F Simple and Serene Living 09 10
Thursday, June 20, 2019


Imagine my surprise when I went out to my garden on Monday afternoon and found this beauty had been hiding under some leaves.

"Well hello beautiful cucumber", I said, while surreptitiously looking around to make sure no one saw me talking to a veg in my garden.  

After I cleared out those diseased leaves from my spaghetti squash plants, it decided it was time to make its presence known. 

I really wanted to put it on display in a place of prominence in my living room, but I figured that might defeat the purpose of the garden, and who knows if there will be any brothers or sisters for it this summer. 

So Tuesday it gave its life for a salad. 

Some spring greens were topped with cubes of cuke (try saying that fast ten times), fresh tomato, and a drizzle of organic salad dressing. 

It was a delicious dinner. 

Wednesday there was a repeat performance with the other half and some added avocado. 

Fresh summer food is the best. 

P.S. Full disclosure. A cucumber was harmed in the making of this blog post. SIGH!!
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Monday, June 17, 2019


I love having my little vegetable garden. I think any type of gardening is relaxing and good for your overall physical and mental well being. Apparently gardeners live longer.

I am learning a lot from the plot that I have this year. I don't think my spot gets a full six hours of sun each day and I think that is affecting its output. 

I am hoping that next year I can get a different spot that has more hours of sun or think about growing veggies that don't require as many hours of sun each day.

Oh look. One small eggplant.

There are five small tomatoes on my two tomato plants. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I will actually get some tomatoes to eat. This past week I added some organic fertilizer so hopefully that will help.

The spaghetti squash went crazy and shot out shoots everywhere. Unfortunately the leaves got dusty mildew, which is apparently common on squash plants, so I cut off all of the affected leaves this morning. I'm hoping that will take care of the problem, but if it doesn't produce I will have to remove it from the garden.

The bell pepper plants are not producing yet. I was looking forward to peppers to add to my eggs in the morning, but that may not happen.

I have one small cucumber. Hooray, and my basil is doing really well. Have to look at the successes no matter how small. 

Well if I can keep the deer, fox, squirrels, and birds away then I may just get something to eat this summer. 

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Thursday, June 13, 2019


Yesterday was a perfect day for a walk. Although it was a little on the humid side, the temperature was seventy and it was overcast.

I have been looking for places near me that have hiking trails, and it is amazing how many there are in Atlanta. 

The problem is the distance of the hiking trails themselves and just how hilly they are.

I've been riding the exercise bike and doing water aerobics, but I haven't done a lot of walking lately. Also, hills are hard on my knees. 

I found a place just down the road from me that said it is easy on knees, not too long, and the path is wide and graveled over. Sounded perfect. 

I pass by the Marcus Autism Center regularly, but I had no idea that there was a hiking trail there. The entrance to the path is hidden at the back of the center, although there is access from a side street as well. It's a good place for people in that neighborhood to walk their dogs. 

I was really impressed with how well maintained it was, and although it isn't a long trail there are some side trails that were a bit too muddy for me to try today, I didn't want to risk sliding down a hill on my rear end. 

I actually parked on the wrong side of the center so that gave me an extra walk. It was a bit hilly, but just enough to give me more of a workout without bothering my knees. 

It was great to get outdoors for awhile. I really like the area I live in. Although it is in Atlanta and has all of the amenities of the city, it doesn't feel like city.

This morning is water aerobics and then this afternoon I am going to take my oldest and youngest grandchildren to the bookstore. It is one of their favorite places. 

I've started to sort through my mom's jewelry and will be selling some of it on Instagram soon. If you like vintage jewelry you might want to watch for it. 

It's good to be busy.

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Saturday, June 8, 2019


After a stretch of hot sunny days we are now having a period of rain. Early this morning I was woken up by the sound of thunder and the swoosh of rain against my bedroom window. Seemed like a good idea to snuggle back down for a few more hours of sleep. 

I love rainy, thundery days. It's a good time to catch up on things and to just settle in for some reading. The forecast is showing rain through Wednesday, so by that time I will definitely be ready to see the sun again. 

I have a feeling all of this rain will cause a lot of growth in my garden. It has already grown so much, but I am hoping that whatever is stealing tomatoes will stop. 

I thought maybe it was a crow after the first small tomato disappeared, because it left me a half of a Fiber One wrapping as a swap. I learned yesterday that we apparently have foxes and deer living in the woods beside me so not sure who the thief is. 

If it continues I'll have to get some netting to see if I can protect my precious tomatoes. I do hope that the woods next to my apartment building aren't destroyed by enterprising builders. It sure is nice to have wildlife in the city of Atlanta. 

My apartment is really coming together. I am pretty much finished with my living room and will start to show it this next week if I can get some decent photos. I may have to wait for a sunnier day. 

Think I'll put the kettle on for a cup of tea. Seems like the perfect day for it. 

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Tuesday, June 4, 2019


Seems that I have done nothing but run around lately. Last week was no exception, including watching Tessa's very first swim meet. 

I love this photo. Tessa is in the middle. I think they are all three adorable. They won 1st in their relay and Tessa won second in her other two events. So proud of her.

After all of the running around I decided to stay at home for three days. It was nice to just enjoy my new apartment. 

Today I was back at it. Tuesday is one of my water aerobics days, and even though I had a sore muscle in my leg, which started yesterday I decided it wasn't going to hold me back. So glad I went because it seemed to work the pain out. 

After class I decided to drop into Pike Family Nurseries across the road because I needed to get a couple of stakes for the eggplant plants in my garden. While there I couldn't resist this sweet plant with its pink and green leaves. 

The succulent that I had in this pot never really recovered from the move so I was ready to trash it. This is much prettier.

The library is less than a mile from there and as I have been wanting to get a library card so I can start reading again, I decided this would be a good day for it. 

I decided to catch up on some Susan Wittig Albert books.I love the China Bayles series, but the Darling Dahlias books are really my favorites. 

I really wanted the new Jacqueline Winspear book but I am 27th on the waiting list for that so I am going to have to be patient. Patience is not one of my strong points. SIGH!!!

The white hydrangeas are even more beautiful than ever, although for some reason the photos I took of them didn't turn out. I'll have to try again on those. 

Although I couldn't get a good picture of those, I did find this little blue hydrangea bush hiding out by the path into the woods.

Love the color.

Time to dive into one of my books. Hope you have a great day.

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Thursday, May 30, 2019


Someone asked me the other day what I did in water aerobics, and my response was oh, I basically just flail about. 

At least that is what I feel like, that I and about thirty other older people are doing for one hour. 

This is much prettier than a photo of me in a swimsuit

Yes, we have an instructor who stands by the pool and shows us exercises to do, but when you translate those exercises into things we can do in the pool, I imagine that it isn't pretty from where he is standing. 

Nevertheless, I know I am getting a workout because I am exhausted when I get home. 

I seem to be flailing about with other things too. I finally found some curtains for my living room window. Who knew it would be so hard to find light beige 95" curtains. I searched online for several days and then Saturday I schlepped over to the Pottery Barn in Lenox Square to purchase some that I had found online. 

I know it was at least 300 degrees outside so by the time I found a place to park, walked through the mall, and walked down the stairs at the Pottery Barn I was ready to take anything.

Apparently I did just take anything, because after reversing everything I did in the previous paragraph, but carrying a heavy bag, when I got them home they were too long (96") and the wrong color. 

Definitely flailing about. 

The next day was another 300 degree day, but I set out anyway to return the drapes. There was a Bed, Bath, and Beyond nearby so I decided to go there. There they were, the exact boring light beige curtains I was looking for on sale, 95", and I had a coupon for an extra 20% off. 

Ahhh shade!!

Not flailing about as badly that day.

Now I am waiting for Joseph to come and hang them for me. Joseph and Ben are the maintenance men here and they have been so helpful hanging things for me. I of course have done all of the pictures myself, but I needed someone to hang my plate rack, a couple of things in the kitchen, and my curtain rods because no one wants me to hang from the ceiling. 

It won't be long before I can start to share photos of my new place. 

Even with all of the flailing about, I love it.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2019


I was really tired last night after a long day. It started out early in the morning for my first water aerobics class.

I had stopped by LA Fitness the day before to sign up and to get a schedule of their classes. Of course water aerobics is at 9 am. 

I left my house a little after 8 because I needed to exchange the lock I had gotten to lock up my personal belongings. I don't know what I was thinking when I got a lock the day before. The numbers were so small I couldn't read them even with my glasses on. I definitely would not have been able to read them when I got out of the pool. 

Fortunately Target is on the way to the fitness center and once I got a lock that I could actually read I was on my way.

I was a little nervous about the class because it had been over 10 years since I had even been in a pool. 

WOW, the class was packed and I loved it, but I didn't realize how much an hour of water aerobics would tire me out. My legs felt like wet noodles when I got out. I was surprised that the stationary bike riding I have been doing hadn't built up my legs more.

I had some errands to run in the afternoon so by last night I was really tired and I was in bed and asleep in minutes at 10.

At 3 in the morning I was woken up by an alarm. Uh oh. There was a fire in an apartment on my floor and the hall was smoke filled. YIKES!!!

All I could think of was what in the world was someone doing that started a fire in the middle of the night. This is a smoke free building so maybe they were sneaking a cigarette or they were cooking in their sleep. 

Thank goodness it didn't get any further than their apartment, but we had to move to the stairwell for 30 minutes while the many firemen cleared the halls. I was so tired I actually went right back to sleep.

At eight this morning my phone beeped. The girl who was buying a rug from me was an hour early. Thank goodness I was already awake, sort of, and got myself downstairs to take her to my car to get the rug. She said it is going to be used in a horror film. I don't watch horror movies so I will never see it. 

Since I was already up and downstairs I rode the bike for 20 minutes and made an Aldi run. I now plan to be lazy for the rest of the day.

Tomorrow it starts all over. Water aerobics at 9, but hopefully no more fires.

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Saturday, May 18, 2019


Saturday morning traditionally means farmer's market to me, so today I ventured out to find one nearby. 

Thank goodness for GPS or I would probably be lost somewhere and would never have made it to the market. 

Gotta love the spelling

Google maps likes to take you by the closest route, which often takes you on side roads. Today was no different and as I wove through new to me neighborhoods I thought about the variety of life in the Atlanta area. 

I was heading to the Brookhaven Farmer's Market which is less than 3 miles from me. 

I consider it to be early in the season, but I was surprised by the local produce that was already on display.

I knew that it was late for strawberries here, but I was able to get in on the last weekend and buy a quart. Next year I will know to get out a little earlier in the season. Fresh local grown strawberries are my favorite, and I will definitely be enjoying mine. 

I remember when I was a child and my mom would make strawberry jam from the strawberries we got from my Aunt and Uncle's farm. I can still remember the smell and taste of that jam to this day.

I also love peaches. What would summer be without them, and I was so happy to see that they were being sold already. Yum!! I'll be sinking my teeth into this one later today.

Fresh picked green beans and some delicious chicken salad rounded out my purchases this morning. 

I love summertime. 

Oh, and look what is popping out on one of my tomato plants.

Can't wait to have some of my own homegrown veggies. 

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Wednesday, May 15, 2019


Sunday was definitely one of the best Mothers Days I have had in a very long time. Looking back I realized it had been 25 years since I had spent Mothers Day with my oldest daughter Cary and 16 years since I had spent it with my other daughter Katy. 

Yes, there were always gifts or flowers along with phone calls and later Facetime, but we were never in the same place on that special day. 

This year that all changed and I have never been happier. 

Cary was treated to a delicious breakfast by her husband and children, so we went out late in the morning for brunch. It was just me and my girls, and along with amazing gluten free food, mine was eggs benedict, we had a chance to just sit and talk.

We ate at a restaurant and bakery in their neighborhood that is strictly gluten free. I love it there. It is described as rustic and chic and as we are all three gluten free it is a perfect place for us. It's called Mediterranea and if you are ever in Grant Park and love amazing gluten free, healthy food you should definitely try it.

After brunch we went back to Cary's home to meet up with her husband and Tessa. They have season tickets to the Atlanta United soccer team games and there was a game that afternoon. Jack Henry can't maneuver all of the steps at the stadium and I'm not sure how much Sidney likes going to the games so they nicely gave up their tickets to Katy and I. 

I loved it. Along with over 68,000 other fans, and yes I am definitely a fan now, I spent the afternoon cheering for our team to win, and they didn't let us down. 

When we left the stadium it had started to rain, but I wasn't about to let that spoil the day. As we hurried back to the car that is when it happened. As I reached over to help Tessa put up her umbrella, I took a step and there was a step down off of a curb that I didn't see. I tried to catch myself, but my momentum was too great and I sprawled out on the pavement. 

Ugh, all I could think of was please don't let me have broken something. A very nice man who was behind me helped me up and I appeared to be okay. I didn't feel like too much of a klutz when another  woman who was close behind me did the same thing. She was lucky not to go all the way down though. 

I feel really lucky that I didn't break something. I'm sore and have a few bruises along with a bit of a goose egg on my forehead (although I didn't even realize I had hit my head), but I am really counting my blessings. 

It really was the best of days, even with an oops. 

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Friday, May 10, 2019


I can't figure out what happens to Monday through Thursday. It seems like it is always Friday and the weekend is upon us once again.

I don't remember that happening when I was working. Back then weekdays seemed to drag on forever. 

As you know if you read my blog regularly I recently moved from an independent senior apartment in Kentucky to one in Atlanta. I had to meet with the on sight social worker this week. Apparently it is mandatory here. 

She was very sweet and had a number of questions for me to answer. They ranged from questions about my health, (she seemed to be perturbed that I wasn't in worse health, and was excited to punch in mild cataracts). questions about my relationship with my daughters (am I welcome at their homes anytime? Ummm I have yet to test that out, but I am not one to show up on their doorsteps on a daily basis. I value my life.), to the question of do I have a special friend (am I an kindergarten?).

I left feeling like I needed to take an online test of my apparently dwindling cognitive abilities. 

Then yesterday I decided to drop by the Sprint store to upgrade my data to unlimited. I have quickly used up my data using GPS in Atlanta. As my mental faculties are quickly on the decline I am in terrible danger of losing my way while cruising around Atlanta and having to call up said daughters to give me a ride to "the home". No one wants that to happen.

The nice young man who helped me suggested I call into Sprint customer service where, because I am over 55, I could get the unlimited plan for $10 less. I am never one to turn up my nose at $10 off a month so I hurried home and quickly put in the call. 

A very confident woman informed me that according to my social security number I wasn't over 55. Ummmm!!! WHAT??? How can you tell how old I am based on my social security number? Is there a secret code embedded in there that I don't know about? 

I guess my mental status has declined so much that I no longer know my age. After a couple of minutes arguing with her she said not to worry she could give me the same price as the old person's plan (okay, she didn't actually use those words, but I could feel the pity oozing through the phone). If they offer that plan why don't they just come out and say so. 

Now I am worried that my iphone 7 is getting ready to kick the bucket so I am sending up prayers.

Please Lord, don't make me have to call that woman back again. There is no telling what age I will be if that happens.

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