F Simple and Serene Living: 2017 09 10
Thursday, December 21, 2017


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from my home to yours. 

It's morning here and I am rushing around, so no time for tweaking photos. 

Tomorrow I am leaving to drive to Atlanta to spend the holiday with my family. I am beyond excited because I haven't seen my grandchildren for nine months. 

They are apparently excited too and Facetimed me first thing this morning. 

Today some friends are taking me out for an early birthday lunch. Really looking forward to some good gluten free pizza. 

I will not be posting again until January so I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday. 
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Saturday, December 16, 2017


Thursday three out of five non elected people voted to end net neutrality in the United States. 

If this is upheld, it will end the way citizens in this country have access to the internet. 

Net neutrality and the end of net neutrality is complicated, but from what I am able to understand it is going to favor large corporations and wealthier Americans. 

You can find information about how it affects individuals here.

I am also very concerned about how it will affect blogs. 

If I write a blog post about home decor will it instead of sending someone to my post redirect them to a large company who is writing about the same topic.

Will we have to pay to have traffic directed to our blogs? 

Will it put an end to small blogs who supplement their income through blogging?

If those things happen I will have to give up blogging and redirect my efforts to another source of income. 

I will miss all of the friends I have made through blogging.

Let us hope that Congress will overturn this decision and listen to the majority of the people in this country who don't support the end of net neutrality.  

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Tuesday, December 5, 2017


I have finished up my Christmas decorating. Living in a small space has meant scaling back on what I used to have, but I am happy with what I have done. 

I have changed things up from last year, when I had a more playful feel. 

One side of the dining room is taken up with a drop leaf table and two mismatched chairs. Although I seldom eat at the table, it is the first thing I see when I walk in the door and so it is nice to have it looking a bit festive for the holidays. 

I removed the fall things from my two tiered basket on the table and filled it with Christmas items. 

Fruit went in the top basket while a shiny assortment of Christmas balls filled the bottom.

I also chose to mix hog scraper candle holders with a pair of antique tarnished silver candlesticks. 

A pretty ornament tied with a velvet bow adorns the antique fall front desk that sits on the opposite wall. 

My special nativity sits on one of the shelves, but as I forgot to photograph it I'll share it another day. 

As you know, my mom had a mild heart attack in November and has not been feeling well at all. 

She is having constant nausea, difficulty swallowing, and has some internal bleeding. As they aren't sure of its source, she is scheduled for a colonoscopy and an endoscopy today. 

Because of her age they don't want to put her under anesthesia more than once. 

I hope you will add her to your prayers. Hopefully they will be able to determine what the problem is and give her some relief. 

Have a wonderful day. I'll update in a couple of days to let you know how it went.

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Thursday, November 23, 2017


Hey, it's turkey day also known in more refined circles as Thanksgiving. 

That means Christmas parades, overeating, putting up with your crazy drunk uncle, and yes, reflecting on all of the things we are thankful for. 

I am thankful today for my daughters, my grandchildren, and my son in law, even though I am not with them. I am also thankful to still have my mom with me. 

Hopefully she feels up to going to Shaker Village for lunch, but if she bows out at the last minute I have another invite in my back pocket. 

Either way I plan on getting my fair share of turkey. 

So to all of you I hope that you have a wonderful day, and if you overindulge I have lots of Alkaseltzer. I'm always happy to share.

Have a wonderful day and seee you in a couple of days. 

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Saturday, November 18, 2017


I woke up briefly in the night to the sound of pouring rain. I love hearing that sound, and quickly went back to sleep. 

When I woke this morning that pounding rain had warmed the temperatures into the sixties, the wind was really blowing, and I was left with my head pounding. 

Tonight another front will bring more rain and lower tomorrow's temperatures into the thirties. 

Such is fall in Kentucky. The barometric pressure is rising and falling. That, along with allergies, does a number on my head. 

So I have decided to stay inside for the rest of today. Christmas decorations are being pulled from storage and planning has begun. 

My fellow inmates, aka the other people who live in my apartment building, have nominated me to have a Christmas open house in my apartment. 

It will be interesting to find room for a tree, much less other decorations, but I am hopefully up for the challenge. 

At least I will have something else to focus on other than my aching head. 
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Wednesday, November 15, 2017


In 1982 Larry Dossey coined the term “time sickness” to define the belief that many people have about the fact that time is always slipping away, that there is never enough of it, and that we must go faster and faster to keep up.

Whew!! I'm exhausted just thinking about that. 

"The cult of speed not only affects our health, it also makes us more unhappy and less productive. But it turns out that we can slow down and also be more productive because of it. In order to do that, we should stop worrying so much about time and instead learn to better manage our attention focus. Making our own decisions about what we should be doing at every moment of our life puts us behind the wheel."  Francisco Sáez

I often find myself saying that time is slipping away or feeling like time is zooming by so fast that I just don't know where it is going. 

How do we help to heal ourselves from time sickness, because I know that I am a victim of it and I bet that many of you are too. 

Apparently the secret is fairly simple. We need to learn how to live in the moment, enjoying each moment for what it is and also to decide what our priorities are. 

I have made a decision to do just that. I have been meditating regularly to calm myself when I feel stressed, sitting and enjoying the present moment, and choosing for myself how I spend my time.

It isn't easy to break the habit of trying to do it all, but I know that for my physical and mental health it will be worth it.

How about you? Do you think that you suffer from time sickness, and if so how would you go about healing yourself?

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Thursday, November 9, 2017


Heart attacks are responsible for one in every three deaths for women and remains the number one cause of death in women. 

The average age of the first heart attack in women is 72.

These statistics struck home for my family this week when my 93 year old mother suffered a mild heart attack. 

She was long past the age for a first heart attack, and she had been repeatedly told by her cardiologist that she was not a candidate for one.

She is not overweight, her blood pressure is low, and her cholesterol is perfect. However, she had been having some symptoms that were written off as coming from other causes.

So what are the warning red flags for an impending heart attack in women?

1) Breathing difficulties
2) Heavy perspiration
3) Disrupted sleep
4) Exhaustion
5) Stomach cramps
6) Sharp upper body pain
7) Jaw pain
8) Rapid heart rate
9) Chest pain
10) Nausea
11) Pain in either arm

You can find more information on the warning signs here.

Monday night at midnight my mom called me to say she was feeling weird and thought she might need to go to the hospital. We got the paramedics there and she went to the emergency room. Fortunately she had an ER doctor that did a very thorough workup. 

After a long sleepless night he had her admitted and notified her cardiologist. He diagnosed her with a blocked artery and having had a mild heart attack. Luckily it can be controlled with medication. 

Because women's symptoms are different than those that men have, it is important that we as women are aware of them and advocate for ourselves when we know that something is just not right with our bodies. 

My mom seems to have dodged a major bullet, and it has made me aware that I need to continue to take care of my own heart to keep it healthy. 

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Wednesday, November 1, 2017


I remember when I was pregnant with my two girls, in the last trimester I would get in the mood to clean and organize my home. 

We called it nesting. 

These days the cooler fall temperatures and the approach of the holiday season puts me in the mood to nest. 

My apartment is pretty small, just 540 square feet so I am limited in making changes. 

Gone are the days when I can move furniture around. There just isn't any other way that I can see to arrange the furnishings. 

I also have very limited storage space so I have to make the best use of what I have, and I am having problems fitting it all in. 

I'm afraid that one of these days I am going to open a closet door and everything is going to fall on my head. 

 Starting today I have decided to start cleaning, sorting, and organizing. It's not my favorite thing to do, but I know I will be happier when I hopefully get it done. 

My plan is to stay in until Friday and see how much I can get done. If I don't surface by then you may want to send someone in to make sure I am not buried at the bottom of a closet. (I only have two so it won't be hard to find me)

Hopefully this weekend I will be able to share that I have made some real strides. Then again I might be tempted to binge watch Stranger Things season two. 

That's the good thing about being older and living alone. If I don't get it done there is no one else to care and no one will really know. 

Oops, except the few thousand people who read my blog, but I'm sure none of you will tell. 

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Saturday, October 28, 2017


One day you are sitting outside soaking up some warm sun and the next you are huddled under your new throw. 

Such is fall in Kentucky and I imagine in a lot of other parts of the country. 

Overnight a rain storm swept down from Canada and cooled us down 30 degrees. The weather forecasters had even predicted that we might see a few flurries, but if that happened I was too hunkered down to notice. (honestly, I didn't want to see them if they were there)

The rain cleared off, and we were left with a cloudy day in the forties. In a few days we will be back up in the sixties, which is my kind of fall weather. 

Like the weather, nothing in life is really predictable. There are always ups and downs, but we seem to adjust and learn to accept changes. 

Life would be boring if every day was the same. We might take the wonderful weather and the happy days for granted. 

There are things to like about cold rainy days. I like curling up with a good book and a nice cup of tea in my favorite chair, but I have to admit that sunny warm days are definitely my favorites. 

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Tuesday, October 24, 2017


This past weekend was perfect weather for walking. 

When I looked at the extended forecast for this week I knew I needed to get out and take advantage of it. 

Our warm balmy days are now behind us. Yesterday was rainy and the rest of the week looks to be cool with our first frost coming up at the end of the week. 

But, as I said, Saturday and Sunday were perfect. Warm balmy breezes and sunny skies were beckoning.

It has been awhile since I spent some time taking photos, and it was so nice to just wander and click away. 

We seemed to still be caught between seasons. The sweet smell of  summer roses drew me to a garden,

while the changing colors of the trees told me that summer was really long past.

City streets were calling my name,

but so were leaf strewn wooded paths. 

I chose both.

With more than a little reluctance I said goodbye to this pretty lady with a whispered I will see you next year.

Time stands still for no one. Live each moment and enjoy it, because when it has passed it won't return to greet us, except for in our dreams.

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Saturday, October 21, 2017


My fall decor is definitely minimalist.

I really don't have room for much and I didn't want to put anything away to make room. It's called laziness.

That means I have exactly three things. 

Okay, that was sort of a lie. I counted my table as one thing, but I actually made three changes to it.

I replaced the glass candlesticks with black hog scraper candle holders, added a woven table runner, and filled my two tiered wire basket with an assortment of fall items. 

The ceramic bowl that was the centerpiece over the spring and summer has moved to the kitchen.

I'll leave it the way it is until after Thanksgiving when I'll tweak it for Christmas. After Christmas I'll tweak it again and leave it for the rest of the winter.

I love this ceramic pumpkin. It blends really well with the couch and is the only fall piece I have in the living room.

Every home needs a little Halloween and this cute witch and ghost are ready to trick or treat. 

Fall is such a wonderful season. Warm days and cool nights seem to energize me, sending me out to crunch through fallen leaves before returning home to curl up in my cozy nest, where a wee bit of fall decor is just enough.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017


A couple of days ago the maintenance woman came by to repair something in my apartment. She always comments when she is here on how much she loves my decor. 

As she was leaving she asked if I had ever submitted my apartment to a magazine. Wow, what a lovely compliment.

Yesterday a new friend dropped by my apartment and demanded to be let in. She said she has been hearing from a lot of people how beautiful my apartment is. (I told her I hope she wasn't put off by the mess) 

After a quick tour of my little space she laughed and asked could she just come up and shop in my home when she wanted something new. 

I said my decorating style is somewhat eclectic and she replied that her's is Fred Sanford. (It's not. I have been in her apartment and it is very cute) Our styles are different, but we are both bargain hunters. 

I am not a trendy decorator. I learned a long time ago to decorate in a style that I love. A style that speaks of my personality. A style that when I walk in the door I feel completely at home. 

And I think that is the most important thing to remember when we are dressing ourselves or our homes. 

Whatever the latest trend may be, we are the ones who have to live with it

We need to be able to sit down at the end of the day, put our feet up, and know that we are home.

That's why I am not a trendy decorator, because the bottom line is the only person I need to impress with my home is me. 

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Tuesday, October 10, 2017


When I think of fiddle-dee-dee I am immediately transported back to the time I first heard Scarlett O'Hara say it in Gone With The Wind. 

I remember being very fascinated with Scarlett. She seemed so vulnerable on the one hand, but so independent and conniving on the other. A very complex character. 

I never really thought about the meaning of fiddle-dee-dee. I suppose I just thought it was her flippant southern way of dismissing something. As it actually means nonsense, I guess that was a pretty good interpretation. 

I don't get to see my grandchildren who live in Atlanta very often, so when I want to see their sweet faces in real time we FaceTime. Yesterday Tessa, who is now five wanted to model her new Minnie Mouse costume that had just arrived. 

I oohed and aahed over her adorableness and spoke quickly to my other two grandchildren. It has to be quick because Tessa whips the phone away so that we can commence with what is important. 

What is important is fiddle-dee-dee. It consists of silliness, playing as if we are in the same room, and Tessa holding the phone while she flips and turns all around their house making me dizzy. 

I should clarify that what may seem to be fiddle-dee-dee to other people is important stuff to us. 

Thanks to the magic of FaceTime we are for a short time together. We are able to bond. It is an important time for me and for my grandchildren. 

I think about times past when grandparents were separated from their grandchildren for long periods of time with very little communication. I wonder if it was terribly sad for them.

I know I am grateful for modern technology. It can sure brighten up a lonely day and it is definitely not fiddle-dee-dee.
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Saturday, October 7, 2017


How many of you have ever felt discombobulated??  Raise your hand.

Come on. Fess up. I know you have.

Ha!! I knew it. I knew that I wasn't the only one. 

This girl knows exactly how it feels. Hair flying everywhere, while you hang your head over a fence hoping someone will come and pat you on the head and tell you what to do.

Don't you love that word?  

Discombobulated. It so perfectly describes that feeling of confusion that we all feel sometimes. 

You know, when you can't figure out which side is up and which side is down. When you feel like a wilting flower whose petals are slowly dropping off one by one.

Well I am here to tell you that I am in a crisis of discombobulation. 

Maybe crisis is a strong word, but I am definitely feeling like my head is spinning. 

I am trying to do too many things, and in the process I am not accomplishing much. 

This morning I am going to see if I can salvage my booth, because it definitely seems to have crashed and burned. 

After that I am going to have lunch with friends, and then spend some time contemplating the meaning of life figuring out how in the heck to spend my time better in order to supplement my income. 

I think I need an exorcism to drive out Mr. Discombobulation. He's beginning to really annoy me. 
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