F Simple and Serene Living: July 2014 09 10
Thursday, July 31, 2014

transformations: friends

Friends come in many forms and from many places. They may be near or they may be far away, but there is one thing they all have in common.

I can't begin to tell you how many times that you, my friends, have lifted me up when I think I have forgotten how to fly. 

What an inspiration each of you are.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I have a plan

Do you make plans? I do. I make lots of plans and set lots of goals. I know what I want, and though I don't always know how to get it, I keep on trucking. I keep working towards it. I've talked about wanting to move to Atlanta so that I can be close to my daughters and my three grandchildren. They are what is most important in my life. 

Let's face it, I have a lot of hurdles standing in my way. I make lists and set my goals and try to figure out how to jump over those hurdles. I am 63 years old and have a very low income. That is hurdle number one. Between my little bit of social security, my Etsy shop, my small amount of ad money from my blog, and my antique booth I still don't make enough to survive on my own. So I am looking for a small retirement apartment in the Atlanta area. 

I dream of a small apartment, a place I can call my own,  and how I will decorate it. How I will utilize that small space when I get it. What I will keep and what I will give away and sell. 

I look at how others live in their cozy little spaces and I know that I will be happy one day in mine.

Because I know that it doesn't matter how big or small your home is,

home is where your heart is, and that is why I will keep on planning and dreaming.

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Monday, July 28, 2014

is your doctor listening?

Do you feel like your doctor listens to you? Does he or she understand your needs?

When I went to see my internist a couple of weeks ago I felt like she was busy pushing her agenda on me, telling me I had to have tests I wasn't comfortable with getting. Although she has a specialty in older women, I don't feel like she is a good fit for me. I know what I want in a doctor. I believe in a combination of eastern and western medical practices and I want someone who will work with me. 

I believe a woman is an expert on her own body. When I have a problem I go and see about it. Several weeks ago I knew there was something wrong and I went to a specialist. I was right and I had it taken care of. I'll go into that another day. 

I don't feel that it is too much to ask to have a doctor who knows me personally, who is willing to sit and talk to me for more than a few minutes, who is willing to listen to my input, to answer my questions, and to give me alternatives.

I didn't feel that I was getting these things so now I am on the hunt for another doctor. Of course I have to find one who also accepts my insurance. All in all it is somewhat stressful. 

So how do you feel about your doctor? Do you have one that you love? Do you feel you are getting what you want?

Let's chat.
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older ladies are divine and touring through blog land

A Snippet of Inspiration
Week Eight

Because a little rain will fall into everyone's life and I believe everyone should start out their week feeling inspired. A Snippet of Inspiration is a small shot of inspiration on Mondays.


I love this.

Now on to the second half of my post.

This is the Touring Through Blog Land Tour. I was tagged for this by Brenda at Cozy Little House. I know that most of you already know and love Brenda. She is an inspiration to all of us with her very charming small spaces, her pretty garden, and her wonderful take on life.

I have a few questions I am supposed to answer. Here they are and they were a little difficult for me.

1) What am I working on right now?

Answer: I am working hard to build up my blog readership and income. I have recently had the honor of being added into the BlogHer network, which I hope will give me some much need income as I am a single older woman on a limited budget.

2) How does my work differ from others in this genre?

Answer: Hmmm!!! I am not sure that I fit into an actual genre. As a trained counselor I am using my blog to help people find a way to have a simple and serene life. That encompasses different aspects of living, so I write about whatever I feel will be helpful. I use everything from a women's forum to decorating ideas.

3) why do I write/create what I do?

Answer: This kind of goes back to question two. I love helping people and as I pursue a simple and serene life for myself, I want to help others find that too. My counseling was focused on women's issues, so I do gear my blog primarily towards women. However, men are welcome to jump in at any time.

4) How does your writing/creating process work?

Answer: I definitely write primarily by the seat of my pants. Most of my posts are written the day before or even the morning of the day they are posted. I want my blog to be current with what is going on in my life and how I am feeling at the moment. That does not mean that I don't write down ideas. I do, but how I end up writing about those ideas depends on how they affect me or how I think they will affect you at that moment. 

Now for the passing of the torch. I have chosen three wonderful blogs. As I ahem kind of forgot about this until the last minute (there is that seat of the pants thing) I am promoting them on the fly. I hope they will continue on with this wonderful promotion on August 4th. If they would rather bonk me on the head I certainly understand. 

The Little White House On The Seaside is written by a very talented woman called Magali. Don't you just adore her name? She lives in Brittany in France. How jealous am I? Pretty jealous, and she is living in and renovating an old fisherman's cottage while working as a teacher. All in all, I think somehow her life and mine got mixed up. 

Dreams on 34th Street: French Bread and Family  I think I must have been French in my last life, because I seem to gravitate to those who love the French way of life. This blog actually comes out of the Pacific Northwest, but it is written with a french flair as Lynne shares wonderful petit portraits of life.

Preppy Empty Nester is written by the very funny Katie. She is married to a chef (does he cook french cuisine, I wonder). Now why couldn't I have married a chef. She recently moved to Boston, lives in a gorgeous home, and has wonderful adventures with her Sista. 

I hope you will visit these three wonderful blogs.

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

what is a perfect day?

What is a perfect day to you? 

Is it a day where you have a special activity planned or is it a day where you can stay at home and spend time alone?

For me, today will be a perfect day. I do not have to go anywhere. I can stay at home and start off with a long walk in the the cool morning air, work on my business, write my blog, sit out on my patio, read a book, watch the world go by.

My week has been busy, but I have been to enough auctions, browsed through enough thrift stores, fluffed my booth, stocked up on groceries, and filled my book bag at the library.

Today is a perfect day for me. It is a day to stop and smell the roses. It is a day to enjoy the moment. It is a day to just stay home.

A day for simple and serene living.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

so many projects...so little time

I have a board on Pinterest called Yes You Can Projects. You can see that here. It is full of projects I would love to do now or in the future. Currently I have 182 pins on my board. 

There is the how to make your own wool dryer balls. Love these. They are not only cute to look at, but really functional.

I have been wanting to make a rag rug since the 1970's. (That might tell you how far behind I am on my projects) But, now I have absolutely no excuse not to do it with this wonderful tutorial (This is where the so little time excuse comes in)

Look at these gorgeous watercolor flowers. I would love to have a vase full of these. (This could be a hint to my artist daughter, Katy who paints fabric flowers so I don't have to do it). 

Okay, this is something I could actually do. I really can sew, and I can just picture these blowing gently in my open windows.

Country Living has 46 craft ideas for recycling. We all know how much I love to reuse and recycle.

This is one that I am definitely going to try. Believe it or not, I actually just made a rag wreath (I know, hard to believe) and want to add roses. When I get that done, I will share it with you. (How long is it until the next millinneum?)

I seem to be a lot better at picking out cool projects than I am at getting them done, but I know a lot of you actually do them. So you may want to visit my Pinterest board because I'm sure that 182 project number will just keep going up. SIGH!!!

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

transformations: breathe just breathe

How can you transform your life? Breathe just breathe.

1) When the daily stress of life is weighing you down, close your eyes and breathe just breathe.

2) When you are not sure which path to follow, let the possibilities come to you and breathe just breathe. 

3) When you are worried about an unknown outcome, bring yourself back into the current moment and breathe just breathe.

4) When you feel you are on information overload, clear your mind and breathe just breathe. 

5)When you can't seem to stop the past from controlling your life, let it go and breathe just breathe.

Slowing down with deep cleansing breaths will bring you back into the present moment and allow you to enjoy this moment. Our moments are too precious to waste. 

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

from trash to mine

You're at an estate sale. It's hot. There are lots of things you would like to buy, but they are going for too much money. You are just about ready to call it a day so you can go home and pour a bucket of water over your head. Then you see it. It is thrown into a pile of what looks like trash. But, you know it isn't trash (at least not to you). It is just what you have been looking for.

So you pull it out and lug it over to the auctioneer.

Excuse me, are you going to auction this off. 

He looks at you like you are crazy and then says yes. 

Okay, that was my first mistake and as I am no rookie to auctions I know that I should have said , are you throwing this out. Then he may have said yes and I could have walked away with it for free. 

Oh well!

Let the bidding begin. 

Of course there was some other lady who recognized it for the jewel that it is and bid against me. Fortunately for me she wasn't that enamored with it and I was able to walk away with it for fifteen dollars. 

Oh happy day!!! Oh happy Day!!

So it sat around for awhile until I decided where I wanted it to go. Then when I decided to make some spiffy new changes to my bathroom, I knew it was perfect. 

You remember the stool and basket for extra towels I showed you. You can read about it here.

You may remember that the basket had been filled with pretty linens,

and I really wanted a place to display some of them.

Then it hit me. (sometimes I have to smack myself upside the head) Rustic old ladder? Pretty sweet vintage lines? A match made in heaven. And, I had a vacant wall in the bathroom.

Once again I stood on my head in the bathtub to get a photo. My bathroom is definitely space challenged. And here it is. I'm definitely loving it and the bathroom decorating is moving right along at breakneck speed a snails pace. Kind of like me.

Sharing today with Wow Us Wednesdays, What's It Wednesday, Tweak It Tuesday, and Inspire Me Tuesday.

Yes, I am aware that I am a day late for a couple of these, but please refer to my previous comment about the snail's pace. Besides, I wouldn't want to deprive anyone of the opportunity of seeing my wonderful ladder.

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Monday, July 21, 2014

mean girls

I'm sure you probably remember the movie Mean Girls.

Ten years later, the Mean Girls quotes are still out there, and although we can laugh at the movie, what happens in real life when mean girls don't grow out of their meanness. I know that I have certainly been the recipient of some pretty mean things, and I have often been completely floored that someone would say the things that they do. I'm the product of an "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all" upbringing, and if I were to say some of the things that have been said to me, I would feel like washing my own mouth out with soap.

It seems that for some people there are no filters, and I'm left wondering why at a certain age they didn't realize that it isn't okay to say mean things. Did the shocked looks not give them the message? Did the hurt expressions not work? 

Today on Women Speak I thought we could talk about what to do when someone says something mean to you. Do you have something that you always do in response. I would love to know.

Let's chat.

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get your happy on

A Snippet of Inspiration

Week Seven

Because a little rain will fall into everyone's life and I believe everyone should start out their week feeling inspired. Snippets of Inspiration is a small shot of inspiration on Mondays.

So even if a little rain is falling in your life right now, enjoy the moment, and don't forget to stop and dance in the puddles. 

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

this and that...here and there

Does the summer seem like it is flying by to you? Why is that? Winter drags on and on, seeming like it will never end, but summer seems to end before it has barely begun. 

We have been having early fall like weather here this past week. Daytime highs have been in the seventies and the nights have been in the fifties. It has felt great, but I want to feel summer's steamy weather. I want to know that it is actually summer so that I can have those summer memories when I am once again feeling the cold of winter. The weather forecasters say we are having a summer version of the polar vortex. That really concerns me. Does that mean that we will continue to have the polar vortex sweeping down through the upcoming winter? UGH!!!

Okay, I just saw some leaves that were changing to red. Please summer, come back!!

I have as usual been doing a lot of reading. I just finished the latest Karen White book, A Long Time Gone. Do you read her books? I think this may be her best one yet. I found out she was here doing a book signing a few weeks ago and I missed her. I would have loved to meet her. I took the book and dropped it off at my mom's this morning so she can get a start on it. I keep her well supplied with library books.

The morning walking has been going good. I get out every morning around seven and yesterday I got up to 45 minutes. This morning it was raining so I went and walked in the Peddlers Mall where I have my booth. It is huge in there and as I had to go clean up my booth I figured I might as well get my walk in.. Someone bought an antique table from me yesterday and I knew they probably just took everything off and laid it on the floor in the middle of the booth. I was right. What a mess. You couldn't even get to the back of my booth.

The rest of the week has been pretty much the same old, same old. Thrifting, auctions, and yard sales. One of my favorite finds of the week was this huge, heavy, and gorgeous white Red Cliff soup tureen. As much as I would love to keep it, it will be going into my Etsy shop in the next few days for some other lucky person. 

So, what have you been up to this week? Is your weather similar to mine or have you been enjoying typical summer temps? 

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Friday, July 18, 2014

fried chicken memories

Summer always reminds me of fried chicken. Hot sunny Sunday afternoons out in the backyard with the smell of fried chicken sneaking out the back screened door. Mama would be standing over what had to be an unbearably hot stove frying up chicken in her two cast iron skillets. Fresh snapped green beans seasoned with country ham bubbled on one burner and potatoes for mashing on another, while fresh homemade biscuits baked in the oven. As soon as the chicken frying was done Daddy would step in to make his secret recipe of southern milk gravy. I was twelve before he passed that secret on to me. It was one of the proudest days of my life. Mama's chicken and Daddy's gravy put Colonel Sanders to shame here in Kentucky. 

Every summer Sunday I would sit on my swing lazily swinging back and forth while my bare toes trailed a line in the dust just waiting for that chicken dinner. For Mama to call that supper was ready. For the best part of the week, in my opinion. I was a child who didn't eat much. A child, who when Daddy came home from work at six o'clock would be sitting at the dining room table, and when he asked why I was at the table before supper was ready I would answer that I was still sitting there from lunch because I refused to eat. But you would never catch me not eating that fried chicken supper.

When I was nine we moved to Canada, away from my little southern home. We moved into a big house and my parents did a lot of entertaining of my father's clients from all over the world. My mother was a gourmet cook and served some amazing dinners, but her fried chicken with Daddy's gravy was a favorite. I'll never forget the man from Australia, who at the end of the meal one night asked if anyone else wanted more potatoes and gravy. When the answer came back as no, he took the big serving bowl of potatoes, covered them with gravy, and proceeded to finish them off, wiping the remaining gravy from the bowl with a leftover biscuit.

I have many memories of wonderful meals from over the years, but whenever I catch the smell of chicken frying I am transported back to our first little house and summer Sundays. Of Mama and Daddy in that small hot kitchen cooking up the best meal ever. 

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