F Simple and Serene Living: 2016 09 10
Saturday, December 17, 2016


I have significantly cut down on my Christmas decor in my new small apartment, but I love decorating for the holidays so I still wanted it to be festive.

Christmas home decor country santa

I wanted to bring back decorations from my past, like some of the Santas I made 25 years ago,

Christmas country decor Santa

my Christmas village,

and vintage toys under a Norfolk pine tree that I will be keeping as a houseplant after the holidays are over.

vintage Christmas toys under the tree

I love the playfulness of these old favorites

country Christmas snowmen

and the wonderful traditional Christmas colors.

red gold Christmas balls antique dough bowl

I will be driving down to Atlanta on Friday to spend Christmas with my family. Can't wait.
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Thursday, December 8, 2016


Some days are just meant for staying home and hanging out in your PJs. 

For some reason this was one of those days. 

I hadn't planned for it to be, but when I woke up feeling just a little under the weather and knowing the high was only going to be 33 degrees, I decided what the heck.

My apartment is cozy and warm, I have warm pyjamas and slippers, and there is plenty of food. 

So I scrolled through my watch lists on Netflix and Hulu, got the kettle going, and settled in for a lazy day. I love British TV shows. I'm so lazy I even recycled some old photos.

The sun is shining through my windows, my Christmas decor is up (no I haven't taken any photos yet), and I have a few books to choose from if I get tired of TV.

It is definitely a PJ kind of day. 

Have you had one of those lately?

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Monday, December 5, 2016


In these stressful times we all need a place where we can go and find a sense of peace. 

A place where we can go and find serenity. 

That place differs for each of us.

It may be a spot in your home. The stillness of the woods. Standing by the ocean. A park bench. 

For me it is the florist and greenhouses that my grandfather built in 1902. As I have written about before, it is a place, 10 minutes from my home, that I can visit as often as I want.

It is a place that after so many years is showing its age, and that means that there is constant work to be done. Recently it was found that the front greenhouse, the show house, had structural issues. So major renovations were in order. 

Yesterday, on my way home from church, I stopped in to browse the annual artist and craft show that is held there. I also wanted to see the finished show house. 

I call this greenhouse Aunt Rose's greenhouse. It was Great Aunt Rose, who loved me so dearly as a child and instilled in me a love of antiques, that kept her birds here. 

It must have been warmer in there back in the day, but in recent years it has not been so warm in the cold months.

Now it is full of beautiful plants and flowers. The floor is heated and it is a cozy and inviting spot once again. I will be visiting often this winter when I need a break from the gray cold days.

My peaceful place. Come join me.

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P.S. More inspiration can be found here.
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Tuesday, November 29, 2016


Small space decorating requires rethinking scale and how we use the pieces in our space.

I have found that old milking stools are not only charming, but also are wonderful for taking the place of other pieces. 

I love having a coffee table, but I really don't have the space for a conventional table. I do however have this sweet rustic milking stool and it serves as a little table without taking up too much real estate. 

Also, with its handy holes in the top it is easy for me to move it over by my chair when I need a place to park my cup of tea. 

I have a second milking stool in my bedroom. She is so pretty in pink.

I move this one around a lot too. Perfect in my bathroom to sit and put on makeup or next to my bedroom chair.

Small spaces can be challenging when it come to decorating and although I do use large pieces, it is nice that these little milking stools add to the decor. 

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P.S. You can find more of my small space decor here.
P.P.S. There are also small space decor ideas here.
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Thursday, November 24, 2016


There are times when life seems to slow to a crawl and then before you know it it has sped up again and another year has gone by.

I remember last year with these two sweet girls. How much they have grown in the past year. I will miss being with them this year.

Like many others in this country I am feeling uncertainty. Will I lose my medicare and social security? Will my daughter lose her life saving health coverage? Will my gay friends and family members be persecuted once again? Are my African American friends feeling fear in their lives? 

There are times when I wonder if I will ever feel thankful again. As I sat in church on Sunday, singing old hymns of Thanksgiving I closed my eyes and opened my heart to thankfulness.

No matter how difficult the times are, when we look deep inside there is always something to be thankful for. 

This year I am thankful to have my own home. A place where I can close the door and know that I am safe and warm. I know that there are many others who are not as fortunate.

Although I am not with my daughters and grandchildren this year, I know they are also safe in their homes and I can feel their love across the miles. 

I want to wish you and your families a happy Thanksgiving. I hope that in the days, weeks, and months ahead you will find many reasons to be thankful. 
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Saturday, November 19, 2016


In my last post I talked about how I am using walking as one way to find serenity in my life. You can read that here. I am also working on other ways to find serenity.

We are living in a chaotic time, and finding a place of serenity in the chaos can be difficult. 

I do not write about politics on this blog, but I will say that there will never be a place in my life for any kind of bigotry and I do not have any tolerance for prejudice. 

Also, my focus of interest, as a counselor and beyond, is women's issues. I feel like I have let my blog slip away from that focus and I want to bring it back.

Women's lives are very complex. We wear many hats and we have many different parts of our lives, but I believe all of our lives are intertwined and that it is important for us to be supportive of each other. 

Lately, I have been wondering how we manage to keep doing that when there is so much divisiveness in our society. 

How, as women, do we help to bring about a sense of serenity for ourselves and for those around us?

How do we put aside our differences and find the center of who we are as women?

I realize that we will never agree on all of the issues we face in our country, but I do believe that we all want peace for our families. I believe that women will be the peace makers. 

With all of that in mind, I am going to spend time digging into my own core beliefs and sharing some of my thoughts here. 

I would love to hear your thoughts, but I do ask that we are all respectful. That we don't make this about politics, but about what we want for ourselves as women. 

Sending you all love.
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Monday, November 14, 2016


There are so many ways to combat stress, and as I am dealing with a whole ton of stress I am spending time trying to bring it down to a manageable level. 

I have been up and down with my walking program. Some days I feel I am just too tired or too busy to get out there and do it, but I know those are just excuses. 

I feel so much better when I walk, so I have decided to vary my location.

I think I just get bored too easily, but a change of scenery really helps.

A couple of days ago I chose to stop at Ashland the estate of Henry Clay. I drive by it a lot, but for some reason I have never thought to stop and walk there.

A lovely serene place to look up through the trees and breathe in the sight of a perfect blue sky.

This is a good location for me to walk. Because it is in town I feel safe to walk by myself. There was a time when I didn't mind walking in the country by myself, but I no longer feel that way. Maybe it is my age that makes me feel more vulnerable.

Later this week I am going over to the arboretum to walk. It's a great place right next to the university and very close to where I live. 

Then I will start exploring some of the parks and walking paths here in town. The weather is going to turn much colder this weekend so I guess I will have to bundle up. 

How about you? Have you been walking? If so where do you like to go?

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Thursday, November 10, 2016


In a previous post I showed you a small booth I have in a neighboring town. If you missed that post you can read it here.

I have been adding things over the last week, which I hope will increase sales. Fingers crossed.

Last week I had two days to move my larger booth in an antique mall here in Lexington, Ky. A space came open in a better location in the mall, and I was excited to make the move.

Here is a photo of how the booth looked the first morning.

Ugh!!! lots of blue shelving and brackets bolted to very dark brown walls.

I fortunately found someone to help me get those brackets off the walls and haul off the loose shelves, but everything else was up to me.

I wanted yellow walls and white shelves, so as much as I am not a painter, I spent day one painting. I think I may have had more paint on me than anything else, but I got it done. 

I wish I had more photos to share, but I was so tired by the end of the first day that I didn't think of it.

Day two involved moving everything and it was a big job. I had to do it all in five hours and I'm not quite sure how I got it all moved.

These are photos of how it looked at the end of that day.

By the end of that day I was just barely able to drag myself home to a hot shower. For some reason I seem to think I am still 30.

The next day I went in and strung some electricity from another booth so that I could have lights. 

Still lots to do of course. I need to straighten up those messy linens, string another set of lights along the left side, and put all of the lighting on a timer, but I spent some time over the last few days purchasing more inventory and I'll price that and take it into the two booths tomorrow.

I'm also thinking about putting a few items on Ebay. I am waiting on adding a shop to the blog until I see how booth #1 does. Those would be the things that would go in there. 

I am so happy to get that done. Now I can focus on some other things in my life and hopefully get back to posting a couple of times a week. 

P.S. Pass the liniment please.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2016


I'm working hard on renewing my serenity. As my father used to say, life is tedious sometimes, and if we aren't aware, we can let the tediousness of life take over.

This morning, as I sipped my cup of tea, I took time to look out my window and see the beautiful pink and yellow sky that heralded a wonderful day ahead. 

I knew I had another very busy day ahead, yesterday I painted in my new booth all day and today I am moving, but I also knew I needed to feed my soul before the day really got started. 

Life passes by so quickly and before we know it we have wasted so many precious moments. Moments that should be filled with love and peace. 

So instead of rushing around, I am consciously taking time to feel serene, to savor the moment, and to love the life I have. 
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Friday, October 28, 2016


In my last post, which you can read here, I talked about needing to make changes to supplement my income. 

Like many older women, I have found that because I spent much of my adult life as a caretaker for my children my Social Security is not nearly enough to support me. 

I have sold antiques and vintage on Etsy for almost nine years, but Etsy has changed dramatically in that time, and I find it to not be nearly as seller friendly. I am also not enamored with Ebay.

So I have been dipping my toes into selling locally. 

In September I opened a booth in Nicholasville Kentucky, a small town nearby. 

So far it has been very slow, and I am not making a profit. I will give it until the end of the year to see if things pick up there, but I can't afford to lose money, so if it doesn't work I will have to look for a new place.

I am not looking forward to having to move it as I purchased three large shelves and they are very heavy.

This is a small booth, so my rent is only $75 dollars a month, but I also have to pay 10% of all my sales. 

I am hoping things will pick up over the holidays. 

I also have another larger booth here in Lexington. I am making a small profit from that booth, but I want to do better there. 

I have been trying different things and I am actually moving that booth the first of November to a more central location in the mall. 

I will be painting walls and moving shelves and inventory myself. I guess it keeps me in shape. 

Another thing I am contemplating is adding a shop to my blog. I will have to move some things around if I do that, but as I am closing my Etsy shop at the end of this month for at least three months I will have to make a decision soon I guess. 

Lots to do and think about, but I do like to keep busy. 

Do you need some extra income? If so, what are you doing?

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Tuesday, October 25, 2016


Fall weather has finally arrived. The scorching 90 degree days that were still with us early last week are now a thing of the past. 

Those temps have given way to daytime highs in the sixties and seventies. Sunny blue skies and soft breezes make for perfect days, and signs of Autumn seem more welcome now.

fall autumn pumpkins stand

Pretty trees seem to be fewer this year due to the dry summer we had. 

fall autumn red leaves

There seems to be an awful lot of browning going on.

What is really nice though, is seeing the flowers that are blooming. I love that the lantana is still holding on and since there is no frost in sight for the near future I am hoping they will be here for awhile longer.

flowering lantana fall flowers

Now that the weather is finally changing it is bringing up thoughts of changes that I personally want and need to make. 

I have to bring in more added income than I have been this past year so I am going to try some new things. I was raised to not talk about money, but we live in a changing world and I need to shift my thinking. 

I have to learn to promote myself more, which is hard for me to do. I have always been good at promoting and helping other people, but now I need to shift that focus to myself. 

fall autumn tree red leaves

So as the seasons change around me, I will be changing too, and I'll talk more about that later this week. 

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