F Simple and Serene Living: July 2017 09 10
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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Wednesday, July 12, 2017


I have a new neighbor. Well, to be honest it isn't really an entirely new neighbor, it is a neighbor that has moved into a new and better home.

I love Whole Foods, and I am loving that is is still five minutes from where I live and that it has doubled in size. 

We have a new shopping and dining center called the Summit at Fritz Farm. It is very upscale and Whole Foods opened there a couple of weeks ago. 

Salad anyone?

I haven't walked the shopping area yet, but I did want to check out Whole Foods as my cupboards were getting pretty bare. 

To be honest, I can't afford to do all of my shopping there, but I do love their selection of Kombucha teas.

There are a lot of pros and cons out there about Kombucha, but it really helps my digestion.

There are lots of baked goods. I generally pass those by as I am gluten free, but they looked delicious, and let's face it, who doesn't want to eat cake.

The fruits and vegetables looked wonderful, but for the most part I passed those up too, as I am trying to buy local over the summer.

I think I'm going to stop in tomorrow after physical therapy to try one of their smoothies for lunch.

What is Mochi premium ice cream? 

Apparently it is a confection made from Japanese mochi (pounded sticky rice) with an ice cream filling. Hmmmm!! Have you ever heard of it? Have you tried it?

I chickened out, but I know my curiosity is going to get the better of me soon. 

I am really looking forward to checking out more of the Summit, but it is soooo hot here right now that I haven't had the energy to walk outside. 

Soon though, and then I'll share it with you.

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Monday, July 3, 2017


One of my friends messaged me yesterday to see if I was okay because I haven't posted in two weeks. 

I wanted to reply that getting old is not for sissies. 

It seems that it is always something these days. 

I have been going to physical therapy for my knee and that was getting better, but then a couple of weeks ago I started having a BAD toothache. 

I went to the student dental clinic where I have all of my dental work done and the young man I saw said my tooth was dying. 

Well hello, we all have to go sometime was my thought.

I spent the next ten days suffering through failed root canals and finally telling them if they didn't get that tooth out of my mouth I was going to go home and sterilize the pliers in my toolbox. 

The tooth is gone. It was the back molar and I don't think I will miss it. In the meantime I have had to do a bit of recovery and I missed my physical therapy appointment on Friday. 

Not having PT on my knee for almost a week has caused it to flair up some again. 


That's life.

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P.S. Have a great fourth.
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