F Simple and Serene Living: September 2015 09 10
Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Were you ever told to stop daydreaming? Has someone told you that daydreams are a waste of time? Did you know that daydreams are actually good for you?

Daydreams spark creativity. Daydreams are a source of motivation. Daydreams give you inspiration. Daydreams can help you get over anger and hurt feelings. Daydreaming helps you to see who you are and what you want.

I love to daydream. It allows me to see where I am now and where I want to be. 

I recently came across this old poem and it was as if the person who wrote it had stepped into my daydreams.

Do you daydream? When you do daydream what do you see? 

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P.S. Read more of the Rewriting Life series here.

P.P.S. Find more Simple and Serene inspiration here.

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Monday, September 28, 2015


The seasons are changing. Summer has gone and fall is here. As hard as we may try to hold onto summer, we know that we have to let it go and embrace the new season. 

white pumpkins fall autmn

The seasons of our lives change too, and although we often try to hang onto the past, in order to thrive we have to move into the new season.

This is a time of year where I always begin to feel nostalgia for things from my past. I always loved fall. Apple picking. The smell of baked goods. The leaves crunching under foot. A cozy fire on a cool night. The beauty of the changing leaves. Sitting around the dinner table with my family.

red leaves fall autumn

These are wonderful memories that I will hold close to my heart, but I know that I am in a new season, and although I may experience many of these things again I know that I will experience them differently. 

Life is meant to be lived in the moment. So for me, I will miss summer as I miss past memories, but I will enjoy the fall and not worry about the cold winter coming. 

As the sign says. It's fall y'all.

pumpkins autumn fall

Have a great Monday.

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Friday, September 25, 2015


I wait, and I wait. 

inspiration quote waiting

As a child I waited for birthday parties and summer vacations. 

As a teenager I waited for my first kiss, pierced ears, a date for the prom, and a college acceptance letter. 

As a young woman I waited for the perfect job, the perfect partner, the sound of little feet running around my home. 

And now as I am growing older I am waiting in a queue for a retirement apartment. A place of my own. A simple place. A place of serenity. A place to call home.

We wait for many things throughout our lifetime. Some of those things happen and some don't. Some were worth waiting for and some weren't.

For the past twelve years I have been waiting for the time when I could live near my two daughters and my grandchildren. This past year I put my name on the waiting list for a retirement apartment near them. I have been anxiously waiting, but then in August things changed. I won't go into the circumstances, but it looks like the time is no longer right for me to move to Georgia. 

inspiration quote waiting

I have been living with a very heavy heart for the past month and a half, but I know that there is a reason for everything. Fortunately I am also on a waiting list for an apartment here in Kentucky, so when that comes up it looks like I will be moving there. It will keep me near my 91 year old mother and maybe that is the reason this happened. 

So I will continue to wait for the time when I can move close to my family. Life is a series of waiting, but we must believe that in that waiting there are present moments to live, love, and find happiness.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015


One of the dilemmas we face when moving to a smaller space is what to do with the things we just don't want to get rid of. We all have decorative items and books that we love and those things take up precious space. That is when a bookshelf can really be the answer.

Bookcases tend to draw the eye upward and can be customized to fit any decor. A fabric lining really adds punch to this custom piece.

update bookshelf

Bookshelves can be used to frame a window and can either be built in or can give the appearance of built-ins.

custom bookshelf
They are also great space savers when used under a window.

bookshelves space saving under window
Bookshelves don't have to be used strictly for books. I love them in a bathroom. (I'm sort of coveting that shower curtain)

custom builtin bathroom shelves
Don't forget to be creative when choosing what you want for bookshelves.
Painter's ladder bookshelf

ladder bookshelf bookshelves
Leather harness bookshelf.

bookshelf leather harness
A sideways ladder bookshelf.

ladder bookshelf hanging
Stacked antique benches bookshelf.

antique benches stacked bookshelf
How have you incorporated bookshelves in your home?
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P.S. You can find more of my small space series here  and on my small space ideas board on Pinterest here.

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Monday, September 21, 2015


I am an independent woman, a baby boomer, a woman who is aging, a woman who loves her family, and a woman who has the beginnings of osteoporosis. This osteoporosis thing doesn't come as a surprise to me, but what does come as a surprise is that no doctor ever suggested I be tested for it. Even the doctor who treats both my mother and myself and knows my family history did not suggest it. 

osteoporosis risks

I have a strong family history of osteoporosis. My grandmother's hip shattered, my uncle's hip shattered (yes men get it too), and my mother who has lost almost 5 inches in height has see through bones. I also have other risk factors. I am a Caucasian woman, very fair skinned, and have a small frame. I have avoided other risk factors though. I have never been a smoker or heavy drinker. In the past I have been guilty of not getting enough exercise, but I am now on a walking program.

walking path exercise

Last month when I visited the PA in my doctor's office I asked about having a bone density test done. Have you never had one, she asked. Ummmm, no. Apparently the recommendation is that a woman who has risk factors should have one every two years after menopause. I guess I was just a little behind on my screenings. So a test was scheduled for the next week. My doctor only screens the spine and hips and the test was simple, quick, and painless. 


When I finally got my results last week I found out I have mild osteopenia in my spine, which is mild thinning of the bone mass, but not severe enough to be considered osteoporosis. WebMD says having osteopenia  means " there is a greater risk, as time passes, you may develop bone density that is very low compared to normal, known as osteoporosis". All people begin to lose bone mass beginning at age 30, but how dense your bone mass is to begin with may determine how fast you lose it. 

I also found that I have borderline osteoporosis in one of my hips. Uh oh. As there are no symptoms of thinning bones, I wouldn't have known I had this without the scan, and as our bones thin our risk of fractures goes up. 

apples wood bowl

My next step was to discuss how I wanted to treat my thinning bones. Because I already have bones that have started to lose mass I chose to take a once weekly pill that helps to ward off further bone loss and may even restore some of what I have already lost. I don't take any prescription drugs lightly. I always prefer to try to treat things naturally as much as possible, but this is one thing I don't want to play around with. A shattered hip is not fun. 

I can't do much about the genetic predisposition I have for osteoporosis, but there are other things I can do now. As I said before, I have started walking regularly, I take a calcium and vitamin D supplement, I eat lots of veggies and fruit, I don't drink alcoholic beverages or consume caffeine, and I try to keep a healthy attitude about it all. 

raspberries antique white ironstone plate

It is never too early to start taking care of your bones. Even if you are not at an age yet where you may be experiencing bone thinning you should be making sure you are exercising, getting adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D, eating foods rich in magnesium, avoiding excessive consumption of alcohol, and if you are a smoker, please consider getting help to stop. 

My mom is 91, her brother is 95, and I had three grandparents who lived into their 90's. I hope I have inherited their longevity genes, and if so I want to keep myself feeling the best that I can. Working on keeping my bones healthy is one way I can do that. 

Do you know your risk for getting osteoporosis? What are you doing for your bones?

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P.S. This post is part of the Women Speak series.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015


Cool mornings and balmy days. Autumn is in the air. There is something so serene in these perfect days with their blue skies and changing light. I find it all very energizing. 

old book keys apple autumn

I know that winter will be just around the corner, so I am torn between wanting to spend every moment outside or making my home cozy for the colder days ahead. 

Fall decor is everywhere. I wish I had a front porch to decorate like this one. It makes me want to gather apples and bake pies.

rustic log cabin porch autumn fall

I love this fall dried wreath on the rusty old iron gate, tempting passersby to wander into the garden beyond. 

fall autumn dried wreath rusty iron garden gate
It is definitely the season for pumpkins and chrysanthemums. This is one time of the year I am a fan of orange.

chrysanthemums pumpkins bales of hay fall porch decor
This arrangement of fall flowers is gorgeous. It's making me want to head over to Trader Joe's and see what they have.

rustic fall floral arrangement
I hope your fall weather is as perfect as mine is today and that you are able to get out and enjoy it.

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Monday, September 14, 2015


How often do we see someone who we think has a perfect life? Have you said to yourself, "I wish I had her life", or "how come she gets everything she wants"? Often we feel angry when we think of what we consider the inequities of life, but how much more simple and serene life would be if we treated everyone with compassion.

In reality no one has a perfect life. Everyone encounters difficulties in their lives, and we often don't know what challenges others are facing. 

I believe everyone is born with an innate desire to be happy, but for most of us life deals us blows that eat away at our happiness and lead us to act in ways that are less than acceptable at times. It is easy to judge people from a perspective of anger, hate, or envy, but we also have the ability to change our reactions  to love and compassion.

I am as guilty as the next person when it comes to jumping to conclusions about the kinds of lives others live, so I have vowed to work harder at treating everyone I meet with more love, patience, tolerance, and care. 

Think what a wonderful world it would be if we all treated each other with compassion.

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P.S. This is part of the Rewriting Life series. Read more here.

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Friday, September 11, 2015


Sometimes it's a case of the blues. Sometimes it is situational depression. Sometimes depression is clinical.There are many treatments for depression and you should always consult a professional if your depressed mood lasts longer than two weeks, if you have thoughts of suicide or harming yourself, or if your depression is not something that you can put into concrete terms and feel you can solve yourself. 

inspiration quotes depression

Many people talk about having the blues and so I thought I would compile a list of inspirational quotes to help you get through those bluesy feeling times. 

1) "Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy. " Thich Nhat Hanh

2) "It has been my philosophy of life that difficulties vanish when faced boldly." Isaac Asimov

3) "Although the world is full of suffering it is also full with the overcoming of it." Helen Keller

4) "Don't let life discourage you. Everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was." Richard L. Evans

5) "Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible." St. Francis of Assisi

6) "Good humor is a tonic for mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keeps friends. It lightens human burdens. It is direct route to serenity and contentment." Greenville Keisser

7) "The greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion. The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being." Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

8) "The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, nor to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly." Buddha

9) "Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it's always your choice." Wayne Dyer

10) "You and I are essentially infinite choice-makers. In every moment of our existence, we are in that field of all possibilities where we have access to an infinity of choices." Deepak Chopra 

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P.S. This post is part of the Rewriting Life series. You can find more of the series here.

P.P.S. With the changing of the seasons, we often feel a bit blue, but changes can be good and Jen and I are making changes to The Over 40 Blogging World group on Facebook. There will be a name change and a change of focus, which we have been working on and will share with you soon. So stay tuned. 

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Wednesday, September 9, 2015


Last week I wrote a post on how I have finally found the style I want when I move into my new very small apartment. It's English cottage style decor. If you missed that post you can see it here.

I love the combination of antiques with a comfortable laid back feel. So I have spent my spare moments the last couple of weeks looking for more inspiration. 

I love the slipcovered sofa and chairs. I think they give the room a very relaxed feel. In fact, I love the whole room.I need a similar sofa in a love seat size.

I love all of the vintage needlepoint pillows on this couch. I'm wondering if the two I have survived being in storage.

I already have one vintage white wicker chair, so it will definitely be finding a place in my little apartment.

I've noticed a lot of plaids and checks mixed in with the florals. I really like the combination.

Comfort and coziness seems to be the theme of the English cottage style.

As the cooler weather starts to set in I am feeling a real love for all of that coziness.
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P.S. There is more English cottage decor on my Pinterest board.

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