F Simple and Serene Living: January 2016 09 10
Saturday, January 30, 2016


I don't know what winter has been like where you are, but here it has felt like a roller coaster ride. 

I am not a roller coaster rider, but I can imagine the feelings. Your anticipation mounts while you slowly go up up up, and then just when you reach the top you are whooshed back down at breakneck speeds.

Our winter has been that way so far, and to be honest I am happy with it. The old saying of "if you don't like the weather in Kentucky just wait a day" has been so true. 

Last Sunday we were trying to dig our way out of a blizzard. This Sunday we will be enjoying 60 degree temperatures. It is those warm days, the days where I head out in a sweater that get me through the cold gray days. 

If you have read my blog for any amount of time you will know that I have SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and each year I dread the lack of sunlight. 

This year I have spent many days sitting by the window soaking up the sunlight. It has been wonderful.

I don't know what the long term forecast is for the rest of the winter (they seem to get it wrong a lot), but I do know that the closer we get to spring, the happier I am. 

Tuesday is groundhog day and I have a message for him. If you think you are going to see your shadow and predict six more weeks of winter weather, then just stay down there in your hole. 
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Tuesday, January 26, 2016


We all have a unique gift, and many of us wander through life wondering what it is.

Many people never realize they have a unique gift, a gift that is deeply ingrained in who they are, and makes who they are special.

So how do we find our gift and what do we do when we have found it?

I believe that in order to find our unique gift we have to take the time to search deep within ourselves. We need to listen to what makes us feel truly happy. 

My mom recently asked me if I didn't think that I had a gift and a purpose to help others, and although I think I have fought this idea (possibly through ego) I think it is something I need to cultivate more. 

I realize that by helping others I am giving my gift away. What could be better than that.

Have you found what your unique gift is, and if you have how are you giving it away? 

I found this article on the top ten ways to discover your unique gift. It just might help you discover yours. 

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P.S. Read more of the Rewriting Life series here
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Friday, January 22, 2016


Okay, I didn't actually get run over by a snow plow, but I'm thinking if I put that into a text message to my granddaughter she might actually think I am cool and brave. (or probably that I am just another idiotic old person, as she rolls her eyes)

It was kind of a close call. It was just me and the snow plow driver. No one else was idiotic enough I mean in touch with nature enough to be out in a howling blizzard. 

It started this morning when I woke up to hear someone knocking at my door. Who is it I shouted from the warmth of my bed. 

Its only me. Old Man Winter. 

Are you kidding me. GO AWAY!!

All I heard in response was maniacal laughing (it could have been the howling of the wind, but I wouldn't bet on it)

Our city is shut down today. Of course there are a few idiots brave souls trying to make their way around the unplowed streets. I like to sit here and see just how many of them get stuck. 

I love how the man across the street confidently drug his trash receptacle out to the curb, as if any trash men will be around here anytime soon. He'll be lucky if anyone can find it after this snow is over. 

I called my mom and asked her if I could come over and throw snowballs at her. She declined. She told me her soap opera was coming on. What happened to her? I can remember when she was the life of the party.

I actually have a lot of work to do today. I spent most of the week buying things at estate auctions. 

I was able to get some photos taken yesterday and today I will be sorting, pricing items for my booth, and listing on Etsy. 

I remember when snow days meant a day of fun. Hmmmm!!!

Guess I will grab a second cup of tea and get busy.

Have a great day.

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Monday, January 18, 2016


Have you ever met someone who you thought was just perfect, and then you thought to yourself I want to be just like them?

Well, here's the deal. You are a perfect YOU!! there is no one else just like you in the world. 

If you ever spend time with a toddler you can see how they are busy just being themselves. 

Somewhere along the line we lose that absolute sense of self and keep busy trying to fit in. 

As I have gotten older, I have begun to remember what it was like to just be me, and practicing being myself has been freeing. 

I no longer worry about being like someone else. I don't worry about fitting in, because I fit in with me. 

If you aren't already practicing being yourself, I hope you will start. 

You are a wonderful you. 

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P.S. There is more of the Rewriting Life series here.
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Saturday, January 16, 2016


When it is cold and gray, like today, we often turn to comfort food. Unfortunately, comfort foods often tend to be the fattiest foods, and as part of my simple living plan I am trimming down what I consume. 

I am also working my way through my pantry and my freezer, only purchasing items that I can't keep long term. 

Once I have whittled down what I have on hand I will start to plan my grocery shopping so that I am not wasting any food.

After digging around in the back of my pantry I came up with a can of tuna. I had an avocado I purchased a couple of days ago, so I had the makings for a simple lunch.

Tuna Salad Stuffed Avocado:

1/2 can tuna
1/2 celery stalk chopped
gluten free mayonnaise to taste

mix up ingredients and stuff into split avocado.

Doesn't get much simpler than that. 

A cup of hot decaf green tea sweetened with honey from my daughter's beehives made a perfect drink on a cold day. 

And look what this girl who can't tolerate chocolate found.

My daughter told me that it is the emulsifiers we use in the US in chocolate that cause the problems. She said to look for chocolate that only has two ingredients. 

While in Whole Foods this week, I found this Raw Chocolate. Only two ingredients and perfect for someone like me.

The only drawback is that it is a bit pricey, so I have to eat it sparingly. Hard for a chocoholic like me, but well worth it. 

I'm pretty satisfied with my simple lunch, and tonight I will have a piece of grilled salmon and some acorn squash. What's on your menu today?

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016


I love to walk, and I definitely need the exercise, but when winter rolls around I have a difficult time motivating myself to get out and just start walking.

I have a difficult time with the cold weather, but for the most part this winter has been on the mild side.

We had 70 degrees on Christmas and 55 degrees just a few days ago. In between we have had some bitterly cold days, but I feel like I need to just bundle up and get out on those days anyway. 

So that is what I am doing. Yesterday the snow was falling, which made me want to curl up and stay inside, but then I remembered how much I used to love to walk in the snow. 

I piled on layers of clothes and headed out. (I think I kind of resembled Randy in "The Christmas Story". I could barely put my arms down.) 

It was cold, but I was nice and warm and I loved the feel of the snow hitting my face as I walked, and the quiet of the world as it fell all around me.

The snow was gone almost as quickly as it came, but it was wonderful to remember how much I love walks in the snow. 

Winter strips the earth of color, but in doing so it creates its own beauty. We just have to look for it.

Walking again is reminding me of just how beautiful each season is. 

Walking is a simple pleasure. Perfect for my new simpler way of living.

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Monday, January 11, 2016


How many lessons have I learned throughout my life? How many mistakes have I made? In both cases, there have been too many to count.

One thing I have learned is that I am not defined by who I was or what I have done in the past.

For all of us, our lives are made up of many lessons and those lessons will hopefully help us become our best selves.

We are not doomed to always repeat our mistakes. We are instead blessed with the ability to learn from them. 

As we start a new day, a new week, and begin anew on life's journey we can take our lessons with us. 

I feel like I am carrying mine around like a handbag filled with gold.

I hope you have a wonderful and  serene day.

More Inspiration on a Monday here.

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Thursday, January 7, 2016


I have a confession to make. I have gotten to the point where I hate email so much that I avoid it like the plague. 

I miss snail mail. I can remember how exciting it was when I was in boarding school to go down to the mail box every day to see if  I had any letters. I was disappointed many days, but oh how exciting it was on the days when I saw something waiting for me. 

I can still remember the feeling of looking through that little window and seeing a letter. I could hardly wait to turn those dials with my combination.

These days, mail just isn't exciting. People don't send letters anymore, and as I said, I hate opening my email accounts. In fact, it has gotten so bad I haven't looked at my Gmail account in weeks. 

As I wrote in my last post, my goal is to turn to a more simple way of living. No, that doesn't mean you now have to send me letters only through the USPS. What it does mean is that I don't need the stress of all of the emails I receive everyday. 

I don't know what your email account looks like, but mine is cluttered up with things I never read. It seems that if you subscribe to one thing you are suddenly inundated with a thousand other things. UGH!!!

By the time I go through and delete all of the emails I don't want I am too tired to read the emails I do want. Or sometimes I miss important emails. 

What's a girl to do?

Well, what I am doing is gradually going through my emails and UNSUBSCRIBING from all of the emails I don't want. I am finding that it is a long and arduous task and some of the emails don't have a way to unsubscribe. Those are getting moved to the SPAM folder. 

If you find that I have unsubscribed from your blog email list, it doesn't mean that I am no longer reading your blog posts or that I no longer love you. It just means I am using different ways to read your wonderful blogs. I still have a blog roll on my sidebar. That is generally what I use to follow along with your blogs and I use the blog rolls on other blogs to find new blogs to read.

When I first got email I loved it. I want to feel that way again. I want to be able to find your emails when you write to me. I love those emails. 

I think this simplifying life project is going to work out really well.

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Monday, January 4, 2016


I have never chosen a word of the year before. I believe life is constantly changing, fluctuating, growing. However, after taking some time off (thank you so much to everyone for your well wishes) I realized what I want to see happen in my life over the next year and really for the rest of my life. 

I want to return to a more "simple" way of living. I want to practice what I preach in this blog. Life can and should be simpler and more serene. 

When exactly did life become so chaotic? When did stress take over my life? What is my part in allowing this to happen? 

The stresses that I have faced over the last few years are still there. They are not easily resolved, and many of them are not something that I have the power to fix. 

What I can do is take a simpler approach to life in general. I can focus on the "simple" things that have brought me joy in the past. I can bring back a sense of fun and play into my life. I can learn to live in the moment. 

This year I have chosen a word and it is "SIMPLE". 

Focusing on a simpler and more serene life is going to be fun. I can't wait to share it with you, and if you have things you are doing to simplify your own life I would love to hear about them. 

You can find more of the Rewriting Life series here.
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