping mission, too.

Read More »
Friday, November 29, 2013

and now I'm over it

I always love the first real snowfall.

You wake up in the morning and there is a pretty blanket clinging to the trees.

Even the Magnolias don't seem overly surprised at their new white coats.

Yes, the trees seem perfectly okay with a snowy blanket.

And yesterday as I drove to Shaker Village for a Thanksgiving dinner, the icicles clinging to the cliffs were beautiful. I wish I could have taken photos, but there was no where to stop on the two lane winding road.

When we arrived, there were still patches of snow, which added a feeling of authenticity to the subdued historical surroundings.

The first snowfall of the season always seems so wonderful. I can't wait to get out there and take pictures. To feel the crunch of the snow beneath my boots. 

Then when we get back from our lovely dinner the reality sets in. This is my car, which is parked outside. It is covered in a layer of snow and ice. The doors are frozen shut. The scraper is inside the car. 

An old song pops into my head "Baby it's Cold Outside", and I realize I am so over it. There are months of this cold and snow ahead. Old Man Winter has raised his head too soon. 

That's when I went inside, made some hot chocolate, and closed the blinds. Time to look at some gardening books.

Read More »
Thursday, November 28, 2013

transformation on a thursday....gratitude on a thanksgiving day

On this Thanksgiving day, as on every day of the year, I am grateful for all of the kindnesses I have received from each of you this year, and for the friendship you have shown me. 

I hope that each of you has a wonderful and special day today, whether you are celebrating Thanksgiving or  just going about your daily activities. 

I will be having Thanksgiving dinner with my mother and sister at Shaker Village. So nice that none of us have to spend the day in the kitchen. As for the rest of the day, I am going to curl up by the fire and just relax. 

See you back here tomorrow.

Read More »
Tuesday, November 26, 2013

this and that on a tuesday...sort of

It is a gray, rainy, and cold day here and the forecast is calling for snow tonight and tomorrow. After running my errands this morning, I decided it would be the perfect day to stay home and work on the Christmas decorating.

But, it seems like time for a break, so I pulled out an oversize Christmas mug for some decaf coffee along with a chocolate muffin and a new mystery on a pretty white wicker tray.

Think I will just relax by the fire for a little while.

On a side note. Did anyone else watch my favorite show, "The Blacklist" last night. It left me feeling pretty traumatized. Do you think someone important is going to die on the fall finale next week? I can't be James Spader. Everyone would stop watching. 

Guess we'll just have to wait a week. Hard to do.

Read More »
Monday, November 25, 2013

pursuing the simple life....your footprint

While pursuing a simple life, I often think about what kind of footprint I am leaving on the earth,

and I came across a calculator that let me measure how big my environmental footprint is. You can find it here.

I was feeling pretty darned smug about the way I live until I finished the quiz. Here is what I found out.

If everyone lived like me we would need 4.1 planet earths to provide enough resources. OUCH!!!

To support my lifestyle it takes 18.3 global acres of the earth's productive area. EEEK!!

Apparently I am just a big resource hog who is stomping around on planet earth. So what can I do, short of moving out to a hut in the woods and eating grass. 

They have some ideas on how to reduce your footprint. 

eating less animal based products and purchasing products that use less packaging or are made out of 100% post consumer recycled-content material are two things I can do.

I actually do these things, so maybe I was too hard on myself in the quiz, but I definitely have a lot of room for improvement. 

I'm a research kind of girl, so I think I will try to read up a little more on it this week. 

P.S. Do you think Thanksgiving counts in this quiz, because if it does I think I'm in a lot of trouble.

Read More »
Saturday, November 23, 2013

ho! ho! ho! or bah humbug

Are you feeling ho! ho ho! or bah humbug about Christmas decorating?

I have to admit that I have been swinging back and forth between the two emotions.

Yesterday as I began to drag out the Christmas decorations from the garage I was feeling decidedly on the bah humbug side of things. 

There is just soooo much to weed through, and we need to donate a lot of it, but we have to see what mom wants for her apartment first. Then I will have to lug it over there and put it all up for her, as well as decorating here.

That is where the bah humbug was starting to kick in. It seemed overwhelming, but then I thought about how much my mom loves Christmas and how she may not have too many left, so I decided that a little ho! ho! ho! would be better.

I thought a little inspiration would help and where better to find it than a wonderful shop here in Lexington called For Friends. It was like stepping into a beautiful Christmas wonderland. I didn't come away with anything other than ideas (although sister got the square Santa pillow and a matching snowman one), but there was more of a Christmas spring in my step when I left there.

When I got home I turned on a Christmas CD (The Riga Boys Choir, my favorite), brewed myself a cup of tea, and did some Christmas dreaming.

So how are you feeling about the decorating process. Is it bah humbug or more of a ho! ho! ho! 

Read More »
Thursday, November 21, 2013

transformation on a thursday....believe in your dreams

Are you a dreamer?

Has anyone ever said to you, "you are such a dreamer"?

Was it said in such a way to make you think that dreaming is a bad thing?

Have you felt that you should give up on your dreams and live a more "realistic" life?

Everything that is now, was once imagined. Your imagination and your ability to dream are your greatest gifts. They are what make you uniquely you, and no one can take that away from you unless you allow them to. 

It doesn't matter what stage of life you are in. It is never to late to follow your dreams. So don't give up on your dreams, because what you want must first be imagined.

Read More »
Wednesday, November 20, 2013

stripped of color

As I peeked through my blinds, early this morning, I felt like I had awoken to a world of black and white,

and I wondered what it would be like to live in a world that had been laid bare of color.

Where would we find the joy? Because no matter how much I love beautiful black and white photos, 

I would feel a profound sense of sadness if the world was reduced to only black and white. 

What kind of world would it be where our only choices are so limited that there are not even shades of gray?

Sometimes I feel like we are living in that world. A world where there are no areas between the black and the white, a world where there is no compromise, a world that has had even its shades of gray removed. 

But, I take heart as I close the blinds. The sun will come up. The color will appear. I choose to believe in the inherent goodness of the world. 

Read More »
Tuesday, November 19, 2013

this and that on a tuesday...#8

Ahhhh!!! the ebbs and flows of life, the in and outs, the ups and downs.............

Okay I don't have a lot to talk about this week. It has been pretty slow here at the I'm So Vintage household, and that set me to wondering. Will I still be posting this at week 1000 and wow, one can only imagine the excitement then.... I will be at least 100 years old by then (a blatant exaggeration) so life should be pretty darned thrilling. There will be tales of me chasing men around the nursing home in my wheelchair, terrorizing nurses, making annoying phone calls to my daughters (oh wait, that last one happens now). Wow, the anticipation is really building up. 

We interrupt this amazing fantasy to get back to reality. Ho Hum!!!

I have read some really great books this week. If you love mysteries you will love these. The Elizabeth George is over 700 pages, so be prepared to drink lots of coffee. If you haven't read any of the books by these authors, I would suggest starting with some of the first in their series. They are some great reads. (my own unsolicited opinion)

Now, I know that most of you share your beautiful tablescapes. There are perfectly matched dishes, pretty place mats, and cloth napkins all laid out as a feast for the eyes. Around here, this is the reality of most of my meals. I just reach up in the cupboard and pull down some very not matching dishes. I serve it up and grab a paper napkin. Then I take a photo with the flash on. SIGH!!!

I know how disillusioned you must be feeling at this moment. I'm sure up until this point you thought I was nothing less than perfect, so to make up for it I am going to share this wonderful lentil soup recipe that my daughter was kind enough to text to me. 

It was delicious with some gluten free cornbread. Mismatched dishes and all. 

The rest of the week has been taken up with the shop. Lots of new finds.

Sister actually made the thrift store rounds with me one day. She had never been in a thrift store, and she went a little crazy. I found her an amazing mid century lamp for her bedroom for $7.75 (sorry she took it away before I could get a photo). I think she has a new obsession. 

Before I leave you, I am hoping you can clear up a little mystery for me. Why is it that when I am trying to take a photo with my phone, I have a hard time pushing the button, but it loves to take photos on its own. Thus, I have a lot that look like this. 

Hope you noticed I put my I'm So Vintage mark on this. I feel sure there are a lot of people just dying to use it without my permission. 

Thanks for sharing my uber exciting week.

Read More »
Monday, November 18, 2013

pursuing the simple life..... a manifesto

This popped up on my Facebook page Saturday and it is right up my alley.

I would have to say it pretty much sums up my philosophy. 

I am trying to eat less and healthier.

I am moving more by walking.

I am buying less and buying as many previously owned things as possible.

I need to get back to making more.

I am meditating more, which helps me to stress less.

I am finding ways to laugh more, even when the day seems like it has gone in the sewer.

I am feeling blessed every day. I do this by thinking of all the wonderful things I have in my life. 

I am feeling love more. How could I not when I know that I have three amazing grandchildren who love me.

And yes, every day I find a quiet spot and just breathe. I put away the computer, I turn off the TV, I close my book, and I just sit and breathe or meditate. 

For me, nothing beats simple living. What are you doing that simplifies your life?

Read More »
Saturday, November 16, 2013

where are you hiding?

where are you??

I know you are hiding somewhere.

I look everywhere.

I lift the edge of the quilt on the bed and peek under. Are you hiding there? No!

I rummage through my shoes on the closet floor. If you are hiding in there, please come out. No answer.

Maybe you are in the pantry. There is always so much in there that I have a hard time finding things. 

I don't even want to look among the boxes in the garage, because if you are hiding there, I don't think I will ever find you.

Are you having as much problem as I am having, 'finding the time'. The time to just sit and relax?

Where is the time going? It is like a whirlwind. Swirling around my head. Taking me along at a dizzying pace. Keeping me from doing so many of the things I want to be doing, and at the end of the day I am amazed that the day is already over. 

Yesterday I went through my blog roll and visited everyone on it. When I looked up two hours had passed. 

There were still photos to take for my shop, and thrifting to do, and ephemera to sift through, and a blog post to write, and phone calls to return, and muffins to make, and grocery shopping......

Well, you get the gist. I am sure your days are as full as mine, and since I have started back into my antique business full time, my days are even more full. 

So I hope you will forgive me if sometimes I am unable to respond to every comment. I want you to know that I read and really, really appreciate each and every one of them. They are the brightest spots of my day. 

I am also feeling called to write more posts, and I want to give each post the attention I feel it deserves. You may have noticed that my blog has gone in some new directions this year. It is important to me that I weave my counseling background into my posts. My counseling focus was women's issues and so I hope that I am in some way able to inspire your daily lives. 

I feel that it is important to share my life, my ups and downs, because we all have them. None of us are alone. I hope you will continue to let me know in your comments what you like. 

I also want to share more of what you are doing, so I will start to feature more blogs here, because I am inspired on a daily basis when I read your blogs. 

and I will remember to keep what is most important on my To Do list.

Yes, time is fleeting, but I am having fun chasing it around. I hope you are, too.  

Read More »
Thursday, November 14, 2013

transformation on a thursday....live out loud

Whenever I am at the coast, one of the things I love to do is watch the seagulls. As they swoop and soar, they make their presence known. Their shrill squawking speaks to me. It lets me know they are here. They don't ask what their place is on this earth. They just live out loud. 

As women, we are often socialized to lower our voices or even to remain quiet. We are very often not listened to, as if what we have to say isn't important. I am here to tell you that what you have to say is important, and that you can share your voice in so many ways. 

Isn't that one of the most wonderful things about blogging? We can share our voices and find a wonderful supportive, listening community.

Read More »
Wednesday, November 13, 2013

simple $8 update

Back in September I posted about my bedroom chest of drawers and its simple vignette.

I talked about how I brought Uncle charlie home and placed him where I could see him every day. You can read about that here.

I loved the simplicity, but after living in this bedroom for a couple of months I realized that even though this sits between two large windows, it is very dark on that side of the room at night and I couldn't see in my closet.

So the bird has flown away and I have added a lamp that I thrifted for $6 

and a shade that I pilfered from my mom's garage. Shhhh!! don't tell her. 

Love the birds and flowers and since I have been adding touches of blue to the room I decided to add these two vintage pottery bowls that I got at a yard sale for $2. 

I have had the pitcher and bowl for about 15 years. They were in the bottom of a box lot that I purchased for $3. I sold the other things in the boxes, but this pitcher had been broken and repaired at some point and so I decided to keep it. I think it just adds to its vintage goodness.

and for $8 I have an updated vignette.

Linking today with:
Tweak it Tuesday
Inspire Me Tuesday
Wow Us Wednesdays
What's It Wednesday

Read More »