F Simple and Serene Living: April 2014 09 10
Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Remember this photo from Monday?

I bet you thought I was going to show you a photo of it all cleaned up. Well. I have been doing some cleaning and organizing, BUT I seem to have made a bigger mess on the desk. So no, I am not going to embarrass myself by showing you that. 

I did find another of those plastic drawer thingies at Goodwill for $2.50 yesterday and after cleaning it up (it was disgusting) I put it in the closet next to the desk and I am using it to organize some of my things. Maybe I will actually be able to find one of my millions of rolls of packing tape now. 

Oh, I almost forgot about the manifesting. I am trying to manifest an Ipad. 

There are several reasons I want one. I need something portable to take to auctions and the thrift stores with me so I can look up current values. I do use my phone, but I would like something a bit larger. My laptop is getting really cranky and I could use the Ipad for some of the things I use the laptop for now. The biggest reason is that I want to be able to Facetime with my grandchildren. I am not able to get down to Atlanta very often to see them and that would help with the missing of them that I am feeling. I know those of you with grandchildren understand. No, I don't have one red cent saved towards an Ipad. Thus the manifesting. 

I am sure my desk would be so much tidier if I had an Ipad. That is so not true, but I'm putting it out there anyway in case it helps. My mom always told me good things happened to girls who were neat and tidy. Actually what she said was good girls....... never mind. 

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Monday, April 28, 2014

ramblings on a monday

It's a rainy gloomy day here, but I am so happy to be back home. Thanks so much to everyone for your sweet comments on my post about preparing with my mom. I feel like I have been away forever. Mom's procedure went perfectly. They were able to blast that huge stone and remove it all. She was not feeling well after the procedure so I convinced them to keep her overnight in the hospital where they could monitor her. After all she is almost 90 years young, and I wasn't sure how I was going to get her back up to our hotel room. I was afraid I was going to have to load her on the luggage cart.

We drove back to Kentucky on Saturday afternoon and got her settled back in her apartment where she is recovering and wondering why she is sore. HMMMMM!!! I have a  feeling that she will be back to her usual peppy self in no time. 

In the meantime, my business kind of suffered last week so I will be going full speed ahead in the days to come. 

If any of you live in the Atlanta area I hope that you have the opportunity to visit the Grant Park Tour of Homes and Gardens in May. 

I went last year and it was wonderful. This year my daughter and her family's home will be part of the tour. They have the oldest home (also believed to possibly be the oldest surviving home in Atlanta) so I guess they will be first. I got so many decorating and garden ideas from the tour last year. I think I took a million photos. 

This is another thing on my list this week. EEEK!!!

This is my very small office/shipping/sewing area. I can't believe I am showing it, but it is real life. What a disaster. Maybe if I contact the governor he will declare it a disaster area and I can get some cleanup funds. Maybe not. I definitely need some better storage and organization. So it is on the top of my list. If I actually get it done I will share the after photos. 

I guess I better get busy because my non existent assistant didn't show up again. 

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

preparing....a difficult topic

I have been absent for several days. Spending time with my mom. Making preparations. 

I am like many women. Part of the baby boomer generation, I am now at an age where I have an elderly parent. There are difficult decisions to be made. Conversations to have that are not easy. 

My mom's recent emergency admittance to the hospital and the procedure to put in a temporary stent to bypass an extremely large bile duct stone was a wake up call. The first questions were "does anyone have a medical power of attorney?" and "does she have a living will?". Hmmmm!!! No to the first question and she has lost it to the second question. 

My mom will be turning 90 years old in August, and tomorrow I will be driving her up to Indianapolis to have electrohydraulic lithotripsy. They will hopefully be able to blast that stone away and have her feeling like her old self again. But, because of her age, it is a risky procedure. So, I knew it was time to have some difficult conversations. Time to prepare for what my mom wants to happen at the end of her life and what I need to have in order to help her. 

So yesterday we spent nine hours taking care of the important things. Believe me we were both physically, emotionally , and mentally drained at the end of the day. 

Here are some of the things we did.

Visited her attorney. He is an old family friend who grew up next door to me, which made things easier. He updated her will, drew up a general power of attorney, and a had her sign a new living will. He also gave us some advice and a referral to an elder care attorney. 

Met with her personal banker. We added my name to her account so that I am able to write checks for her if she is unable. We added my name to her lock box and then went through the lock box, removing old unnecessary papers and adding the new ones from the attorney. 

We then made the most difficult stop of the day. We went to the funeral home to prearrange her funeral and to take care of the expenses. 

I am the go to person for mom. I am the primary executrix of her will and the first decision maker on her living will. These are not things to take on lightly, but I know that my mom needs to know that someone is there for her. 

I know that there are many others of you who are facing these same conversations and decisions. Even though it is a difficult process, it is a relief to get these things taken care of. I think that it is also a relief for the elderly parent. I know that my mom and I can now go to Indianapolis tomorrow feeling that sense of relief and looking forward to what I hope are many more years together.  

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

the beauty of spring

Spring is in full bloom here in central Kentucky. 

The sun is shining, the air is warm, and the trees are putting on a wonderful show.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter weekend. 

P.S. No biting off the heads of the children's chocolate bunnies is allowed.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

transformations....going your own way

I am a woman and for most of my life I have been conditioned to be a caregiver, a pleaser, to listen to the choices of others, to follow the paths that others set out for me, to put myself second. 

It was as if I wasn't able to make good choices for myself. I was a girl child, a teenage girl, a young woman, a mother, and an aging woman. Through all of these phases there was always someone telling me how to live my life, and although I would attempt to rise up and rebel, my voice seemed muffled. 

Do it our way they would say. We know what is best for you I would hear. Don't try that you will fail. 

So I would take one step forward and two steps back. It was as if there was a tune playing in my head that only I could hear, but I was trying to dance to the tune that others were playing, and their tune was drowning mine out. 

What I have learned is that we can never be full happy if we are living our lives according to someone else's wishes. Yes, we will most certainly fail at times, but we will be failing on our own terms, and through those failings we learn who we are. We learn to pick ourselves up and continue on our own unique path. 

It is never to late to follow your own path, and some of us start much later than others, but by listening to your inner voice you will learn just who you are. You will learn to spread your wings and fly. You will learn that your path is uniquely yours. You will find your voice. 

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

writing from the heart

I have been giving a lot of thought lately about my blog, my writing, my sharing of thoughts. 

Saturday I wrote here about needing some alone time and my afternoon spent wandering the backroads. 

I am a self supporting woman. I rely on myself and my own abilities to bring in an income. That income has not been sufficient the last few years and that has caused me a lot of worry. 

When I first started this blog it was to promote my Etsy business. It has since evolved into something much more. It is an expression of my feelings and a way to reach other women. I want to inspire, to let you know you are not alone, to reach out across the miles. I have incorporated my training and experience as a counselor to share and hopefully to help heal. 

So how do I tie in my writing with my need for an income? This is what I have been trying to determine recently, and I haven't reached a conclusion. I have even thought about giving up my blog to focus on my vintage and antique business, but through meditation and prayer I have realized that my blog helps to feed my spirit. 

Advertisers seem to want blogs that are more about home decor/gardening, and as much as I love to decorate I am not in my own home so that is not what I am about at this stage of my life.

I think there is a need for women my age to connect, to share, and to inspire. We have a wealth of experience and knowledge that we can pass on not only to each other, but to those coming behind us. We have stories to share.

So I will continue to contemplate. I may not write every day because other things in life are calling me right now. The care of my mother. The need to earn a living. Other family obligations. I will continue to write, though and I will hopefully have more time for visiting. 

I would love to hear your thoughts. They are important to me.

P.S. I know that Google+ keeps reverting my blog to a no reply blog. I am not sure why, but I will try once again to fix it. 

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

alone on the backroads

I have been desperately in need of some alone time and today seemed like the perfect time for it. 

Yesterday was not the best of days. My mom called me early to tell me she was in terrible pain again. I had to remind her that the doctor said there was nothing more they could do until they were able to get her into the hospital in Indianapolis for electrohydraulic lithotripsy. Although it is three hours from us it seems to be the place where we will have to go. Then I got an email saying that my mom's beautiful platter that I sold on Etsy had arrived to the buyer shattered. To top it all off my granddaughter was bitten by a dog. SIGH!!!

So yes, I needed some alone time. 

Today seemed like a great day for wandering the backroads. It was one of those perfect days. The kind that you want to grab up and stick in your pocket. Because you know that next winter there will come a time when you will want to rummage around in your closet, find those white summer pants, dig down deep in that pocket and pull that day out just so you can savor it again.

The day was perfect. All the colors, which had seemed muted for so many months were at their most brilliant. The bright blue sky held a sprinkling of marshmallow clouds. 

Spring was popping out all along the road

with color everywhere.

I think even the cows were happy for such a beautiful day.

After a couple of hours of wandering around and thinking I was lost several times, I came back home much more relaxed.

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

transfromations....shine your light

I often wonder, as I write my posts, if I am reaching anyone. I mean REALLY reaching anyone. 

Then I take a step back and think. If even one of my posts makes a difference in one person's life then it is worth it. If even one of my posts lets someone know that they are not alone in their struggles
then it is worth it. If even one of my posts puts a smile on one person's face, even if only for a moment, then it is worth it. 

Because I know that even the smallest things can make a difference in my own life. A smile, a kind word, a simple gesture. These are all things that can brighten my day. So I try to pass these things forward. 

I may not be rich with things or money, but I am rich in so many other ways. So I continue to smile and say hello to strangers. I hold the door to let others pass through. I start each day with feelings of gratitude, and I write my blog in hopes that it brightens someone's day somewhere. Because even though I may feel that my light is small I never know just where it may be shining. 

So keep your light shining. Each of you has made a difference in my life.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

signs signs everywhere signs

I can read the signs. 

They are everywhere. 

They are both outside and in.

They are telling me in no uncertain terms that spring is here to stay.

I for one couldn't be happier.

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Monday, April 7, 2014

life intrudes

Are you like me?

Do you make plans?

Do you set down roots?

And then life intrudes?

You make a schedule. You plan your hours, your days, your weeks, your months, your year. You know just what you want to do, but then life intrudes. 

The hours that you planned to write your blog posts, to read blogs, to take photos are suddenly filled with other things. A sick mother, who needs help. Tiredness from anemia that no one bothered to tell you about. Hands that hurt too badly at times to type on the computer. LIFE!!! and life tends to intrude. 

So, you learn to be more flexible. To adjust. Because life will always intrude and it is important to just sit sometimes and appreciate the beauty of the world around you.

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Saturday, April 5, 2014

new gardens for a changing world

Gardening is changing, and it is a good thing. We are moving away from chemical fertilizers and pesticides. They may have been keeping our lawns green and pretty, but they are decimating the natural habitats of bees, butterflies, and wildlife. 

Most of us worry about the environmental degradation of our planet but wonder how we can help. Maybe we live in an apartment, as I do with no real green space. Maybe we have a pretty green yard bordered by flower beds and ornamental shrubs. Maybe we have imported flowers and plants that are not native to our area and are therefore hard to sustain. 

So how do we contribute.

Jane Goodall has written a new book called Seeds of Hope, where she talks about sustainable foods and gardening.


Each one of us can contribute, in our own small way, and if we do so, then as a collective force we can help to turn around the degradation. 

As I age, I realize that I will not be here forever, but I want to leave this earth a better place for my daughters, grandchildren and their future children. 

So before I plant any pots on my patio this year I am going to do some research on what native plants I can use. I would like to use some plants that I can bring into the house next winter to enjoy on my windowsills. I am also going to wash out my dirty bird feeders and start feeding the birds again. 

Do you practice any kind of sustainable gardening?

P.S. I have not been compensated for promoting this book. I just love what Jane Goodall does. 

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

if i could i would

If I could wrap today up and tie a big shiny bow around it I would. 

I would save it for next week when the highs will be back in the fifties and sixties.

Or better yet I would send it off to those of you who are still dealing with ice and snow. 

Today was a gift. A gift of summer. A gift of 81 degrees with a warm breeze and the sun bursting out of a perfectly blue sky. 

It was a day I have dreamed about for months. A day that I wondered if it would ever get here. A day where you could sit and watch leaves and blossoms pop out. It was perfect. 

P.S. I did not get the piece of furniture I wanted at the auction. Unfortunately it was above my pay grade, but I know there is a perfect piece out there waiting for me. 

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