F Simple and Serene Living: 2017 09 10
Saturday, September 23, 2017


I am absolutely determined to get a second post out this week.

It isn't so much that I have anything exciting to post as it is that I am trying to have some self discipline. 

I did go out to lunch with three friends yesterday, and no I didn't take any photos. I can tell you that it is a place that I have been wanting to go to for several years. It's out in the country and the drive there is lovely. It's called Wallace Station, the decor is very simple and rustic, and the food is scrummy (is that a word?). 

Found this photo on the internet
I had a chicken salad plate with fruit and and half a blueberry muffin that tasted like Christmas. The owner/chef has five restaurants and a bakery in our area and they are all wonderful. She uses as many local and natural ingredients as possible, which really appeals to me. 

Since the weather was cool enough this morning I decided to take my walk outside. As you can see from my photos today we still have a nice mix of summer and fall flowers.

I love the pots of mums outside the building, but I also love the beautiful summer flowers.

I am going to miss their vibrant colors when they fade away.

Today is another busy day for me. I think I am finally catching up on all of the fun I missed for so many years. 

Oh, and look at me. I did get out two posts this week. WHEW!!!
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Tuesday, September 19, 2017


Where does the time go? Just when I vow to start posting twice a week I suddenly realize that the week went by without a second posting. 

I seem to be so busy anymore. So busy that I have had to cut my Rook playing down from two nights a week to one. 

By the time nighttime rolls around, if I don't have something scheduled, which I seem to have many nights, then I just want to get into my pj's and curl up in my cozy apartment. 

I love being able to close my door and shut out the rest of the world. 

I recently signed up for Britbox. I already subscribe to Acorn TV so between the two of them I have nonstop British TV. I don't have cable anymore so I watch everything over the internet. I also have Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Directv Now. When I want Netflix I just cancel one of the other services for a month or two. Rotating them around really saves me money.

On another topic, I made a discovery recently. Who knew we had a casino right here in my city.

I knew that the Red Mile race course had opened a venue to bet on horse races a couple of years ago, but what I didn't know is that it is actually slot machines. At the bottom of each slot machine there is a little race showing. 

Interesting. My friend and I decided to go on Saturday. We each were given ten dollars to gamble with and I took along a few of my own dollars. 

When we walked in I felt like I was in Las Vegas. We had a ball. I lost eleven dollars, but I had allotted myself twenty dollars so I didn't feel bad about it. My friend won forty two dollars so she was thrilled. 

With all of the daily bad news it is nice to have some distractions. 

Speaking of distractions. My new throw arrived and I love it. The colors are perfect. I've tossed it over this chair for now, but it will be nice and handy when the cool weather comes back. 

My yearly eye checkup is this afternoon. Doesn't seem like it has been a year, but time does go by.

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Monday, September 11, 2017


Fall is definitely in the air here. Cooler temperatures and cloudy skies are urging me to start nesting, but they are also beckoning me out into the countryside. 

I'm trying to do a bit of both. 

The last few days I have been looking for a throw for my living room. Something that will pull together the colors of the room, and that will also keep me warm when the days and nights get colder. 

This morning I finally found something on target.com that I think will work. I've ordered it and it should be here on Friday. 

I love the free shipping both ways if I decide I don't like it. I'm always a little afraid to order something like this online because I never know if the colors are how they appear on the computer. 

Can't wait for it to arrive because I have been feeling a bit chilly the last few nights while sitting in my chair. 

I do think it will pull together the red, gold, and blue in my settee. I'll let you know after it gets here. 

I hope that everyone who has been in the path of the latest hurricane is safe. We have rain from Irma moving in overnight and rain is forecast here for the next three days. 

Looks like it will be perfect for some more nesting, and I may even pull out some fall decor. 

Have you started planning for the cooler weather?
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Wednesday, September 6, 2017


Wouldn't it be nice if we could tell all of the stress in our lives to just go away?

Unfortunately it isn't that easy, and these days stress seems like a vise that is continually squeezing the life out of us. 

The hate that has reared it's ugly head in our country. The fear that millions of people have of losing their health insurance or of being deported . The threat of nuclear war with North Korea. Misogyny, bigotry, xenophobia.....it can be overwhelming.

Stress can affect every aspect of our lives. It affects our physical and mental well being. It affects our jobs and our relationships. 

Over the last few months I have been suffering with red itchy blotches on my face. Although I have had this problem intermittently for a long time, it always went away. This time it didn't. 

I decided I couldn't stand it any longer so I went to the dermatologist. Turns out I have two types of dermatitis on my face.

When she said it could be caused by stress I just went hmmmmm!!

After I got home I sat down and thought about all of the stressful things in my life. There was quite a long list and so I decided to start making some small changes. 

I know I can't do anything about a lot of the stressors out there, but I do know I can manage the small things and learn to change how I react to the large things. 

For now, when I start to feel stressed I just loudly say 


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Friday, September 1, 2017


September blew in this morning on the remnants of Harvey. It reminded me of why I love the month of September, and why I would love for September to stay awhile.

September sneaks in with subtle changes.  The leaves begin to display their pretty colors.

The light in the sky mellows as it peaks between the trees.

Summer flowers are replaced with the wildflowers of Autumn in shades of purple

and yellow.

And cooler days bring paths that beckon to me for morning walks. 

Rainy windy days bring out my nesting instincts. I begin to feel the tug towards getting my home ready for the cold days that I know will come.

So I say...

Stay for just a while
Stay and let me look at you
It's been so long, I hardly knew you
Standing in the door
Stay with me a while
I only wanna talk to you
We've traveled halfway 'round the world
To find ourselves again
September morn
                                Neil Diamond

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Monday, August 28, 2017


It's a typical Monday for me. 

I start my day as usual. I get up, shower, dress, and make myself some scrambled cheese eggs with mushrooms. 

After that it is time to get moving. I stop in our community room to chat with some friends before heading out, and we discuss what our plans are for the day. 

For me it is a trip to my booth to straighten up the inevitable mess from weekend shoppers. After that it is off to the senior center to ride the stationary bike and then I will drop into Fresh Market to pick up a rotisserie chicken. Later I will play cards with friends.

The day is much cooler than normal for this time of year and I notice that the trees are already turning. As I am driving it starts to rain and I feel a bit inconvenienced.

Isn't it amazing how we take so much for granted. As I am feeling a bit inconvenienced by a cool rainy day millions of people are losing their homes, their livelihoods, and some are even losing their lives. 

It breaks my heart. 

I had a comfortable cozy home to come home to today. I am warm, safe, and dry. 

While I sit in my dry home, people who were safe in their homes just a few days ago are clinging to their roofs waiting to be rescued. 

While I drive around today listening to the steady sound of my windshield wipers, others are abandoning their completely submerged vehicles. 

While I know that my grandchildren are safe in their home today, so many other children have been displaced and are facing a fear that no child should ever have to face. 

It breaks my heart. 

I am praying for those frightened people. I can't begin to imagine their fear. 

So much heartbreak.
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Wednesday, August 23, 2017


Why is it that summer seems to fly by so quickly?

barn summer country

Just when I am beginning to settle into it I look at the calendar and realize that September it almost here.

Winter always passes so slowly for me. 

It feels like I am chugging along on a slow train.

Then summer arrives and suddenly I am on a super train barreling forward to another winter.

I want to bottle it all up. The lazy days. The fresh produce. Simple meals.

I want to take more leisurely drives in the Kentucky countryside, opening my windows to breathe in the warm air.

Yesterday I found myself planning a Labor Day luncheon with friends. One of my friends said Labor Day was just two weeks away. 


I am going to do my best to enjoy what is left of summer. How about you? Do you have plans for the rest of summer?

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Monday, August 14, 2017


In the eight years that I have been living here, other than going to Macy's once or twice a year, I think I have walked through the mall twice. 

That has now changed. 

I love to walk, but after my knee injury I knew I couldn't walk my hilly neighborhood. My knee would start aching and swelling when I did. 

However, I was gaining weight and feeling tired. I knew I had to find a way to start walking again, so I went to the mall. 

At first it was tiring to walk around the entire mall, which is over a mile, and my walking sandals didn't have enough cushion for walking on concrete. 

Once I switched to tennis shoes and walked on an almost daily basis though, I found the walking was becoming a lot easier. 

I am now up to two miles on the days that I walk. I am feeling better, plus I have fun seeing what is in the shop windows as I walk, and engaging in one of my favorite activities, which is people watching. 

The mall is just a five minute drive away so it is also convenient. 

I know that walking isn't enough, so this week I have started on my healthy eating plan and a couple of days a week I go and exercise somewhere else. 

I'll share those with you later. 

I am never tempted to detour to the Cheesecake Factory. That would require a twenty mile walk to work it off. 
I would love to start swimming, but I don't have access to a pool so that won't be happening at this point. 

Do you have an exercise plan? I would love to hear what you are doing or if you have plans to start something new. 

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017


I have good intentions I really do. 

I plan to write my blog at least twice a week. 

Then suddenly I realize that time has gone by and it has been a week since I have posted. 

Life has been getting in the way. 

I lost a very good friend last week. Leo was the first person I met when I moved into my apartment last year. He was such a funny nice man and he along with a small group of others have become like family to me. 

One minute he was laughing with us and the next minute he went to his apartment and had a massive stroke. 

It is definitely a down side of living in a retirement community, and as I am the youngest person here I know that there will be other losses. 

However, I wouldn't trade the experience of getting to know these older people. I love their stories. There has been so much tragedy in their lives, and yet they still laugh and look forward to their days. 

It's nice to have a community of friends where at any time of the day there is someone to talk to. 

But that gets me back to my good intentions. I still need to earn some extra money each month, so I need to schedule my time a little better. I need to get to my booth more often, list things on Etsy more often, and write my blog on a more regular basis. 

The one thing I have done is schedule an exercise program. I'll let you know how that is going. 

Good intentions aside, we all need to take care of ourselves both mentally and physically. 

A belated happy birthday to my mom who turned 93 on Monday. She has taken pretty good care of herself.

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Monday, July 31, 2017


Summer seems to be telling me to get in lock step with the season, because it is quickly marching on, and I may be left behind.

Would being left behind in summer be such a bad thing?

It's my favorite season. 

I look forward to it with the anticipation that I had as a child for so many things, but which now seems to be blunted.

I love the deep green of the leaves, the brilliant blue skies, the sound of thunder in the night. 

The cicadas are singing their summer song, and the lightning bugs are lighting the path in the evening. 

The sweet smell of roses greets me and brings flashes of earlier days. Days when summer seemed to go on forever. 

I speak to summer, asking it not to be in such a hurry, but the calendar tells me that August is already upon us. 

I know that fall will be here before we know it, but in the meantime I will try hard to savor each moment of summer. 

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017


The first year that you garden in a new place is always somewhat of an experiment.

You never really know how what you plant will turn out. Will it thrive or will it die?

I have been fairly lucky with my attempts at a small container garden this year. 

I wasn't really sure how the impatiens would do. I knew the area got morning sun, but it turned out to be a bit hotter than I would have liked.

Even so, the impatiens in the larger pots have done fairly well. The ones in the smaller pots however, haven't done as well. I have tossed a couple of them and may lose a couple more.

The impatiens that I mixed in with the herbs are growing nicely, and the herbs seem to love where they are placed.

I moved the petunias over onto the garden stand. They love the hot sun they are getting.

I have also had mixed results with the tomato plants and the one green pepper plant. The green pepper gave up the ghost. It has been tossed also. It produced two small peppers, but it was just in too small of a pot. 

The tomato plants on the other hand are producing in abundance. 

This next winter I am going to be on the lookout for some larger inexpensive pots. I would like to try growing some squash next year and maybe try another green pepper. 

I'm really enjoying having a little garden again, although I wish it was a little closer to my apartment. I would sit out there more if it was.

I'm not giving up on having my own outdoor space again some day, and in the meantime I'm going to enjoy the fruits of my summer labor. 

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017


I love this time of year. So much fresh produce, and I am getting a few tomatoes and green peppers from my container garden.

I only planted one green pepper plant, which isn't doing great, but I have managed to get one small pepper from it and there is another one clinging to life.

It is being cut up and used in my breakfast burrito. It's so easy to scramble some eggs with mushrooms and the pepper, add some grated cheddar cheese, and wrap it in a gluten free tortilla. Yummy!!

I'm starting to get more tomatoes, so I think it is time to make my favorite eggplant tomato casserole. In the over 45 years that I have been making it I have never had one person turn it down. 

Eggplant Tomato Casserole
from the original  "The Vegetarian Epicure Cookbook"

1 large eggplant (about 1 1/2 lb.) 

1 1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
2 eggs, beaten

2 Tbs. melted low cal margarine (or butter)
ground pepper,

2 to 3 tbs. chopped onion
1/2 tsp. crushed oregano

1/2 cup dry bread crumbs (I'm making my own gluten free bread crumbs)
2 large tomatoes, sliced thin

2 oz. cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese,

eel and slice the eggplant. Put the slices in a pan with the salt and about an inch of boiling water. Cover tightly and cook about 10 minutes. Drain. Mash the eggplant and mix in the eggs, melted butter, pepper, onion, oregano and bread crumbs.
Butter a shallow 1 1/2 qt. baking dish. Cover the bottom with half the tomato slices. Spoon in all of the eggplant mixture and spread evenly. Arrange the rest of the tomato slices on top. Mix together the cheeses and sprinkle over the top layer of tomatoes. Add a sprinkle of paprika and bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes.

Then just serve and enjoy.

I'm planning on sharing this with some friends in a few days.

What is your garden producing and how are you using it?

I have really been struggling with moving my photos from my iphone to my computer lately, and it has kept me from blogging. 

I was using dropbox, but whenever I filled it up I would either have to delete a bunch of photos or pay for more storage. 

I asked my daughter what to use and she suggested Google Photos. So much easier. Why didn't I know about this before?

Now I am feeling like getting out there and taking photos again. 

The only thing I haven't been able to do is figure out how to get to google photos from PicMonkey. Does anyone have a solution to that? Right now I am saving the photo I want to use to my computer and then accessing it. 

Some days it feels like I spend more time on how to use technology than anything else I am doing. 

I am heading out to dinner tonight and I think I will treat myself to a glass of wine. It's been a long day.

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