F Simple and Serene Living: January 2014 09 10
Thursday, January 30, 2014

transformation on a thursday.....facing challenges

We all have challenges in our lives. Many times we sit and worry and chew over the way to overcome these challenges.

What will I do? How will I get there? Who will help me? Why is this happening?

Do you do these things?

Let me be the first one to raise my hand and say that I do all of the above, and the more I worry over them the bigger the challenges become. 

So I've set myself a new challenge.

Remember last year when I was unable to get my property that was in North Carolina. You can read some about it here. I knew it was a challenge and I worried about if for two years. 

But, I also finally realized that it was a challenge I needed to face in order to grow. When I did get my property back, I found that much of it had been stolen or badly damaged. You can read about that here.

Did all of the worrying I did change the outcome? No!! and I think if I had looked upon the challenge as a friend that was going to help me grow, I would have saved myself a lot of worry and I would have grown more from it. 

So I am taking on the new challenge because I know the sun is going to start peeking out from behind those clouds of worry.

I'm interested in knowing how you handle your challenges. Do you worry about them or do you see them as opportunities to grow.

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

one proud mama

I get to start my day off by being a doubly proud mama. Both of my daughters had photos, they took in their homes, featured on Design Sponge yesterday. What an amazing coincidence. 

This is Katy's bedroom. You'll notice that someone else is on the bed. That's Tula, who gives me the stink eye whenever I am there visiting. Somehow she always seems to position herself for the photos.

We got that old iron bed, with its wonderful chippy green paint, for her at an auction in North Carolina when she was in college, and we had to borrow our neighbors old VW van to get it home. She has been moving it with her for the last 12 years. I am on the lookout for another one. 

This is Cary's entrance hall,

and this is the eating area in her kitchen.  Must have been party time as I see streamers and a happy birthday banner.

Cary and her family live in a 150 year old farmhouse in Atlanta. It is one of only a very few that survived the Civil War. While home schooling and wrangling three kids, two dogs, two cats, and a bunch of chickens, Cary is somehow finding time to add her wonderful touches to their historical home.

These photos can be found here along with some other wonderful old house photos.

I'm so happy that they inherited my love for old things. It sure makes gift giving easy.

As much as I would love to share a photo of my wonderful space, I have been busy thrifting and now I'm busy stepping over things. In other words it is a big fat mess.

Stay warm and if you live in the south and are in the path of that big storm, please be careful.

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Monday, January 27, 2014

i found it, i found it

I knew it was lurking out there somewhere.

I knew if I just cleaned the snow and ice off the ends of my binoculars I could see it.

Yes, there it is.

Oh spring, I knew you wanted me to find you.

Who knew you were hiding in plain sight at Trader Joe's.

And for only $2.49 I was able to bring you home and have you right here in my bedroom.

You look so pretty in my little basket. 

Now when I am sitting soaking up the sun with my flip flop clad feet on the window sill, I can gaze at your glorious yellow beauty. 

Ahhhh!!  such a simple little pleasure.

Note to the young couple I saw riding around with the top of their convertible down yesterday. 47 degrees is not warm. Put that top up before I tell your mother. 

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Sunday, January 26, 2014

bottle obsession

I have a somewhat secret obsession with vintage bottles.

I love their different shapes and sizes.

The way they reflect the light in a window sill.

Their beautiful colors. I think these look almost as if they have been painted.

I love their simplicity when grouped with other items on a shelf.

I love thinking about the stories that old bottles would tell us if they could speak. What kind of illnesses do you think this one helped to heal?

I am definitely in love with vintage bottles so I have started a new Pinterest board just for old bottles. It's an inexpensive way to feed my obsession.

I hope you are having a wonderful Sunday. We are above freezing today so I am going to head out to Trader Joe's to stock up on groceries before the temperatures plummet again tomorrow. I am still on the lookout for spring. I'll be sure and let you know when I see any signs of it, but don't hold your breath.

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Friday, January 24, 2014

chasing away

I have been trying to chase away sinus problems for the last few days along with the winter doldrums.

I guess it is just a part of this season, but the sinus woes did cause me to miss my regular Thursday posting yesterday as I was trying to down as much vitamin C as possible. 

The good thing is that citrus fruits are at their best this time of year so I am happy to do my part in making sure they get eaten. 

I love the combination of the orange fruit in the blue bowl.

I did have to get up and out early this morning. My mom had an endoscopy scheduled and no matter how much I tried to beg off taking her she insisted I had to be with her. It was minus six degrees with a wind chill of minus eighteen when I went out to thaw out the car. Needless to say I was not the happiest of campers. 

By the time I got her back to her apartment she agreed not to leave again until we get through this cold and wintry weather. 

As for me, I am happy to just stay at home with some hot chocolate, warm slippers, and jammies. Especially since we are forecast to get two to four more inches of snow tonight and tomorrow. 

I've got my binoculars out again looking to see if spring is getting any closer. 

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

when I grow up

I can't wait until I grow up because there are going to be some major changes happening around here.

When I grow up I am going to have a big girl bed (again). You know the kind I'm talking about. One where you aren't in danger of rolling off onto the floor when you turn over in your sleep. One where you can spread out at night. One with a soft cushy mattress. One like I used to have. 

my bed now
When I grow up I am going to have a fancy dancy camera. You know one of those that takes crisp clear photos, both near and far. One with lots of cool accessories. One that will make me want to get out and actually take some photos. One that isn't just a part of my phone.


This is funny. Instead of adding it to my wish list on Amazon I accidentally hit add it to my cart. I nearly had a heart attack. Oh I forgot, I'm too young to have a heart attack. I haven't grown up yet.

When I grow up I am going to be a ballerina. Oh wait, I already did that.

When I grow up I am going to live in a cute cottage with a white picket fence and a big front porch where I can sit and gossip about talk to the neighbors.

When I grow up I am going to be able to eat chocolate whenever I want. It won't give me heartburn, make my joints ache, or cause me to gain any weight.

When I grow up I am going to be a normal parent. Okay I tried that once and my daughters told me to knock it off because I was scaring them. So maybe that won't be happening, but I bet the rest of it will.

P.S. When I grow up I am not going to wake up where it is 5 degrees below zero. 

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

what a difference a day makes

Yesterday was perfect sweater weather. With a high in the fifties, and the sun shining, I was able to get out and run all of my errands.

Today I woke up to this.

It is still snowing and the temperature is dropping rapidly. Tonight the low is forecast to be 7 degrees. Now I know that yesterday I said I was waiting for spring or at least a pretty snowfall. I guess I kind of got what I wished for. It is still snowing and blowing out there.

So I'm wondering, since I am going to have a snow day, should I tackle this

and this

or maybe I should just grab some of this

and tackle one of these.

Hmmmm!!! Tough choice.

What's the weather like in your neck of the woods today?

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Monday, January 20, 2014

simple things that get me through the winter

It's cold and gloomy. The forecast is for snow. We get a dusting or a cold rain. The temperatures go up and the temperatures go down. 

It's a typical central Kentucky winter. Definitely not the prettiest time of the year here and it's a season that is always hard for me to get through. 

So I wait for spring or at least a pretty snowfall. 

And while I wait, I have my creature comforts that get me through what seems like an endless winter.

I have always loved both baskets and quilts and so I always keep some close by. Being able to reach for a pretty old quilt from wherever I am sitting is the perfect snuggle factor. I love this one because it's small size makes it perfect to just throw over my lap when I am working on my laptop or reading.

Books? Did I hear someone mention books? 

I always have stacks of them.This one is sitting at the foot of my bed on an old milking stool. 

Once I started reading at age 6, I never stopped. I'll read pretty much anything including the cereal box. I'm not a huge TV watcher, so reading helps get me through the dark days and nights.

When the sun does happen to come out, I throw open the blinds and sit by the window where I can soak up the warmth and the light. If you happen to be driving by you might see me with my sunglasses on and my flip flops propped up in the window sill while I catch the rays.

A cup of coffee while I work the crossword in the morning.

Some homemade coconut and vitamin E body butter gifted to me by my daughter. It is really great for dry winter skin. In fact, by the time spring rolls around I will probably look 20 years younger (or so I tell myself)

If you would like to make your own you can find directions here.

and just having things around me that I love.

These are the simple things that get me through the winter.

Hurry up spring. You can't get here fast enough for me.

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Saturday, January 18, 2014

those little idiosyncrasies

Do you love your little idiosyncrasies. You know, the little things that make you unique. 

Maybe it is the way you, dress, or the way you think, or the way you behave in certain situations. 

I know that I certainly have mine. 

I love wearing long skirts. When everyone else shows up in their jeans, I will often have on my long skirt and big dangly earrings.

I am a very free and independent thinker. I don't like following the norm and I don't have a problem expressing my thoughts about a subject. 

I look around and see most women with straight, neat hair. There was a time when I straightened my hair to fit in. Now I just let my curly hair do its own thing.

I am a bit temperamental and get my feelings hurt easily. I love to help people, but I don't like being taken advantage of. 

These are a few of my idiosyncrasies. They are what make me.....well.....me. 

The older I have gotten, the more I have learned to embrace and love these things about myself. While they don't necessarily always serve me well, they are who I am, and I have mostly learned to be unapologetic about them. As long as I am not hurting anyone else with them then I think they are just fine.

I have learned that it is really hard to respect other people's uniqueness when we don't respect our own. 

Are you loving your own idiosyncrasies?

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

transformation on a thursday.....facing your fears

We all have fears. I have terrible vertigo. Just the thought of high places makes me start to feel dizzy. I'm also deathly afraid of rodents. A little mouse makes me sick to my stomach. These are phobias, and I am not sure why I have them. I do work to try and overcome them, but some of them, like that rodent thing, I am perfectly happy to live with.

I also have other everyday fears. Things that I don't want to do because I am afraid of rejection, or ridicule, or failure, or standing out, or change. It is these everyday fears that hold me back, that keep me from being the person I really want to be.

I have often wondered where these fears of mine originated. At what point in my life did a person or persons start to make me feel less than. So I have worked on my fears and I have worked to find their source. 

In many respects I know that I am a product of my time of growing up. As a girl child I was often treated as less than. Women and girls for the most part were relegated to second class citizenship. We were often not afforded the same opportunities as our male counterparts. That fortunately has changed for the better, but I know that I must recognize and own my upbringing in order to overcome it.

I think about my fear of heights. Does it tie in with my feelings of rejection? Just the thought of reaching a height in my life brings about those feelings of anxiety and I wonder if it is an unconscious desire to not step "out of my place", because taking that big step would hurtle me into space and then drop me over the precipice. 

So I work on facing and overcoming my fears. I love this quote. 

And I try to do just that each day. Yesterday I wrote an email, that I had been putting off writing because I was afraid of rejection. I may still get rejected, but I know that if I hadn't done it I would not feel satisfied with myself and I also know that rejection is a part of life and doesn't have to be a negative reflection of me. 

As I travel down this road of life, I know that facing my fears is a good thing. It is a thing that will free me to live a life I love.

Maybe you can relate. Do you have things that you really want to do, but fear is holding you back? I hope you will face them and show them that you will not be ruled by fear.

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

move over this is my spot

Sometimes I feel like there is a battle going on in blogland. It is a jockeying for position. A one upmanship. An I can do it better than you can.

Sometimes I just step back and wonder what all of the competition is about. But then I don't really like competition. It makes me feel anxious.

Competition is everywhere in our society. When we are young we compete for grades and to be picked first for team sports. As we get older we compete for the best college, the perfect spouse, and the best paying job.

We are often made to feel "less than". 

What is wrong with being second, or last, or not being picked at all. It is often that not being picked frees us to find what we really want in life, to go out on our own.

Maybe not being on that soft ball team is a good thing, because it makes us realize we really like to draw.

Maybe not getting into a top tier college lets us find a small school that has just the program we want and friends who have similar interests. 

Maybe the corporate world isn't the right fit for us, because we are a free spirit who would wither under all of those rules and regulations.

Yes, the blogging world is just like the rest of the world. There are those bloggers who are competing to be the best. To be picked first. To have the highest stats, the largest readership, the most comments. I applaud those bloggers, but I also applaud the bloggers who are just writing what they love. Who put themselves out there everyday to share their voice. 

When I first started blogging I was worried about my stats all of the time. I had no stats. Now I rarely check my stats. It isn't because I don't want people to read my blog. I hope they will, but I hope they do it because they like what I am writing. I hope they know that I consider them my friends. 

I follow and read blogs that I feel a connection with. They may be very large blogs or very small ones, but I feel that they are writing what they love. Their blogs are an extension of their personalities.

So, you don't have to move over for me. My spot is my own and there is plenty of space for you to sit right along side of me in your own spot.

P.S. I wrote the majority of this post last night, but when I woke up this morning, I started to read some of my favorite blogs. I found this post by Jen at Muddy Boot Dreams. She is writing about finding your blogging voice. As always, it is a very good read.

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