F Simple and Serene Living: February 2016 09 10
Monday, February 29, 2016

NEW BEGINNINGS AT ANY AGE


Do you ever wake up in the morning thinking "I am ready for a new beginning"? 

I have been waking up every morning for a while with that thought on my mind. 


You may have noticed that I have been absent the last week. My internet went out last Monday night and was out for most of last week. It meant that I was only able to access the internet through my phone. I finally was able to get someone out here to install a new modem on Saturday, but while I had limited access I was able to think about my life and my life's plan. 

Like many women I have spent a great deal of my life as a caretaker. I think that we often don't realize how much care giving we actually do and in the process how much of our own lives we give up. 


I have been feeling that my life has been in limbo for quite some time. There are things happening in my family that I am not able to share because I don't want to violate their privacy, but in the meantime I have stopped living my life, and I realize that I actually stopped living my life a long time ago. 

So the question is not only how do I make a new beginning, but how do I find myself again. 


I made a start last week by calling one of my best friends, Karen, from childhood. We talked for three and a half hours. Isn't it amazing how time can just drop away and you still have such a great connection with an old friend. That conversation made me realize that I am still me. That "me" may have been hidden away, beaten down by life, but she is still there waiting to come out and have a new beginning. 

I am looking forward to blooming again just like the flowers in this post. 


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P.S. I am having periodontal surgery tomorrow, and as this isn't my first rodeo, I know that I may be in pain and cranky for the next three days. So I might be a little absent again. Hope you will bear with me. Can't wait to get back to visiting more.


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Monday, February 22, 2016

SPRING GLORIOUS SPRING

No, there hasn't been a time warp, but on Saturday for one glorious day it felt like there had been. 


The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and the temperature hovered around 72 degrees in the afternoon. 

PERFECTION!!!

How wonderful it was to toss boots into the coat closet, snub my nose at a jacket, and head out into pure bliss. 


Kids were out skateboarding and playing basketball in their shorts and tee shirts, and adults were riding around in convertibles with the tops down. 

It's amazing how a rise in the temperature accompanied by sunshine can lift your spirits. 


Yes, this week will see a return to some winter weather, but for one wonderful day it was spring glorious spring. 

March is just around the corner. I don't know about you, but I can't wait.

How is the weather in your neck of the woods?



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Friday, February 19, 2016

APPRECIATING THE SIMPLE THINGS

I wonder how often we stop and smell the roses (or in this case tulips).


We are so often caught up with life's complications that we forget to just stop and appreciate the simple things. 

Today as I was taking my shower, I was thinking about all of the the things on my TO DO list today. I was worrying about phone calls I needed to make, thinking about a blog post, wondering if there would be sunshine to take photos for my shop, and so on.....


It was in the middle of all of this overthinking, that I realized how seldom I just stop to appreciate the hot water of my shower. How wonderful it is that I can turn on the faucet and have water at just the perfect temperature. 


How often do I close my eyes for just a moment and listen to the sounds around me. The swish of tires on the road outside . The sound of the wind chimes blowing in the wind. The ticking of the clock. 

We get so caught up in the "big things" that we forget how all of the small moments of our lives make up "the big picture"


We only have the present moment. The future is not a guarantee and the past is gone. 

So for me today, I am going to stop throughout the day and focus on my five senses. 

I am going to really smell the dinner cooking in my kitchen. 

I am going to take a moment to watch the squirrel as he does his acrobatics to get at the bird feeder. 

I am going to appreciate the soft touch of my sheets as I make the bed. 

I am going to sit, close my eyes, and listen to the sounds around me. The breeze really does whisper in the trees.

I am going to slow down and enjoy the taste of my food, savoring the sweetness, the saltiness, the richness of each bite. 

The simple things add so much to our lives. Showing gratitude for all of these simple things fulfills us. 



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Monday, February 15, 2016

AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR OLDER ADULTS

Last week I wrote about the lack of  housing for older women and the popularity of the tiny house movement. If you missed it you can read it here

Older women seem to have fallen through the cracks. Because many of us spent a large portion of our adult lives as caregivers, we don't have pensions and our social security checks leave us living below the poverty level. 

I have been talking to other women a lot about this lately. Brenda at Cozy Little House  and I have discussed this many times. I am 65 and have been on the waiting list for an apartment for almost two years. Brenda, who is still in her fifties is not old enough to get into a senior apartment yet. 

We have been left wondering why there are not more affordable and safe apartments for adults over the age of 55.

Then I woke up to this article in my morning paper, and realized what has been happening in my own state. 

Lexington developer turns Campton's old school into affordable housing. I expected it to be the usual story about affordable housing for families, but turns out it is for low income adults over the age of 55, and apparently this is not the first.


I love that the developer, Holly Weidemann, is saving historical buildings at the same time that she is creating this housing, and what I can see from the photos of this project, the apartments look beautiful, with hardwood floors, lovely kitchens,


and large windows. 


I love the gray painted walls and the spacious bathroom.


It is wonderful that someone is taking the initiative to restore these old buildings and to provide affordable housing for people over the age of 55, but I am wondering why it is so difficult to find these projects. I have been googling over 55 low income housing in my state for some time and haven't come across the apartments that are out there. 

Is it because there is such a demand that they don't have to advertise them? If so that tells us what a great need there is. I am hoping that more developers will take the initiative to fill this need. 

Do you have similar projects where you live? 

Photo Credits:

#1 Kentucky.com
#2 through #4 Kentucky Rents














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Monday, February 8, 2016

WHAT WOMEN WANT IS THEIR OWN SMALL SPACE HOME

I have talked with, listened to, and read about how many older women are searching for a way to afford their own home. 


This is adorable
For many of us, over the age of 55, owning a home seems out of reach.

There is also a severe shortage of affordable rentals for older women. There are subsidized apartments for those who are over 62, but the waiting lists are long, and while I see news pop up constantly about senior apartments that are being built, those apartments are financially out of the reach of many of the women who are baby boomers. Also, they don't help women who are between the ages of 55 and 61. 


Yes please. I love this.
I love the tiny house movement. I have reached an age where I just don't need all of the things I have had in the past, but I have found that most of the small space homes have lofts, which I know I will not want to climb up to as I age, or are still very pricey. I am hoping that there will be more floor plans that will accommodate the needs of older women.

I recently came across these tiny houses that are being built in Serenbe in Georgia. 


Love the screened porch
Serenbe is an upscale community not far from Atlanta that focuses on well being. I have visited there a couple of times and love it. 

Architecture students at Rural Studio, at Auburn University, wanted to design homes that someone living below the poverty line could afford, that anyone would want, and that would provide a living wage for the construction workers.

The materials for each of these houses cost just $14,000. The actual houses cost $20,000. Although these houses are prototypes, they are working on how to get them out into the marketplace. 

I think these are wonderful and can see them having a wide appeal for older women. You can read more about them here

I would love to see small communities of these houses, for women, where there are communal gardens and a sense of community. Communities where women can be proud of their homes. Communities where friendships are formed. 

What are your feelings on these small homes? Can you see yourself living in one?

Photo one courtesy of: Wind River Tiny Homes
Photo two courtesy of: Creative Cottages
Photo three courtesy of : Fast Company

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P.S. Find more on small space living here.
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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

SINCE WHEN IS LIFE A TRASHY TABLOID MAGAZINE?

Am I just getting old, or has life become a trashy tabloid magazine? 


This has nothing to do with trashy tabloid magazines, but I don't have any to photograph.

It seems that I can't turn around anymore without seeing trash. It seems that our daily lives have become permeated with it. 

Once reputable news sources are obsessed with it. 

Publishing networks can't seem to get enough of it. 

Friends, family, work colleagues, churches, politicians......have all jumped on the trashy tabloid magazine bandwagon. 

It makes me wonder what has happened to our society. 

When did it become acceptable to gleefully trash anyone and everyone's lives? 

What is now seen as front page news are items that once would have never seen the light of day in a legitimate newspaper or on national network news. 

I am tired of all the trashy so called news, so I have been deleting news sources from my Facebook feed and I no longer watch television news. 

There are enough real problems in this world. I don't need to be constantly bombarded with information that I could find in a supermarket tabloid if I choose to read one. I don't. 

I don't know about you, but I would rather spend my time taking a walk and enjoying nature, reading a good book, cooking a healthy meal, or learning something new and interesting. 

It just seems like a simple choice to me. How do you feel about living life in a trashy tabloid magazine?
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