F Simple and Serene Living: December 2013 09 10
Tuesday, December 31, 2013

home again home again jiggity jig

As another year comes to a close and a new one is about to begin...as another birthday has passed...yes I celebrated one last week in Georgia....I reflect on what has happened over the last year, but focus my thoughts on what is yet to come.

My time in Georgia with my family was wonderful.

There was a little Santa

and a little bit bigger Santa handing out gifts.

There was having The Night Before Christmas read to me this year,

and there was the joy of hanging the stockings by the chimney with care.

When I reflect on the past year, this past week is definitely one of my best memories. 

I feel that it is time to put so many things behind me and look forward to new and wonderful memories. I can't wait to get started.

P.S. I have to confess that I did not open my computer one time last week. I did check in on the internet a few times from my phone, but I am definitely behind in my visiting. I will get caught up over the next few days.

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

transformation on a thursday....try a little help from your friends

Where would we be without friendship?

As a woman, I know from life long experience that special friends can help you get through the best and the worst of times. 

Thank you to all of my blogging friends who have helped me get through this last year. I couldn't have done it without all of your wonderful support. 

P.S. In order to enjoy this time with my family, I have pre-scheduled this weeks posts, so they are a bit shorter than normal. I promise to be back to my usual postings next week.
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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

May the peace of Christmas be with you and your loved ones today and everyday throughout the coming year.

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Saturday, December 21, 2013

thoughts on numbers

Is blogging a numbers game? Is it all about how many people read each of your posts? Is it trying to write just what other people want to read so that your numbers will go up? 

Or is it about writing what moves your spirit? Sharing what makes YOU tick?

For those of us who are trying to generate an income from our blogs, because we genuinely need it, it is like a juggling act. 

I know this is not a very Christmas like topic, but as the year is winding down, I am giving this a lot of thought. 

My blog has certainly evolved since I first started out on this journey. I have definitely veered from my original purpose, which was to promote my antiques business and show some of my home decor. 

Do I still need to promote my business? Yes, because like everyone else I need to eat and have shelter. 

Do I still like to decorate? Yes, I love to, but as I am not living in my own home at this time, my decorating is limited. 

I've wondered why I have been led along this path and I think it is because I have been gently (at times not so gently) guided to realize that I need to write about what feeds my spirit. That often changes from day to day, but I believe I was led to go back to graduate school later in life to get my MS in counseling psychology for a reason. I love seeing what makes people tick and even though I didn't like sitting in an office on a daily basis working as a counselor, I still feel called to provide inspiration. 

Yes, my blog has evolved, and will continue to evolve in the future. I know that people have dropped off my list of readers, just as I have dropped off some of the blogs I once read faithfully. For me there are only so many times that I can read about painting a piece of furniture, even though I love to paint furniture, and I am so in awe of those who do it in such beautiful ways. I love blogs that share more, because that is who I am. I love the friendships that I have made and the ones that are still to come.

So as I sit here this holiday season, with another year winding down, I think about the numbers, and I wonder if mine will ever be in a place where I can generate some real income from my writings. What I do know is that I will continue to feed my spirit through this blog and hopefully, some of yours. 

I will be heading out to Atlanta in my chuggy car on Monday, driving on a wing and a prayer that it will make the almost four hundred miles with no problems. I will stay in touch while I am there, but want to spend every moment enjoying my family at this special time of year. 

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holidays! 

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Cottage Christmas Corner

Thought I would share my little cottage style Christmas corner. It is right outside my bedroom door and really doesn't have much natural light, but the only spots I can call my own are my bedroom, bathroom, and this little corner. 

I already had most of the things in the corner .

A little ironstone pitcher with some hand painted fabric flowers by my daughter.

a photo of my mother dressed for a high school dance. I love this. It normally hangs on the wall behind the table.

I set the photo on the table so I could hang this stocking I made last year.

I filled it with seashells and vintage lace.

Added back in the five dollar ginger jar lamp I got at an auction last summer.

and filled a basket that normally sits there with some faux white poinsettias and two sweet little deer. 

Voila my little cottage style Christmas corner.

My little deer whispered in my ear that it isn't Christmas without snow, so I gave them some.

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

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Monday, December 16, 2013

pursuing the simple life.....each moment

As I woke up this morning I thought about the feeling of the moment. The stretching, the new light coming through the windows, the warmth of my bed topped with quilt and comforter, and the sounds of the passing cars.

I thought about how fickle life is. Each moment is ever changing.

Life is made up of simple moments and it is the simple moments that hold the most meaning for us.

It is as if our lives are made up of simple vignettes that we create. Moments that we place on a shelf and store away somewhere in our memories.

Drinking a morning cup of coffee, reading a good book, hugging a loved one, laughing with a friend.

They are all simple moments. Probably moments that we don't take the time to think about. Many of them are just seen as the rituals of our lives, but it is these simple moments that not only we create, but that create our lives.

Sometimes I wish I could mail those moments to myself. To take out and reread when I need them.

Life is full of moments. It is like emptying a jar of buttons and enjoying the individuality of each one.

This moment is what we have. We can't relive the past or predict the future, because yes, the moments are fickle. So I find myself knowing that in my pursuit of the simple life, I need to savor this moment.

Living in the moment. So simple, yet so meaningful.

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

ho ho ho and car repairs

I can't believe that Christmas is just 11 days away and that I am planning to drive to Atlanta in 9 days. 

To catch you up on the car repairs, I did take it in on Thursday. Once again they told me they have no idea why it is idling so roughly. Nothing shows up on their scan. Whatever happened to the good old mechanic who looked? SIGH!!! They did find that two of my tires were bad, car was very badly out of alignment, and all four brakes were bad. So I drove it home with $665 dollars worth of repairs (thanks to my sister for kicking in some as I drive her everywhere) and it is still idling bad. That would be a bah humbug, so let's get on to the Ho! Ho! Ho!

Here is a bit more of my Christmas decor.

Some toys under my toy tree. 

They seem happy! I think they are waiting for Santa.

Looking down the living room. That is a red and white quilt that my grandmother made, covering my sister's antique drop leaf table that sits behind the sofa. The brass lamps are mine. I bought them almost 40 years ago as a new bride. I stuck them in my car when I was in North Carolina in September. 

I love the toy tree. I can't help but smile when I look at it.

The next time the sun comes out I will try to get some photos of the other end of the living room and also of my little white Christmas corner. 

Thanks for all of the well wishes on the car. I am still praying and meditating on the idling problem and thinking positively that the money will come in this week so that I can take it to another mechanic. 

I have started selling on Ebay again along with my Etsy shop. I hate that they take so much out of each sale, but it's a bit of added money coming in. I sell there under the name Gossamer Memories.

I am getting excited about going to Atlanta. My grandchildren and I are counting down the days until I get there. Okay, they are probably counting down the days until Santa gets there, but I am definitely counting the days until I see them.

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

transformation on a thursday....live your life

source unknown

I have been downright cranky lately. I'm not sure of the exact cause, but I do know that I have not been eating as well as I normally do and I stopped walking because of the cold. So I sat myself down yesterday and gave myself a stern talking to. 

Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy, and I am definitely no exception. Yesterday I was feeling particularly grumbly. My car is pretty old and it has been acting up a bit. I need it to behave so I can drive it to Atlanta for Christmas. My finances are pretty slim and so I have been worried about how I am going to pay for any repairs. I decided to turn it over to the universe. I meditated and prayed and I know that it will work out somehow. I have no idea how, but I just believe that it will. I am off to the car repair place this morning to see what happens.

We all have burdens big and small, and sometimes they can just seem overwhelming. My grandmother was a very wise woman who told me worry would not add one day to my life. She was so right.

I am going to print out that list of things to do today, and I am going to tape it to my mirror where I will see it first thing each morning. I am going to practice making each day wonderful, and when I start to feel grumbly I am going to practice more.

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

this and that on a tuesday

It has been a cold and gray week here in central Kentucky. We've had a bit of snow, a bit of ice, and a whole lot of rain. It has made for a pretty gloomy week. As I suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) it is always difficult when the sun doesn't appear. I do have a light to use and I will get it out if necessary, but as the sun is supposed to put in an appearance this afternoon I am hoping to just get out and relish the light.

This is the view through my back window this morning. A little snow and a whole lot of gray.

Found this wonderful new recipe this week. Do you like quinoa. I love it and I really love brussel sprouts


Quinoa with Roasted Brussels Sprouts (adapted from “The Farmer’s Kitchen” by Brett Grohsgal and Julia Shanks)

½ cup quinoa
½ pound Brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons olive oil (my olive oil was infused with lemon)
3 cloves garlic, sliced thin or chopped
½ lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup toasted, slivered almonds (optional)

Rinse quinoa under cold water. Put in a small saucepot and cover with water. Add 1teaspoon salt. Cover the pot and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until the quinoa has popped and is cooked through.

Meanwhile, cut Brussels sprouts in half.  If sprouts are larger, slice thin.

Heat a large skillet over high heat.  Add the olive oil and let heat for 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook for 3 minutes or until aromatic. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook, stirring regularly until they are bright green and soft (I covered the pan and turned down the heat, stirring occasionally and allowing the sprouts to get crispy-brown). Remove from heat.

When quinoa is cooked, drain excess water.  Toss with Brussels sprouts.  Add juice from ½ lemon and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Stir in almonds, if using.

I haven't tried it yet, but it looks pretty easy peasy and delicious so I am going to go out today and get the ingredients.

Been reading a lot and watching Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel. 

I am reading this right now. Love Wally Lamb books. This is his newest and is definitely proving to be a good read. I love it when I am waiting for a book at the library and my number finally comes up. I feel like it is a gift and that our free lending libraries were one of the greatest things ever invented.

I have all of the Christmas decorating done. Hooray!!! But the light has been so bad I have had a terrible time trying to get pictures. 

I do have a few I can share today. Not too happy with the quality of the pictures, but I just can't seem to control the weather.

One of the Santas on my mantle.

and the other

This is the small woodland tree sitting on the deacons bench with Mr. Moose. It is really dark in here so I had to turn on the light. Otherwise it looked like a dark blob.

I used a vintage burlap bag for the tree skirt and added a bundle of old books tied up with twine.

Because this area is made up of rustic elements, I added this wreath to the bookcase next to the tree.

The sun is out. Unbelievable. So I think I will try to take some pictures while I have the chance. I'll share more of my Christmas decor over the next week.

Linking with:
Tweak It Tuesday at Cozy Little House
Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life

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Monday, December 9, 2013

pursuing the simple life....a sense of peace

Each day as I continue on my pursuit of a simple life, I take time to just sit and allow a sense of peace to come over me. It is difficult in everyday life, these days, to not feel moments of stress and particularly so at this time of year when there are so many things vying for our attention.

We are all a part of the whole, so each moment that you bring peace into your own life you will also radiate it out into the rest of the universe. 


it is an integral part of a simple life.

P.S. It has been very gray here for the last several days and the sun is not forecast to come out until Wednesday. I am hoping that at that point I will be able to get some photos of my Christmas decorations to share with you. 

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Saturday, December 7, 2013

I'll be home for Christmas

Yesterday, as I sat by my window drinking hot chocolate and looking out at the cold and rainy day I started to think about past Christmases.

I remember the Christmas I was fifteen, turning sixteen. I was in boarding school a thousand miles away from home and hadn't seen my family for four months. When I heard this song on the radio, I began to cry.

The version I heard was sung by Bing Crosby and I still get tears in my eyes when I hear it. Unfortunately, Bing's versions were really full of static. Yes, after missed flights and lost luggage, I arrived home in the middle of a blizzard. My dreams were fulfilled that year. I was home for Christmas and that was all that mattered to me.

Christmases are ever changing. We are children, young single adults, parents of growing children, and empty nesters. 

Our dreams and our priorities for Christmas change.

But, I think one thing stays the same for most of us. We want to be home for Christmas. 

Home for me means family. This year I plan to travel to Atlanta to spend Christmas with my daughters and grandchildren. I wasn't able to go the last two years because of impending surgeries. I feel just like I did when I was fifteen. I'll be home for Christmas.

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