how are you?






You know it's not fair. You guys know so much about me and I know virtually nothing about you. Of course I don't share everything about my life but believe it or not, I share most of it.  You know for instance my profession, where I live, what I eat and how I spend my money.  You know I walk, hike and do yoga.  You have seen every corner of my home. You know of some of my challenges in life too.

Living temporarily in Utah poses problems that are piled on top of my regular challenges, so while it is beautiful here and we both feel it's what we need and want to do, some days are stressful.  I kick myself for not bringing more clothing here.  We are still trying to get our house paid off so spending money on clothes I already own is frustrating. Being away from family and friends is harder than I thought it'd be.  Some days the isolation up here can drive a person nuts.  Knowing adult children are struggling, the worst.  And no matter how organized and careful I try to be, things still go wrong. But overall I'm ok and like the quote up there states, even with problems, life is pretty amazing right? This morning I'm wondering how you are? Do you argue with your spouse?  I do.  Do you argue with your children? Yes.  Are finances a challenge?  Uh huh. What about health issues? Are you happy where you are living?  I would really love to know more about you.  x

224 comments

  1. Janet, I think we may be in the same mood today...a little melancholy, a little lonely, but grateful and content. Yes, yes,yes, being away from family and friends is extremely hard. I'm so happy to be closer to my side of the family since we moved, but I do miss my in-laws and my friends. Oh, and I miss my boys terribly! I pray every day that they will come down here for good. I don't really see it happening, but I pray for it. They are both struggling with things right now, very big things, and I feel helpless watching them in pain....it IS the worst. I think back to something you said to me a long time ago and it still helps me today. ♥

    Chad...he's my hero, but we argue. He's my best friend and teaches me daily how to be a better person. I love the south for many reasons, but I also hate the south for many reasons. I'm becoming bored and need to find my place here and find something to do, for me. A shop? It is much easier for us to save money here, especially because we bought a foreclosed house, but I do spend too much money at the plant store! So, finances are just as much of a challenge here as back home. But bigger and more is not the way people live here in this small town.

    Besides family and friends, I'm trying to surround myself with happy simple things ..... flowers, home, gardens, intimate dinners, meeting people, travelling, baking, reading, candlelight at night, long baths, writing.....this is pretty much my life right now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks for sharing sarah. we have SO much in common. i love that you know what things make you happy and that you are surrounding yourself in them. even though they are small things, i think that is so important. your blog is wonderfully written and a source of peace for me and i'm sure many others. x

      Delete
  2. I adore your blog! I bought my first dress from eshakti because you turned me onto that website! Yes, I argue with my husband, and children. Especially my ten year old. He seems to have discovered his teenage attitude and I LOATHE where I live. North of the bay area, south of Sacramento. I would love to be up in the San Juan Islands of Washington...just have to convince the hubs. :-) Nice to meet you and thank you for the inspiration! P.S. Sounds like you might need a road trip home for a few days!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you for sharing holly. i hope you like your eshakti dress. i didn't bring one with me because i really didn't think i'd be here this long. i'm sorry you hate where you live, that is so hard esp when the whole world says to bloom where you are planted. i guess we never know what the future holds for us but if the SJ islands are your dream then it can happen. when i met sarah up above (read her blog if you aren't) she had a dream of moving and made it a reality. it can happen!

      Delete
  3. Hubby and I have been married for 45 years. ( I am 63 and Hubby is 65--married at 18 and 20) We have four great kids (two sons and two daughters) and three beautiful granddaughters. We have had a life of adventure, to say the least! We obtained degrees and advanced degrees ourselves, made many moves over many states and to Germany once to live, put four children though college, who are independent and gainfully employed. I got through breast cancer at age 48.

    Then in 2008, we were hit with a boatload of financial troubles, the perfect storm really, during the financial crisis that hit so many. (Business imploded, home would not sell etc. etc.) Long story short--we lost everything. Starting over as we did (in Minneapolis, which we love) was a true test of our faith in God and our commitment to our marriage and each other. But goodness, it was stressful.

    We had always been frugal, but now we live more simply than ever, and I must say, very happily. We have miraculously recovered (although the pain of all that loss still smarts at times) and take nothing for granted. Things and possessions can always be replaced, but not the people we love and care about. Janet, bless you for what you and your husband are doing in Utah.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you for sharing isabella. my friend faux fuchsia told me once that nobody has it all and she is right. sometimes it may look like it on the outside but rarely is it the case. i'm so glad you pulled through 2008 (we barely did too) with a new commitment to simplicity and the vow to never take anything for granted. that was our experience too!

      Delete
  4. We are located in Atlanta and planning on retiring in 23 months to return to California - probably Los Angeles if, hopefully, my FIL is still living. One son at each end of the state. After 18 years here it will be a big change but not as huge as the move from there was for us. Lots of family and we really need that again - a big plus mostly although some family members are continuously stressful and/or struggling in some way. What you are doing is an inspiration for us.

    Janet, could someone ship you some of your clothing? I would imagine it could be done for less that buying new items.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you for sharing juhli. exciting that you are planning on coming home. i can only imagine how excited you must be. we have to do what feels right to us. i hear you about stressful family situations - so hard! yes, i can have some things shipped if i need to. i really do have plenty here and letting things like clothing bother me really does me no good. some days i can get a little dramatic. :)

      Delete
  5. I love living on the NC coast, the ocean feeds my soul! I love that my 2 children are grown, healthy and educated, also well employed. :) I am expecting my first grandchild in Sept and look so forward to that. I am a retired art teacher from our public school system and now do free lance commissions. All this is wonderful and I am so blessed. However, 3 years ago I lost my husband way too early. Need I say more? Make the most of every minute with your loved ones. xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks for sharing dianne. your life sounds so wonderful but i'm so sorry about the loss of your husband, that must be so hard. and what a great lesson to make the most of our time with loved ones. i can take them for granted at times. thanks for bringing that to my attention.

      Delete
  6. It must be so tough for you and I really feel for you, Juanita. Isolation and loneliness are the worst.
    Us? We'll never be rich, vintage selling is never going to make us millionaires and doing a job you love means we put our all into each day we're working and it absolutely exhausts us but we're happy doing what we're doing. We bicker rather than argue, you want to hear us pitching a tent when the rain is lashing down and its blowing a gale.
    Juhli's idea of having some of you clothing posted to you is a great idea. A girl needs her wardrobe. xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks for sharing vix. i think you are one of the richest couples i've ever "virtually" met. your lives are filled to the brim ea day of things you love. your blog is one of the most inspiring blogs i read and i mean that. even though our lives are quite different you remind me (through your example) to keep doing what i love to do. your commitment to living authentically is awesome. anyone reading here that has not read your blog should go now and read!

      Delete
  7. Writing this from a place of weariness today. We have recently completed (supposedly) our first adult move with our two young kids in tow. It has me feeling unsettled and uncomfortable in my own skin. We have been in the new house for ten weeks now and it still feels like someone else's home. Adjusting to a new bedroom with hard floors, a bathtub that doesn't fit quite right and a backyard that was clearly the domain of two HUGE dogs has me feeling off kilter. The move was driven by all good things. A solid career move for my husband into a neighborhood with excellent schools for our kids. But I keep finding myself yearning for the familiar. Searching for a familiar face at the grocery store when I'm out running errands. Wishing we had friends that we could meet up with at the park or ride bikes with in the street. Trying to figure out how to put my mind at ease so that it in turn will put my body at ease. School starts soon and I am hopeful that this will be the window to starting to rebuild the relationships we had before. For it's not the home I'm missing, but the community.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you for sharing margie. i'm sorry you are feeling off kilter - boy can i relate. i think the key for you will be when school starts. many many years ago when L and i moved from the area we both grew up in to a new area to raise our kids it was an awful feeling. i knew no one and felt so out of place. i thought we had made the worst mistake of our lives...until school started. it wasn't long before our oldest who was starting 1st grade met a friend and in turn his mom became my best friend. her name was janet too.:) anyway, like i mentioned above, we never know what the future holds for us, we just have to trust that all will be ok. good luck and keep me posted. x

      Delete
  8. I've told you before how much I love your blog. You are such an inspiration to me. I live on Cape Cod and don't get to see my family from the Midwest very often so I struggle at times with loneliness. I also struggle with my weight and my diabetes. I eat plant based except for occasionally eating cheese. I wish I could find a good substitute but so far haven't. I argue with my husband too at times and also daydream about moving to London. I admire you for spending this time with your FIL. You will never regret it. Though I must admit I miss seeing pictures of your home and I still wish you would write a book. We would all buy it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you tina for sharing and your compliments. to me living on cape cod sounds like a dream but not getting to see family must be hard. i'm glad you are eating plant based b/c of the diabetes. i'm working on my FIL's diet b/c he is pre-diabetic. living in london would be so fun but it is so expensive there! i miss my home too and look at pictures to keep me connected to it. is that weird? probably lol...

      Delete
  9. Janet, first let me say that I absolutely love your blog. It is lovely! I live in San Antonio Texas. We moved here almost 8 years ago. I have to say that I struggle almost daily with living here. The biggest and worse issue being the weather. There are not four seasons and that has been a really depressing thing for me. And the Summer heat - heat indexes up to 115 for 30-60 days straight - is just unbearable. I have health issues that don't allow me to work and being stuck inside most of the time here brings on depression.

    Aside from that I try to focus on the good things in my life. My husband is absolutely my best friend. I have a little dog "Mister" McConaughey who is my heart and soul. He keeps me company on the really hard days. Life can bring so many challenges and hard times to us all it seems. It helps me to focus on the simple things. Cooking when I can. Music. Reading. Classic Movies. And I must say meditation is my saving grace.

    Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers during your time in Utah with your FIL. What a beautiful thing you and your husband are giving to him. And what an absolutely gorgeous state to spend time in!

    Have a most blessed day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks for sharing belinda. i think someone who is used to the 4 distinct seasons would have a hard time with only 1. and esp if that season is summer. i even struggle at home towards the end of summer, i'm like enough! that is one of the best things about being here, the weather. the weather is glorious, i can hardly believe it doesn't get unbearably hot. you can do things in the middle of the day like hike! at home it isn't possible. you are so lucky to have your husband as your best friend. what a gift that is in and of itself. you truly are blessed!

      Delete
  10. I have been a quiet reader of your blog for ages,
    I enjoy it so much,, I really do, you are so refreshingly honest its a joy to see your new posts come up. I have read them all,

    its such a generous and loving thing your doing right now, I know it has its sacrifices,
    I agree , have someone mail some of your clothes, thats a great idea,
    my husband and I sold our home outside the city when he became ill, I am going blind from a closed head brain trauma, I cannot drive anymore so moving to ton was a must, we have settled fine for the most part, we bicker and spat a little but for the most part all is good, he is retired early, I have worked as an artist from home for the last years before my sight gave up, before that I was a cook on a remote Island on the Great Lakes, for a wealthy family at their summer estate, thats where I fell on the rocks and was injured,
    we certainly know what its like to be frugal, we always have, I was a stay at home mum,
    after my accident things were even tighter but we survived, some days happier than others, so it goes, I still try to paint, changing things as I go to adapt to less vision, I started blogging a while back because its something I always wanted to do, my time is limited before my sight leaves me completely so I am trying to achieve some goals,
    thank you for asking about your commenters lives, it shows how much you truly care,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you for sharing laurie. i must say after reading your comment i'm truly humbled. i think my blog was just born after this comment! i'm so so sorry to hear about your accident. i'm so inspired by your joy for life and the desire to achieve your goals. you remind me of my friend Melinda. i feel so blessed to know your story. thank you.

      Delete
  11. Janet, I love your openness. So here goes: I love where I live, I love and adore my husband of 53 years, our health is excellent, our creative work together stimulating. We disagree sometimes, nothing serious, laugh a lot, worry together about things and try not to. We have presently some significant concerns, financial and family. We're like you, being outdoors and being active. Responding to nature is our great comfort and our joy. You are always inspiring and always honest. Love that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you for sharing swissy. your life sounds quite lovely. i love that you both share the joy of the outdoors to put problems in perspective. we do too...more than ever.

      Delete
  12. My husband and I are from the Midwest but have relocated to the Plains. The biggest adjustments are that I no longer work as an elementary teacher, and we have no family near us at all. We have two adult daughters, one in California and one in Indiana. We recently moved into our tenth home in 35 years. The house is beautiful, but I have no energy or desire to decorate. Our beloved 12 1/2 year old shepherd mix died in the middle of selling our previous home, so my first purchase for the new home was a Golden Retriever puppy named Eleanor. Needless to say, I feel as though I am a new mother. The house is a wreck and I'm sleep deprived, but for me a house isn't a home without a dog. Since I'm a pragmatic decorator (which is to say not really a decorator at all), I'm going with Eleanor's fur as my new color palette. ; )

    I've always wanted to live in a historic or vintage home with all of the character and charm. Since it hasn't happened, I live my dream vicariously through blogs such as yours. In fact, yours was the first blog I found and one of the very few I continue to receive by email. It's nice to see beautiful photos, but it's the content/writing that I find engaging. Plus, you are just really cool and classy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you for sharing rebecca and me cool and classy?! thank you.

      i would love to come decorate! what a joy that would be. i'm so glad you have eleanor, it sounds like she was the perfect accessory for your new home. :) thank you for your lovely compliments!

      Delete
  13. I live in northeastern PA close to the Poconos. As I have mentioned before, I am a widow for 3 yrs. now. My husband & I ran a small retail shop for 18 yrs. after he lost his job with a big corporation due to downsizing. Before that I was a stay at home mom. We didn't have any definite plans for retirement until we found out that a small log cabin on a lovely trout stream & woods was for sale & it was next door to our youngest son & his family. Because it was 40 miles from our shop, we decided retirement was best. We made an offer, but 3 weeks after our closing my husband passed away unexpectedly of a massive stroke. I owned the cabin, our house was on the market, as well as our commercial property. I felt like I landed on my head, but God is good & He has seen me through this awful time. I still haven't sold my commercial property, so that is my major financial stress, but I feel I was given the perfect property for me even though I thought I would share it with my hubby. He was my best friend, but yes, we argued just like normal people do. We just didn't let things go for long. He always made me feel good about myself & I felt he was my biggest cheerleader. The thing that is the hardest with him gone is knowing that no one on this earth will ever love me as much as he did.

    I have 2 grown sons & 9 grandsons, so it's a male world I live in! But I grew up with 2 brothers, & I honestly love boys. On a personal level I have to constantly fight not to fall into the "pity party", but I have a strong faith which keeps me well grounded. I am almost 70 & have learned so much about myself as I age. For example, my way of dealing with depression is to keep busy...I love projects. So on the positive side, I get a lot accomplished. I love gardening & try to make the most of our nice weather. I also have an antique booth in a local antique mall...I just couldn't stay away from retail I guess.

    I think one reason I love your blog Janet is that you are so open about your life. When we were in retail, I always felt like we lived in a fish bowl. We got to know our customers well & they knew everything about us. When my husband died, I received more support than I could have ever imagined. People really are good for the most part. They not only allowed me to cry, but they all cried with me.

    Anita ~ the cabin on the creek

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you for sharing anita. yours is such a lovely story. one of the things you said really touched me. i've always known that no matter how angry i get at L, no one would ever love me like he does.:)

      i'm so glad you are sorting through all your real estate issues and and how lucky you are to live in that "male world" i've beein living in that world for 35 years! you are so blessed to have 9 grandsons! i bet they adore you.

      x

      Delete
  14. i'm a simple gal who wears pearls most every day and live in the sacramento area. my husband is my best friend - we've been married 27 years (known one another since age 12, 45 years back now). we have one child, a daughter age 25 who we haven't seen since march 2012 when we lost her to a 'cult.' we love and miss her terribly but at this point hold no hope of restoring relationship. some days are full and wonderful - other days i struggle. there are other parents in our shoes, same 'cult.' our dog is a constant source of sweetness - evelyn, a 10 year old english cream golden retriever. and... we are part of a large nation wide group of vintage trailer aficionados who gather together regularly in our own areas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. back to share that yes indeedy my husband and i argue. but rarely anymore .. thankfully. we have enough stress with our daughter situation.

      Delete
    2. Sherry I adore you, honest, authentic, pure and good!
      You are so loved.

      Xx
      Dore

      Delete
    3. thank you for sharing sherry. i admire that you are pushing on through life and actually wearing pearls while i know your heart is broken. this is no easy feat as i well know. wishing hope and peace through your journey. x

      Delete
  15. I am an australian who turned 60 recently. I am about to leave a long term emotionally abusive marriage that isolated me. Reading middle aged womens blogs -including yours janet - has really helped me over the last few years. I feel so confident about the future even though I will be starting over with very little
    Janey

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janey, my daughter left a 28 year emotionally and verbally abusive marriage a few years ago. She, too, has had to start over with very little financial help from the ex. She willingly gave up the large beautiful home in order to get away from the abuse. She now lives in a cottage which she absolutely adores, and enjoys the peace and quietness.
      Janey, just sharing this with the hope that it might encourage you as you leave the abusive situation. May God bless and guide you.

      Janet, I, too, really enjoy your blog. It was one of the first that I discovered a few years ago, and has continued to be one of my favorites! Rhoda

      Delete
    2. Janey and Rhoda .. someone very dear to me is experiencing this same thing .. though she's in her eighties. such heartache and difficult days for many. gentle hugs...

      Delete
    3. thank you for sharing janey. from the lovely comments you leave me on my blog i would never have guessed you were dealing with such heartache. you are strong, brave and kind. you may be starting over with few material things but you will have your self respect. please keep in touch and thank you again for sharing. x

      Delete
  16. Hi Janet!

    I love your blog, and enjoy catching up with you through it! One of the big take aways for me from reading your blog is that simple is better, in all aspects of daily life.

    How interesting it is that I feel as though I know you, could say as closely as a friend, and you don't know me at all! I work with a woman who reminds me of you, isn't that funny?

    I am a mother of two teenagers, a boy and a girl. My husband and I are very wrapped up in their lives, their sports, their schools, the college search...It is fun, and busy, and I know these days will be over quickly.

    I am a Montessori teacher and I work with young kids ages 3-6 years, I love my work. I also like to paint, and do it when i have time, mostly summers. Someday I'd love to devote my time to artwork professionally, but that always seems scary and potentially not as enjoyable.

    I am closing in on 50, yet inside I feel like I'm more like 34. That is a strange phenomenon, feeling much younger than the actual age on my driver's license tells me. I'm not sure if that is a middle aged thing, or because I work with young children and families, but it can leave me feeling disconnected, or like I straddle a couple generations. Hard to explain.

    Thanks for the opportunity to share a bit of myself with you!

    Kristin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you for sharing kristin. your life sounds wonderfully busy and fun. you are right, it does pass quickly. i'm glad to hear that you are almost 50 yet feel 34. i too feel much younger than my age...except first thing in the am:)
      i'm straddling a couple generations at the moment too so i know how you feel. x

      Delete
  17. Hi Janet! I just pressed something by accident and my comment was gone so I'm starting again. I wrote to you from the south bay on the Fourth of July. No, I don't like living here. I don't care for the people. I find many of them to be soulless and fake, especially in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Children here use dirty language like it's normal. I have lived in many places in the world and am appalled by the way children behave here. I lived in Winston-Salem, NC for 10 years before moving to CA and miss it very much. The space, privacy, and hospitality that Southerner's respectfully show others is something I very much miss after living amongst nosy, in-your-face, "entitled", and unfriendly Californians. I spent every Thanksgiving down in Charleston, SC. If I do retire in the US, I will probably choose to live in Charleston,SC or close to Savannah, GA. Yes, I do a lot of arguing with the guy I married. A couple years ago, I found out he has been unfaithful for a long time. I haven't had sexual relations with him in 24 years and very glad I have not. He was forced to declare bankruptsy after making a lot of despicable decisions, like supporting a whore and her two kids while using $55k from his credit cards to do so. He told me he wants to be a better husband, doesn't want a divorce, and would like to have sex "with love". I laughed at him. I don't know when I will file for divorce, before or after his bankruptsy. No, I have never argued with my son. I know that sounds strange but it's true. My son lives in London and he's a wonderful man. Take care Janet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks for sharing anon. i've been to SF quite a few times visiting but have never lived there. i know visiting somewhere is nothing like actually living there. sorry you've encountered so many rude people. i'm sorry too that you are in a difficult relationship. i hope you come to the right decision and find peace. you are blessed to have a wonderful son. x

      Delete
    2. Thank you so much Janet! Your taking the time to respond to my comment and all of the comments from these beautiful women, your readers, is beyond generous. I was heartbroken when I learned of the double life my spouse has been leading. I went into a severe depression and wanted to end my life. Nothing helped me until one day I was lucky enough to watch The Lady in Number 6:Music Saved My Life on Netflix. Alice Hertz-Sommer, Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, and Zdenka Fantlova's words brought me right out of my depression. Especially Zdenka Fantlova's (when I was 18 yrs old, I visited Auschwitz and actually saw Zdenka's suitcase there.) I'm not to the point yet of, as Zdenka stated, "I feel if during the lifetime we find somebody who can walk with us part of the way, then we are already lucky (Anita Lasker-Wallfisch joins in to say, "Very lucky"). Until it comes to a crossroad, then he's gone, so one should be grateful for the time that person was with you, walking with you, part of the life, and say thank you." I hope to be there someday. Much love and best wishes to you Janet, and your beautiful readers.

      Delete
  18. I am completely humbled and in awe of each and every one of the previous commenters, by your openness as well, Janet. What amazing people. My husband and I (we met in 2005, married in 2009), separately and together, are intimate with struggle, especially after 9/11. But after eight arduous years in Idaho (#1 being the people, #2 the ever-lengthening winters), we have found peace in our little corner of Texas, as of last October. We feel grateful every day to have the house we have, the neighbors, the neighborhood, the people in general (minus their mad hatter driving). We each have our own tales of woe, but consider ourselves extremely lucky to have found one another. As an artist, I dreamed of having the kind of relationship I envisioned between Alexander Calder and his wife. Miraculously, I found it. This man is the best of human beings. And now I have a dream home I never actually dreamed about. Like so many others, we worked very hard for it. We had no idea how it would work out (bought sight unseen), after we watched three other windows of opportunity close as we went through the process of building our resources. It all worked out, beautifully. Now the challenge is to hang on to it all. In the meantime, we count our blessings. Honored to meet you all, Ardith

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you for sharing ardith. i'm so happy to hear that things worked out all on their own re your home. i have to remind myself that if i just leave a situation alone it oftentimes works out better than if i interfere. your story is a perfect example of that. what a blessing that you and your husband found each other.

      Delete
    2. Ardith, If you don't mind me asking what was it about the people in Idaho that you found challenging? The reason I ask is that my Dad was from Idaho (Payette) and my sister and her husband retired and moved to Boise about 6 years ago. I'm going up to visit very soon, I haven't been in 35 years. So I just had to ask! :)

      Linda

      Delete
  19. What a brilliant idea! I love your blog and its conversational nature, so I suppose it is my turn to share a bit!
    I am a 51 year old, mother to three sons (22,20 & 17) and happily married to my husband for 29 years. Our middle son has Down syndrome and I understand what it is like to care for someone. My education is in nursing and it has served me well all these years. I seriously respect the choices you are making and hope you can come home soon.
    Over the years, with your inspiration, I have been more thoughtful in my purchases and trimmed out the excesses that don't bring joy. Simpler is better. Always classic.
    Best Wishes,
    Kathy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. kathy thank you for sharing. it sounds like we have a lot in common. :) i'm so glad you have gotten something from this blog. that makes me v v happy. x

      Delete
  20. Turnabout is fair play, eh?! Love your blog. I am a lawyer in Chicago, with a husband (lawyer too) and 2 kids. I love being a mom but have to admit really enjoy the kids more as they are getting older (am I allowed to say that?!). I'm kind of bored in my job right now but before I totally jump ship am trying to figure out if adding more extra curriculars in my life will do the trick. I love love living in Chicago, but will always dream of NYC. One day....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks for sharing rcb. i too enjoyed my kids as they were older. they were the best years of my life! i've only been to chicago once but it was so cool. i adored the old homes. hope your dreams of nyc come true. x

      Delete
    2. also, wanted to say i miss being on IG and seeing your outfits.

      Delete
  21. hi AJJ.
    i just turned 70 years old in june. and yet most days i feel anywhere between 12 and 30.
    i have been a widow now far longer than i was married. i married the love of my life when i was 19 and he was 29.
    i lived with him a year before that. he was movie star handsome. and funny. and had the most beautiful soul.
    he died of throat cancer at the age of 43. i dated some years afterward. but i never found anyone that i loved more than i did him. he just stole my heart forever.

    i live in the middle of the country in tornado alley. about 20 miles from oklahoma city. he was a landscape architect ... and had his own company. i used to beg him to move somewhere else. i grew up near mountains and the sea.
    now he's gone.
    i could move but i don't. i have no family other than my beloved brother whom i call 'the marine.' he lives in the same town i do.
    we eat out together and are very close. he lost his own wife to cancer too... about 3 years ago.

    i could leave here now. but i just don't. i guess i would miss the marine too much.

    i am a fellow minimalist. i have followed your blog for a long time. i live a small elegant life in an apartment that used to be a marriott property executive hotel suite. i live upstairs. trees all around me. i call my little apartment 'the wren house.'

    i don't always comment. but i ALWAYS read every post of yours. i have subscribed so i don't miss any.
    i think you're an exceptional person.

    i also think it's maybe time your father in law re-thinks his own position. if he's going to get better and can live on his own ... that's one thing. you've never said much about why you're there.
    but... if there is no end in sight to his present predicament... and...
    if he expects you and your husband to give up the rest of your lives just so he doesn't have to stop living there....
    that's rather selfish and sad for everybody. just sayin'. and i'm sure i probably shouldn't have even said that much!!!!
    so i apologize in advance! :)
    like ardith says in her comment before me ... it's an honor to know you dear AJJ. xoxoxo♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tammy, what a sweet love story you shared. Brought tears to my eyes. I'm sorry you lost your husband at such a young age. I can't imagine.
      Claudia

      Delete
    2. tammy j,
      I will probably post my little resume later, but also had to send you a quick note - Your love story also made me read your comment twice. Makes me think there are good and right things in the world. I'm so sorry you lost him, but so happy you were together as long as you were. Thank you for sharing. Lor

      Delete
    3. oh ladies. how kind.
      what a wonderful little community we have here.
      it warms my heart.
      as does always this blog and its lady. ♥

      Delete
    4. oh thank you for sharing tammyj. what a story. sounds like a movie script! you are so lucky to have experienced love like that. i think it's one in a million. also so glad you have your brother. your apt sounds so sweet too.

      my FIL situation is complicated and i really don't want to get into too many of his personal details here. one a good note tho, his health is improving and i think it is all the fresh food he is now eating. baby steps. x

      Delete
  22. Thank you. Your posts are always my favorite blog to read and I savor them for quiet moments in between being a new (but older-okay just my 30s but I don't look like the other mommy's on the playground) mother to a 14 month old, pushing for tenure as an assistant professor, adding on to our 1940s homes, and navigating the needs of a father in law with alzheimers and a mom newly diagnosed with cancer. Your posts are like a savory piece of chocolate after a hard day. Thank you! Just like you, some days are really hard here at my house but they are always full. I try (and often fail) at handling moments with grace. Though it is difficult for me (like I get down on my knees and pray at the end of the day that I can handle the next one with energy and patience), I try to keep the faith during these "in between" moments when I am unsure of or waiting for the next...phase of life. Wishing you peace and faith.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you for sharing nadya. you sound like a very wise woman and you are only in your 30s! you are dealing with a lot and it isn't easy. but what comes out so clearly is that you are doing it with grace. i pray at the end of each day too. i mostly pray for the right words to say to those i love and also that i'm so thankful for all i have. i wish you much peace and faith too. x

      Delete
  23. Hi Janet, I love your blog! I have gone back and read all of your posts. I am 67, live in a very small town in the midwest, business owner (fortunately, I have a home office), work allows me to travel 4-6 times a year, and I, absolutely, love what I do! I have friends who are retired and want to know when I will. I have no intentions of retiring. I have worked too hard the last 20 years to build my business. I was married from 1966 - 1972, have 1 daughter, 1 great son-in-law, and 1 grandson. I never wanted to get married again. I did not want my daughter to be anyone's "stepchild" and I did not want to be a "stepmother", so I stayed single. No regreats! After reading your post about "will I wear this when i'm 70, I have made a huge turn around in my lifestyle and purchases. Even though I have a good income, I do not have a lot in the bank for retirement. I did an inventory of what I have, gotten rid of some things, and put a screeching halt to the spending. I am living financially like I am retired and enjoying it! Thank you for sharing your life! I check your blog everyday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you for sharing anon. i love that you are so enthusiastic about life! you sound like a dynamo that makes up her mind and GETS IT DONE. I love that! i'm living with so few pieces of clothing at the moment and really (when i'm not feeling sorry for myself) love it. thank you for the lovely compliments. x

      Delete
  24. Hi Janet. I'm well, thanks for asking. I love your idea of asking your readers to share things about themselves. So in the spirit of sharing, here goes. I am late 40s (man, that's hard to write) but feel much younger and think of myself as younger. I am married to a wonderful, sweet, funny man 8 years older than I, but it's like being married to a teenager because he's so young at heart and fun and fit. We're coming up on our 20th anniversary. No children, but we treat our dogs like they're our kids. All have been rescues from the shelter too -- something I'm passionate about. I love our old 1922 bungalow, I like to swim for exercise and try to do so several times a week in the mornings before work. I have been "pescatarian" for many years and gluten free for a year and a half. I was born in NYC, grew up in NJ and upstate NY and now live in the south, and love it here. I am an only child and my parents both passed away when I was in my early 30s, but I have a dear friend who is like a sister to me. We met in Kindergarten and have been close friends all our lives, without ever a break in our friendship, which is pretty amazing.

    I hope you and Larry get to return to CA soon. I agree with Tammy J above that perhaps your father-in-law should consider moving closer to you and your husband. I can't recall why you've had to go to Utah, and perhaps it's too personal, but I can only imagine how difficult it must be to put your life (and your career) on hold for an extended (and unknown?) period of time. I hope it all works out for the best. Stay positive!
    Claudia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks for sharing claudia. your life with your husband and dogs sounds like pure heaven to me. :)
      that is truly amazing that you are still best friends from kindergarten on. incredible really!!! x

      Delete
  25. Have read all your posts and really enjoy your blog. I've been a Midwesterner all my life. Not sure I'd want to live anywhere else - for one I like the change of seasons too much. Sure is nice to visit other places though. I've been married 35 years - we went together 7 years before marriage, so we've been together 42 years. We're taking a trip to Boston in September - someplace I've always wanted to visit. My parents are going along - this year is their 60th anniversary. Yes my husband and I argue, but it's more along the lines of bickering. We have two grown sons, one of which is in Denmark right now on a university sponsored trip. We do have our house paid for, but just bought a new car which we will be paying for for a few years. Wish I could say I'm almost retired (I'm 58), but not yet and not exactly sure when that time will arrive. I work for the local school system. I enjoy walking, gardening, quilting, knitting/crocheting, reading, being with friends and family. The simple things really and things that can carry me quite nicely through retirement - when that time does arrive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you for sharing jeannine. like claudia up above, your life sounds utterly charming! congrats on having your house paid for too...i'm jealous!

      Delete
  26. Hello there, I think I'll jump in. I'm new to your blog, maybe two or three weeks. I am very impressed by your willingness to shift your life and take care of your FIL. That is a hard thing. I haven't been around long enough to know your history, but I know my FIL needs a lot of care and I only barely understand what you're facing. I am 56 have two grown daughters and a successful, executive husband of 35 years. We don't argue anymore, just an occasional irritating comment or two. Lately, I just tell him to "cut it out" when he gets crabby. It usually works. We have a very complicated life at the moment. We live about 1.5 hours away from my husband's office. So for the past 5 years we have also had an apartment that he has lived in during the week. That may be the reason we don't argue much. ;-) Things are in an uproar as he has been given a new opportunity and we are moving to Japan at the end of August. We are in the midst of figuring out those details and saying our goodbye's. Our children already live across the country from us as do our parents. That's what worries me the most. My parents are doing well, but that will change and I am an only child. I just pray that they don't have major crisis when I'm so far away. Everyone says that this is going to be a great adventure. EVERYONE. I'm no longer afraid to go, which is good. But, I will definitely miss my friends. I am so thankful for social media, FaceTime, etc. Technology will be my friend in this new place. God has been so good to me. What a blessed life I have led. I believe He goes before me to this new place and is taking care of things as I go. Blessings to you and your readers. Karen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. karen thank you for sharing. i believe it is your faith that will carry you through this new chapter. i agree with the friends that say this will be a great adventure. and how lucky we are to live in a world that we can be far away from our loved ones but yet still keep so close in touch with them. God bless you. x

      Delete
  27. I am a 60 something retiree living in the Midwest with my husband of 28 years. Although I love him dearly our life together has not always been easy and there have been many obstacles that we have tried to work through together. Now that we are both retired teachers there are new obstacles we face with parents, our health, and the boredom that one can feel when you are unsure what tomorrow will bring. I am so grateful for the retirement I do receive but often feel like my identity is somewhat lost now. Eating out with my girlfriends just isn't enough to satisfy my personal needs. That is what I need to figure out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you anon for sharing. i think your feelings in retirement are normal. they mirror a lot of what my retired friends say. :) i feel somewhat retired up here b/c i'm not working and it has given me a glimpse of what it may be like. i miss work b/c of the purpose it gives me so i wonder how i'll manage. good luck on your journey! x

      Delete
  28. You know a lot about me too Janet as I blog.
    Like you I do not tell all..."dirty laundry is not for airing in public" as Mother so often mentioned when i was growing up.
    We have our house paid off and have worked and scrimped over the past 35 years to make our home a nice place to live.
    I am retired and my pension is small and my husband works very hard at his firm...in architecture, older experienced architects have earned respect and are in huge demand...I worry about my husband working so hard. He's a few weeks short of 62 years of age.
    We argue once in awhile...we've been married 41 years and have known each other since we were 15 and 17.
    Our two children live in the same city and we are so grateful for that...we have 2 grandchildren and a third due any day!
    I worry about what kind of world we are leaving for the younger generation...climate change, global warming, pollution.
    I lead a quiet simple life and look for Joy in the everyday.
    My garden and roses figure prominently in keeping me balanced and happy...
    I adore your blog and feel that I do know you and feel that if we lived closer we would be friends. I would love to meet you sometime...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks for sharing leslie. i didn't know your pretty house is paid off. your garden has always been one of my favorites. you and your husband lead full and lovely lives and you share it so well on your blog. x

      Delete
  29. This is such an interesting and truly poignant discussion. I hate to bring it down to my level. But being the narcissist that I am, I will.
    I am so glad to learn more about your readership. I've always known that your blog fostered an interesting and diverse group, but am so much more impressed by the lives your readers have lived than I thought possible. So much hardship and the common thread is a love for the simple pleasures you share here. Also, quite a few dog lovers. Which leads me to ask: are you thinking about adopting a dog? Just a hunch I have. not that my hunches are usually right, by any means. though I did have a downright bizarre experience this past weekend regarding a "premonition" if you can call it that. On Saturday I drove about 150 miles south to Cincinnati. It's an easy drive down one highway. I kept feeling ominous as I was behind most any car. So much so that I lagged much further behind any other car than I needed to. I believe intuition is usually to be obeyed. Except, for me, when dating. But that's another story. Anyway, I made it down and back just fine. Had a great time but felt a little upset that I couldn't buy *more* on my trip (it was a shopping trip). I was so excited with what I had--but, admittedly, wished I could have bought more. Well the next day my sister had to do the same drive with three other members of her band. The front passenger is pregnant. Thank god everyone is fine. But a tow hitch came off a truck in front of them and flew through my sister's windshield at about 65 MPH. Miraculously, it landed right on the center console and no one even had a scratch. How differently I felt driving down that highway one day later. No thoughts of wanting more, wishing I made more money--nothing other than overwhelming gratitude that my sister was okay. Followed by horrendous shame and embarrassment that I could let myself think so vapidly that everything I have isn't enough. So my next project will be to fix that.
    I feel lucky to love where I live (even though most people hate it). My family and friends are close, the economy is good, and the weather is shitty. Which I kind of love. Lots of days to cook and feel warm while the outside is bleak. I think often how glad I am that I didn't uproot my life and move across country as was my plan not so long ago. And to agree with many other comments, nothing--absolutely nothing--enriches ones day to day quite like the love of a dog. My dog brings me constant joy and forces my often wandering mind to focus on the here and now.
    If you want to feel good about how much you're spending on clothes, let me know. I'll email you my Le Creuset receipt. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh stephen andrew. you never fail to make me laugh right out loud.
      give a hug to adorable barbie for me. she's probably in college by now. i miss you.

      Delete
    2. Stephen Andrew -- you make me smile. Miss your blog but delighted to read your comment here.

      Delete
    3. Barbie probably should go to college! No doubt she's smarter than I am. Okay I'll 'fess up. I only bought one...Plus five more. :) this was a real sale, not an everyday outlet sale. It was the last day of their fiscal year, so the sales people were wheeling and dealing to meet and exceed their goals. Thank you, Marla! My rule with my blog is that I only post when I really feel I have something to share. It took writing many useless and dull posts to realize I'd rather just hold out for the good ones (relatively speaking) and write when I'm feeling it. I've also wondered if I'd like a different format better. I kind of don't like the feeling of my blog posts just floating there in space.

      Delete
    4. Your sister has an angel on her shoulder! I was driving on a highway which is locally known as Blood Alley with a Deadman's Curve (where I've had a previous accident as a young driver when a drunk driver sideswiped me, spinning me into a 180 in the middle of the road, nearly totaling my car) when a pickup truck somewhat ahead of me unhitched itself at 75mph from its camper trailer it was hauling. The camper trailer came roaring downhill right toward me. I was the luckiest person ever to have enough time to get into the far-left median on what essentially is an area with no real center divider and fortunately, at that precise moment, (unbelievably) no one was following close behind and the camper remained in the east-bound lanes instead of drifting into the west-bound/head-on ones, so all danger was averted but it's these near misses in life which really can get you to thinking...(I needed your story here to remind me of my own blessings!).

      Delete
    5. oh stephen i love your sharing and like everyone else i miss your blog. right now i don't have pet adoption on my mind but i know when things get settled that will be something for me to look forward to. not only do i love the life you lead i adore your writing about it. your sis indeed does have an angel on her shoulder. i guess we all do right! thank you for always bringing the absolute best comments to my blog. you really are a gift to us all. xo

      Delete
  30. I quit a job at an art museum in April. It was two years of the worst work environment I'd ever experienced. At 58 I am struggling to find something. I have probably sent out forty resumes and had seven interviews. Half were for jobs I didn't want, the others interested me but I didn't get them even though I thought the interviews went well. Age discrimination? I don't know. I am trying not to panic as our retirement savings are far from ideal.

    My husband and I just got back from NYC to see our youngest daughter who has been there all summer for a dance program. Where oh where she got such confidence I will never know. The trip wasn't cheap but it was fabulous and I'm glad I went.

    Now we're back and I'm trying to keep job searching and not lose my confidence. Breathe in breathe out. All shall be revealed, eh?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you for sharing ST and yes, breathe in and out. what is the alternative?! i absolutely think there is age discrimination, how can there not be? please don't lose your confidence, i always think there may be something better around the corner, i just have to have the faith to get there. wishing you much luck. x

      Delete
  31. Hi Janet,

    I married at 36. We lived outside of the U. S in various countries for 12 years, along with a year in San Francisco and a year in Monterey, California. We live on the East Coast of the U. S. now. We have 2 girls that are now teenagers. Our youngest daughter had a malignant aggressive brain tumor when she was a toddler. I love your blog. it really lifts me up and encourages me with regard to simplicity. Thanks so much. We all should be so fortunate to have someone be kind and giving to us when we are in old age, as your FIL is. Thanks for writing about that also.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you for sharing anon. how wonderful that you have lived all over the world and the U.S. and how blessed you are that your daughter is survived. i'm so in awe of all you women and stephen andrew too. :)

      Delete
  32. Hi Janet,

    I have read every one of your posts about a hundred times! I love you genuineness, your simplicity, your honesty, and your sense of humor. The fact that you acknowledge your struggles and yet seemingly pick your self up and dust yourself off, inspires me to do the same. I have many "hmmmm what would Janet do" moments! Your heartfelt devotion to caring for your father-in-law is inspirational. You are awesome!

    I am 48 years old, single mother of two teen-age girls, and a very large dog (often thought of as my 3rd daughter!!). I divorced an abusive, chronically unfaithful husband ten years ago when my girls were toddlers. The divorce was brutal and I lost most material things, but learned in the end, they did not matter at all. Our home is now calm, peaceful, and overflowing with love. My daughters have convinced me to start dating, and holy moly- it sure is rough being a middle aged woman in the dating scene today!!!! Trying to get my groove back but some days it sure is hard to find!

    Your blog is a light in my life and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you so much anon for sharing your story of survival. sounds like you made the right decision and came out on the other side. that is such an inspiration for so many of us. i know it could not have been easy but you DID IT! i love the description of your home now, truly wonderful. x

      Delete
  33. Hi Janet,

    I recently discovered your beautiful blog and it's been really great getting to know you through your stories. I love your style and I can relate to your point of view. I've recently started blogging again. Just bits here and there about things that I love and your blog is a great inspiration. I feel a great sense of calm when I read your stories. I am trying to take things slow (smell the roses more) and just live a more conscious and present life.

    I look forward to continue to learn and be inspired by you.

    Thank you very much for sharing your stolries with us.

    xo,
    Oliva

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you oliva for taking the time to leave such a sweet comment. :) x

      Delete
  34. I've shared too much on this blog already, to the point that a year or so ago, I was polarizing (unintended)...and, just this week, I overshared about my severe allergic reaction to an antibiotic. So, I hesitate to say anything more. I wish I could say something really amazing about myself, like something I'm doing for humanity or world peace. Frankly, I'm just trying to stay alive, having been hit with major illness from my mid-40s, never expected. A doctor just told me this morning that most of my drugs now will have to be specially compounded by a pharmacy due to my allergic tendencies and I have to make a 150% point of eating nothing but the purest, most-unadorned foods (and I really don't even know how to cook, so this remains daunting for me, especially because I'm limited in the types of food I can eat). I just never thought life could get so complicated, when I already just came off of several years of elder caregiving for my parents which was incredibly stressful. I used to be a globetrotter and an active person (rafting, hiking, parasail, snow-skiing, horseback riding, iceskating) and, now...and I'm not even retirement age yet...I'm so sidelined that all I can think of is trying to continue to declutter my life, simplify, concentrate on trying to save my body and mind, so that MAYBE in the last chapter I can still eek out some good years yet. For as much as this is depressing, I remain optimistic; I don't know why, it just floats up whenever I start to sink. My husband wants to retire but can't yet. We're taking a house payment into retirement til forever, which is awful. When he does retire, our life will be frugal. We fight plenty but are together nearly 30 years...and tonight, we put everything behind us and looked at the sunset which was beautiful from remnants of a hurricane in the Pacific. I don't think we're living where we're supposed to live. I want to live somewhere closer to the beach, in a cooler climate; somewhere that's not drought-ridden, which has some amenities; maybe a college town. We'll see. I think one of the hardest things is to live with regrets, and that's a big challenge for me. My parents' generation has told me that baby boomers are too self-focused and restless, less accepting of their lot in life. Maybe because we assumed we could have it all? I thought at this age that I'd have grandchildren, a paid-for home, empty nesters having fun weekends traveling around, going out to eat and doing lots of fun things. Hasn't happened that way. I don't like the idea of settling; giving up dreams. So, I still fight to keep them...and make them happen. But sometimes I feel like I get knocked down a lot. I'm not very disciplined about a lot of things, so no wonder I suffer from disappointments. Anyway, I've learned a lot about what other people are going through, from blogging, and it's a very helpful and inspiring community. I just want to be better, and for things to get better. In my world, and the whole world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. vicki thank you for sharing your story and always leaving very thoughtful comments. life is funny, i'd never in a million years would have guessed my 50s would have gone down like they have. but life is what it is and like you i somehow find my way to thinking positive and staying fairly centered. this is a wonderful community of like-minded women. x

      Delete
  35. Hi Janet! I love your blog too! Even though we have many differences- we also have similarities. My husband and I have been married for 32 years. We have 3 adult children and they all live close. My oldest son just returned after being in the navy. We are trying to help him get settled in an apartment but he will be with us for about a month. My youngest son who is 21 lives with us too. He is going to a junior college trying to get as many credits as he can before transferring to a bigger school. Our daughter is married and has blessed us with 4 wonderful grandkids. My life has been a roller coaster ride, but I'd stand in line to ride again. Even though I have many worries; such as aging parents, losing my mother in law recently and now helping my father in law figure out what's next, kids with financial difficulties we can not solve for them, and my ever present battle with my weight - I still feel lucky. I married the man of my dreams and rarely even bicker with him. We have been penniless, jobless and not sure what would come next but we hung on to each other and worked through it. My husband is the hardest worker I know and has always provided for us. We thought it very important to have me stay home with the kids as they grew up. There were times money was so tight I would work nights after my husband got home so one of us would always be the kids. Now, I'm in my early 50's and wonder what is my purpose now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you LL for sharing your wonderful life story. you are so blessed to have all your children and grandchildren close by and your husband sounds wonderful. reminds me of mine too. :) sounds like you guys took care of business! yay!

      Delete
  36. I have enjoyed reading everyone's stories. Me? Just celebrated my 50th, two marriages, two divorces, two kids and one cat. Decided in my 40s that I do better single and am good with that. I was part of the sandwich generation for awhile, still raising kids while caring for my father, but now my parents have passed and my kids are technically adults. Just when I thought it was time to move onto the next phase of my life, my daughter who lives with me still became a mother earlier this month, making me a grandma. You've heard the old joke about if you want to hear God laugh start making plans. I also was laid off from my job last year after 20+ years with the company. I live in the urban sprawl of Salt Lake City in a condo, but long to live in a very big city or a very small town. But...I love my life! It is simple, I have great kids, a beautiful granddaughter, a new job I really enjoy (even though it pays much less than the old job I didn't like so much), and life is good.

    I have been reading your blog for five or six years now and you are my role model for having a simple and elegant home with just enough.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you for sharing melodee. you seem quite at peace and there also seems to be a good deal of acceptance in your life which is something i strive for. good for you knowing what you want and what's good for you. i have enjoyed our visits to SLC. we love driving through the old historic neighborhoods...so pretty.

      Delete
  37. I'll be 69 in September and just got married again this past April to a wonderful man 15 years after my late husband passed. I fell in love surprisingly. After a lifetime of money issues, I'm experiencing a welcome freedom as my new husband is financially well off. Still, I am at heart and will always be a minimalist and love living a simple life. Thankfully my husband, who was raised on a farm is of like mind. We were engaged last September, moved in together in November and planned to be married in February, but that month I was diagnosed with stage 2A cervical cancer. Wanting to go ahead with alternative therapies, I consulted with many professionals finally reluctantly agreeing to a course in radiation after two alternative doctors told me the tumor was blocking necessary elimination of waste from myuterus - a potential toxic problem worse than cancer.
    In the midst of the radiation treatments my husband insisted we go ahead and marry and "set an example of love" such a wonderful man! 4 weeks ago I was declared cancer free after only half the radiation recommended and without the chemo which was supposed to help the radiation - I refused the chemo.. Doctors are puzzle at the tumor reduction rate and lack of most side effects. But I went on a strict vegan detox diet with no sugar of any kind, no gluten, etc. and drank tremendous amounts of high-alkaline water. I also did emotional release therapy and other spiritual practices.

    I now am happier than ever, a new lease on life - almost like a new incarnation within this life. I lost 50 pounds (i'm only 5'1") in the process and am now back to the weight I was most of my adult life until a tendon injury stopped all exercise 10 years ago. I just joined a gym and will get back to that lifestyle again.

    So, I'm now working on a new minimalist wardrobe based on a specific color scheme: navy, tan, turquoise, aqua and green. I love your blog, Janet, and have been a daily reader for at least 4 years. I too love the simple life and have had limited finances most of my life until now - my husband is financially comfortable but likes to live simply like me - he was raised on a farm, loves the outdoors, working with his hands, etc.
    I love to cook and sew, I write poetry and have 4 grown daughters and three grandchildren. I have traveled from time to time as my older daughters have lived in Germany and Spain. But it has been over 5 years since I've traveled much, so I'm looking forward to our delayed honeymoon in September when my husband will take me on my first ever cruise. We will fly to Copenhagen, then board the Regal Princess and stop in ports in Norway, Ireland, Scotland then across the Atlantic to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland ending in New York City - 23 days in all. The ship hold 4,000 people - my mind cannot process that! The new fall wardrobe is mostly for this trip but I intend for the wardrobe to be for life as well. I want to travel lightly whether on a cruise or in regular life and so I'm very inspired by your blog and it has helped me so much to do away with the unnecessary and focus on a few things of beauty I can forever love.

    We live in a suburb in Virginia about 40 minutes away from Washington, DC. My husband is retired and has a business distributing water ionizers and I am a "sometime freelance editor working from home, but I intend to get involved with his business as well. Thanks again for your inspiration and for those who have written in so far. Your stories are so interesting -. it shows we are not alone.. all in the same boat together.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My grandpa and his partner, L, have done that cruise twice and both love it more than I can describe. No surprise my grandpa loves it, he could have fun on a 23 day cruise around a pond in West Virginia. But L isn't nearly the traveler he is. She swears the 23 days are full and fun and never repetitive. They have so much fun on their cruises and have made a whole set of cruising friends. They meet up for cruises all over the world. Be careful! You may end up a compulsive cruiser :)
      Congratulations on your bill of good health and I hope you love the cruise! I'm sure you will. who knows, maybe my grandpa will be aboard! If you see an underdressed man with a full head of white hair who is cracking vulgar jokes, that's him.

      Delete
    2. Ha ha, Stephen.. I will look for him! You are right about a possible addiction to cruises.. We have a couple who are friends who go on about 6 cruises every year. They will be joining us. I'm getting lots of sdvice on being a cruise veteran .. I'm sure it will be a great vacation,
      Thanks for the comment. I can't wait!
      Janice

      Delete
    3. janice thank you for sharing. you remind me very much of my friend Melinda. you both have such a positive outlook and i don't care what anyone says, i think that is at least as important as medicine, maybe even more! i love everything about your story and there is a lesson for all of us in it. Never give up. We never know what is around the next corner. Stay open to new possibilities. The list is endless. Thank you for sharing.

      Stephen, i see the quirkiness trait that we all love about you runs in the family. x

      Delete
  38. As I am online as myself, I don't have any more personal details to share, but, I want you to know I always read your blog, and I feel that I can hear your voice from your writings. Even if they are nothing like your spoken self, even then, your writings are a voice of yours and I love the sound. Life, I found out in surprise, has a lot of hard stuff. And moments of profound joy. You manage to communicate both. Much affection to you, and if I could send my voice, to chat, along with some new clothes for you, I would. xoxox.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I have two teenagers at home. They are mostly good kids, but...well, I'm sure you know, even the best ones have challenging days. My daughter has a chronic illness that worries us almost constantly. [She has epilepsy, so we're always waiting for the next seizure; much like waiting for the other shoe to drop. It does fray the nerves.]

    One of the things I enjoy about your blog is seeing what could be in store for me in the next stage of life. It's inspiring to see you doing the things you love to do, and keeping your house lovely and welcoming--instead of just trying to keep up with discarded socks and toothpaste splatters. I take deep breaths and think "One day..."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you for sharing mamcita. 2 teenagers at home can be stressful i know! it's about the time you begin to realize you have no control over their lives and that is scary. thank you for the lovely compliments and you have no idea what they mean to me. you are doing a great job as a mom! x

      Delete
  40. Pondering life tonight.....just found out my friend's husband died of a massive heart attack at his job today. I know they'd been carefully planning out there last few years of employment to be ready to retire. So, yea, there's that. And the fact that my thoughts are daily consumed with what career to START while all my peers are looking to the finish line. Many questions. I enjoy your blog! I don't blog often - but occasionally - at www.flinthillskittykitty.com My life is more similar to your Utah life, so I enjoy hearing about your challenges! Sometimes we can't see what's right in front of us because we've looked at it the same way for too many years!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you kitty for sharing. boy you are so right! that last sentence is perfect. it is so important to approach each day with open eyes because otherwise we miss what is right in front of us. so sorry to hear of your friends loss. i cannot imagine how shocked and gutted she is. we never know what's around the corner do we? x

      Delete
  41. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Wow Janet, look at how many readers have! I love your simplicity and openness. I'm a married photographer and blogger in Phoenix, Arizona. We aren't leaning towards having kids which can seem strange to some, but we have our reasons. I'd like to move back home to Northern California but my husband loves Phoenix (he's from IL) and he would be major of Phoenix if he could (kidding). But I do love our friends and there really is so much to love about Phoenix - the ease of making friends, being an entrepreneur, amazing local restaurants and cheaper living which gives me the ability to travel internationally. That's what I think life is about - traveling and exploring, continually evolving and just enjoying the change of scenery and people. Anyway, I love your quaint little home. I have a link to my home tour in my blog and would be so humbled if you'd check it out and see if you'd like it, we live in a 1952 brick home in Central Phoenix that was a former citrus grove! We have mature grapefruit trees and I love to garden. I'm an 80 year old lady who loves to knit and garden trapped in a 30 year old's body. :) www.dianaelizabethblog.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you for sharing diana elizabeth. i did just pop over and see your lovely home. i adore your kitchen! it sounds like phoenix is wonderful. that must be why many people flock to arizona to retire, sounds perfect for that. i hope you make it back to No. Cal if that truly is your dream. your husband and yourself look like movie stars! x

      Delete
  43. Oh wow Janet you received quite a bunch of responses here!

    You already know some stuff about me so I'll try to keep it short.

    I married my first husband in 1984 and divorced in 1992. (he cheated...twice) Met my wonderful husband in 1995, (at the gym of all places) we just celebrated 20 years of being together. Sometimes I can't believe I was so lucky to have found him
    and that he has put up with me all these years. I wouldn't say we actually argue, it's usually just me griping about something and he just nods his head. If he does actually get mad then that is my clue to zip it because then I know I'm being super annoying.

    As you know I live in La Mesa, CA (a suburb of San Diego) We bought our home in 1998 (a major fixer) I guess you could say we bought the crappy house in the nicest neighborhood. (with a view!) We are still working on it. As much as we love this neighborhood and our house, the last 7 years have not been so peachy. We had horrible neighbors move in next door, between their ongoing construction noise, frequent parties and 5 dogs it's been a real struggle. I dislike them immensely, because at times they were literally ruining our lives and even caused friction in my marriage a couple times. (my husband is way more tolerant of my neighbors than I am but he is gone a lot so gets away from it) Things have gotten somewhat better but we still talk about moving some day...I know my neighbors never will. :/ We need to stay here as long as my in-laws are living, since we are only 3 miles away.

    Lastly, I am super proud of my daughter and her husband who are in their 3rd month of Sheriff's Deputy Academy training. She has totally amazed me, I would have expected this from my son-in-law but my daughter...never! Graduation is the end of next month!

    This has really been interesting reading all of these comments...what a great post Janet!

    Linda
    xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought I had the worst neighbor ever!! There are actually many sites on the web about this sort of thing when you google NEIGHBORS FROM HELL. Same thing, my husband is more tolerant, but we do keep our distance from these people; THEY are the ones (because of the guy) who few like (it's not just us who dislike them but we have the misfortune of living right next door...need I mention, I was here first...). Fortunately, in my case, the dude will HAVE to leave when his relative-owner passes (can't be long, owner is old and sick, dear person, who was actually kind and sweet, nothing like HIM) and the house has to be sold, split between relatives, none of whom can or wants to buy the place outright, so good riddance. It's the only thing that calms me about the situation...no matter WHO moves in after he's gone!

      I, too, have now read every comment on this post of Janet's. I wish I'd read them before making my own comment because it has revealed to me that my problems don't amount to a hill of beans compared to what others are going thru in this very diverse pool of readers Janet has amassed over time, just by being herself and keeping it real, sharing what's appropriate. Janet, you are one of the very best blog owners out there; you have such natural insight and great heart; a good soul. I have tears in my eyes, for reading everyone else's heartfelt stories here, including yours. It has helped me. Thank you, and all...brave and resilient people...

      Delete
    2. Oh Vicki, I did actually google Neighbors from Hell a few years back! There were some real horror stories out there!

      We both avoid our neighbors, especially me because I told the husband off 4 years ago and haven't spoken to him since. My husband will wave to them if they drive by but to be honest I wish he didn't.

      I have never known such inconsiderate, narcissistic people in my life. I swear he loves the sound of his own voice which is loud, loud, loud and when he drinks too much he gets even louder. He throws himself a huge birthday party every year, (80-100 guests) we actually went out of town 3 years in a row to escape it after one year it went until 3:00 in the morning. He built a large deck right outside our bedroom and that is where the guests tend to congregate and they don't seem to know when to go inside at a decent hour. I had to invest in an airbed to sleep on in another part of the house when the parties occur, and we have permanently moved into the front bedroom. We have a white noise machine and I wear earplugs every night. If it isn't the parties it's their dogs outside barking as late as 11:00 p.m. or early in the morning around 6:00 a.m and unfortunately if the dogs are on our side being in the other bedroom doesn't really help much.

      About 4 years ago was the worst, they belonged to an organization and sent out a general invitation to tons of people and were charging admission! They were using their home as a venue, there were all kinds of performances..musicians, opera singers, etc. And the cars! People would get dropped off in front of our house and our dog would go crazy. One particular month is was every single Sat. so I got the county zoning department involved which seemed to help a little. He is also involved in politics and is always hosting fundraisers, etc.

      There house is a mess, he calls himself a contractor but my husband says he must be "self taught". He starts one project, doesn't finish it and then starts something else. My big peeve is this horrible cinderblock wall he built between our front yards 2 years ago. (I call it a "spite" wall) He was supposed to stucco it and of course hasn't. It's a real eyesore and I think we are going to have to put up some sort of lattice fence or something to hide it. If I had a lot of extra money I would just get an attorney.

      Like your neighbors, the ones that live in the proximity of their house do not like them. (we have a lot of sympathy from those neighbors) The individuals that think he is "a nice guy" have no clue because they live down the street.

      Anyway, I know this turned into a novel but I am curious, what exactly is it that your neighbor does to drive you crazy? I'm happy for you that you at least have a light at the end of the tunnel.

      I read the story about your allergic reaction...you poor thing, it sounded dreadful! I hope you are feeling much better. I had a horrible swelling of my lip many years ago when I was out to dinner with my husband, never knew what caused it.

      Yes, Janet is the best isn't she?? :)

      Delete
    3. Excuse the couple typos...I do know how to spell!

      Delete
    4. He's a 'recovering' (really?) lifelong-alcoholic/drug addict, former juvenile delinquent, who is just downright dangerous, mean, vicious, retaliatory, combative; and (I think but can't prove) a cat killer. We all dreaded it when he came back into the neighborhood; his reputation precedes him. He seems to seethe with hate; wrong him once and he won't let it go; revenge-seeking. I moved some of his possessions away from the wall of my house...I'm talking the actual wall of my bedroom; he just took it upon himself to start parking the stuff there...when I needed to have some contractor work done, told him why, told him he could afterward put the stuff back for a little while til he could find another place for it...and he still went nuts and threatened me. I'd tried to pedal softly, knowing what he was like, but nope, you can't 'reason' with somebody like this. He stormed an old lady's front door just down the street to rip her up and down for her dog pooping on his (not really his) lawn, scared her to death...and her dog was sitting right behind her in a chair and had never even been outside (tiny little teacup dog). He had the wrong owner and the wrong dog. He sits in a chair and broods in clear view of everyone outside. He yells at kids in the neighborhood if he decides they are playing ball too early in the morning. He's arrogant and thinks he's God's Gift to mankind, completely deluded; been a troubled person all of his life; he's old now, but it's no different. Some people cannot be rehabbed, at least mindwise. You dare not cross him; I'm actually afraid of him, seriously. He considers me an enemy and you don't want to be his enemy. I'm sure something more will happen before this is all over; he'll do something more when he leaves to cause us a problem. We put up a fence between us...shoulda been there years ago; it's a nice fence and we followed all municipal guidelines, paying for it completely ourselves and were generous about the property line...and that really pissed him off but we were totally within our legal right; that's when two of my cats turned up dead. Vet looked at both of them but wouldn't commit, even after necropsy. (I think I freaked him out about the nature of this bad guy, who has no moral conscience or character.) The cats were harmless, feral...and not housepets ...but, still, I'd looked after them as much as I was able to, for a long time, and they didn't bother anybody. This is some of the crap people have to put up with in a conventional subdivision without a homeowners association. Neighbor relations are tricky things, slippery slopes. This guy has a trigger temper, is very territorial and has uttered 'swear' words I've never heard, at the top of his lungs, within hearing distance of children. When you have someone like this in your vicinity, it really makes you want to be the exact opposite kind of person so I guess, on the one hand, that's a good thing. But I'm always on edge when I'm outside of my house and it can make me feel like a prisoner in my own home. That, of course, makes him 'the winner;' he's accomplished his purpose of intimidation. So, I try to work on myself when it comes to that but, you know, I'm human. We actually built a special safe zone in the backyard for our dog, so that she's not anywhere near the side of that other house and is also hidden by another fence. I always supervise her and walk her area with her, and she is mostly in the house anyway. My domestic cat never is outside now; I have an outdoor pen for him so he can get a little sunshine but it is completely on the other side of the property adjacent to my really good neighbor...yes, there are more good ones than bad ones! Our fences are high and gates locked; the house has a security service/alarm. But I never linger long outdoors when I'm alone. I look at my yard thru the windows; sad, huh.

      Delete
    5. Vicki, I can totally relate to your situation. I didn't even talk about the alcoholic neighbor that was here when we moved in! There was a long history of this family, they were all a little nuts from what the neighbors have told me. The dad was the worst, a former prison guard. He supposedly killed dogs in our neighborhood...(shot, poisoned, etc.) One family that lived in our house walked away from it because the dad pumped their mini van full of bullets because their car alarm had gone off too many times. He told the home owner that "he saved one bullet" for him.

      Long story short, mom ended up in a home or institution, dad passed away and when we moved in only the son was left. He was an alcoholic and in the 7 years we were neighbors I only saw one person visit him. He sure tested us in the beginning, came over to our house one night drunk and woke us up because he was mad that our dog had jumped over the wall and barked at him. (yes, we should have had our dog restrained) He was cussing and yelling and finally left when I said I was calling the cops. We were really careful after that, our dog was never outside again without us in attendance and basically became an indoor dog.

      My husband managed to smooth things over with him a bit but I was always a little on edge. He eventually got used to us living here, and even became civil to us near the end. One morning I got a call from neighbor on the other side of him, stating that she thought he was dead. All of his outside lights had been on and she saw him earlier in the week one night outside his car drinking and staggering. She called the sheriff and they broke down his door found him dead at the bottom of the stairs. Either the fall killed him or he couldn't get to his insulin. The sheriffs found some shotguns and numerous handguns over there.

      The county ended up cleaning out his house. It was full of empty whiskey bottles, invested with rats and apparently he was a cross dresser as well. Quite sad actually.

      We had peace for about a year and a half and were actually excited to think about the prospect of getting new neighbors and then the current neighbors moved in. I will admit we were spoiled, having no one living over there for awhile. Even as bad as our previous neighbor was, at least he was QUIET. One of my neighbors said to me on a couple of occasions that as much as she disliked our old neighbor she wished he was back. So that tells you how disliked the current ones are.

      I hope that your situation improves soon, and I understand how you can feel like "a prisoner in your own home".
      I have certainly felt that way at times over the last few years. If I didn't love our house so much we would have probably left by now. Luckily I do believe in Karma!!

      Delete
    6. I'm sure things will get better on the neighborhood-front eventually for both of us, Amanda! I'm old enough now to have known of people who left homes they loved because of a bad neighbor; it can become intolerable and, of course, also affect property value. I just pray for peaceful coexistence.

      Janet, long-time readers here...Amanda and I...got off into a side discussion; thanks for your patience! How are we, you ask? Okay enough, except for neighbors! Let's all have a good rest of the day!

      Delete
    7. Actually my daughter's name is Amanda, but I can understand the confusion. ;) I picked that email years ago and even though my daughter is grown now, I have kept it. Too lazy I guess to change it. Yes, we did get off into quite a side discussion...apologies to the other readers and to Janet although she already knows about my neighbors. It's actually been quiet here today, they were both at work for a change and my mail carrier told me that he is getting ready for a 2 month vacation in Europe to visit family! Yay!

      Linda

      Delete
    8. Clarification...the neighbor is leaving for Europe, not the mail carrier. (he is my informant) ;)

      Delete
    9. well linda, thank you for sharing and you are right, you have a beautiful daughter. i so enjoyed her wedding photos that you shared with me. i've had some bad neighbors in my time but nothing even close to what you and vicki have/and are enduring. i don't mind you guys discussing this at all. in fact do go on...it's quite interesting! xo

      Delete
    10. Dear Linda,

      Your noise problem sounds horrible.

      The chronic noise generated by the neighbor might be putting your and perhaps your other neighbors' health at risk. Does your city allow the police to enforce the municipal noise ordinance in a way that helps victims?

      My e-mail program is functioning poorly so I can't put my hands on my environmental/noise sites. Two that come to mind, however, are Noise Free America and Barking Dogs. Barking Dogs is something of a misnomer. This excellent site covers noise in general.

      Excerpt:

      The Deleterious Impact of Exposing People to Noise

      Health Deteriroates as Emotional Distress is Fostered and Functioning Impaired

      This link will take you to the index of a website that features noise-related information provided by the World Health Organization. There you will learn that intrusive sound constitutes a potent stressor that can result in increased blood pressure, essential hypertension, increased heart rate, ischemic heart disease, headaches, nausea, an altered blood flow, changes in blood viscosity and blood lipids, and shifts in electrolyte balance, along with elevations in gastrointestinal motility. In addition, according to WHO, exposure to noise increases drug use, fosters substance abuse, and promotes anxiety, stress, irritability, depression, aggression, interpersonal conflict, and sexual impotency.

      http://barkingdogs.net/exposeindex.shtml

      About Noise Free America
      http://noisefree.org/aboutus.php

      You can contact Ted Reuter of Noise Free America to see if he has helpful advice - or perhaps he can send you to people who can help.
      noisefree@hotmail.com

      I wish you the best of luck in this untenable situation.

      Delete
    11. Ha it's funny come to think about it, it must be somewhat entertaining to read our stories! Sometimes I think the house next door to us must have a curse on it. :)

      Delete
    12. KO,

      Thanks for your concerns! I do believe over the last 7 years I have experienced some of the symptoms you described above at different times... especially the anxiety, irritability and depression. I had an episode of high blood pressure (very unusual for me) right after they moved in but that resolved on it's own a long time ago.

      The sheriff's dept. used to be great about responding to dog or party noise but I was informed last year that they no longer would do that, (for anyone) that the issue has to been taken up with the county. I have written the wife 2 letters about the dogs and also filed 2 complaints with the county. I think it helped somewhat...They still entertain but not as frequently and the guests seem to leave earlier. (we used to hear people leaving into the early morning hours, one car door after another)

      I think the hardest part of all this was feeling very alone with the problem, the neighbors on the other side of them are an older couple and do not want to get involved. The house on the other side of mine was vacant for awhile...and in addition the lady that bought it only lives here part-time, but when she is here the noise does bother her and she said she is behind me 100%. So now I at least feel like we are not as alone in this.

      Thank you again for your concern and for the referral, I am going to keep this information handy. I never know when I might need it!

      Linda

      Delete
  44. I am 55 and have been married for 30 years .
    But I am now at a crossroads ,
    we don't want the same things anymore he is 10 years older than me.
    We have a daughter 23 who is just starting out in life after her studdies.
    I live on a French island but I am English.
    I am tired of being everyones mum.I've got 15 people this weekend and I was asked this morning at 6.30am before breakfast what we were eating!!
    I have had enough.Lili

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My cousin just told me last week that she and her husband are divorcing after 33 years together, since they were teens at college...just waiting for the last kid to graduate from high school and go on to college himself. Husband calls her a workaholic; she's a busy university professor with a passion for her work. I'm very sad over the whole thing...was clueless to their problems...but understand that things change. She has left the family home and is springing out on her own, in her early 50s, like I don't think she ever thought she might, but she will prevail...another strong woman, just like you Lili. Hang in there.

      Delete
    2. thank you for sharing lili. side note, my new grandaughter is named lily. such a sweet name.

      you sound like you are going thru exactly what a good friend of mine is. she works hard at her m-f job and on the weekend often has up to 9 grandkids staying with her. she is exhausted and needs a break. i keep telling her to come up here where nothing happens and no one lives! maybe that's what you need, an extended break. i know it sounds easier than it is in real life. it also reminds me of a movie that i cannot remember the name of but the family is sitting down to eat dinner and the husband asks the mother for the salt and she goes into the kitchen to get it and gets her purse, walks out the back door to the bus station and doesn't come back. can you relate? i can!

      Delete
    3. Thank you for answering my little moan Janet.
      The weekend was hell.
      Two ot the people were friends of the extended family.The guy played video games all weekend only moving to recharge the said games or get to the table to eat more food than I have ever seen a person eat.
      the young woman did nothing ,she didn't ask if she could help lay the table or wash up or anything and drank.
      We were all in a mountain cabin. you have to chip in.
      My daughter had problems and I couldn't get to see her for 24 hours.
      But my husband was great.He out did himself,leaving me a little shellshocked I didn't expect that
      I need a few quiet days to think things over .Thank you for your blog and your time ..Lili
      .

      Delete
  45. Hi Janet, I don't make very many comments but always read your posts. I'm 67 and have been married for um let me think, 44 years. We have one son who is married and lives in UK, so we travel there often. We live in a large country town in South Australia. We moved here 8 years ago (back home ) when my husband was diagnosed with cancer, he's doing very well. We sat down with a list of haves and have nots and started life again here after he recovered. He had to retire early and we were not set up for it, so here we are. We managed to buy a house outright and live on our pensions. We spent the last three years looking after my in laws who were both aged and infirm. They both died a year ago. Last year our son (42years old ) got married and we travelled to England for the wedding. No one has a perfect life but things are improving for us. I love your house. It's about the size of mine, in fact I used your study as an inspiration for mine. All my love to you and family. Tricia xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you for your comment SC. again, your story is v inspiring. so many of us are going into retirement not quite as prepared as we should be but you are proving that you can make it. Plus you guys have overcome huge health issues! how lovely that you were able to attend your sons wedding in england, i bet it was beautiful!

      Delete
  46. Let's see.....I have been married for 30 years to a wonderful, loving, patient guy. We have two grown sons. The older son lives about an hour away from us and the younger son has about another year of University. We live about 45 miles east of San Francisco and we truly love living in the Bay Area and try to take advantage of all that it offers from outdoor activities to cultural events, great food, well I could go on and on. The husband works as an environmental engineer and finds it challenging and satisfying. For me...well I quit working when the kids were in High School with the idea I'd return to work after they graduated then the economy blew up.. (appears to be on the mend) so now I'm trying to ease back in with volunteering and such to see where life will take me. Regarding, arguing with the spouse we don't much anymore I think I've mellowed he always was :). In fact we still very much enjoy each other, we like to do a lot of the same things, so that helps. We are both healthy: go the gym, ride bikes, ski, garden, etc. However, recently my husband had surgery on his back for melanoma (all that California sunshine) fortunately just in the epidermis not any deeper he'll be ok. My parents are both in their 80s and are thankfully independent with few health challenges. Mostly, at this point of my life (age 58) I try to practice what I believe you said on Ellie's blog about being "grateful for all that I have and all that I don't have". Janet I so love your blog! Best Wishes to you and your family.

    Renee in Northern California

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you for sharing renee. your life sounds quite wonderful. i'm inspired by your lack of arguing. L and I need to work on that. :)

      Delete
  47. I feel like we have already "known" each other for quite a few years now through our blogs but I can share that we are at a crazy crossroads in our lives right now. We are in limbo waiting to negotiate a relocation and it is wonderfully insane, a tad bit scary and yet my heart pines for it so badly that as each day passes where there is no movement in that direction I find myself silently freaking out about it all coming together. Someone else commented that there is boredom in not knowing which direction you are headed and that is so perfectly put. I am trying to enjoy the summer and my time in this house that I have always loved so much but there is unrest in not knowing where you are going.
    It's a strange place to be.
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks for sharing eleanor. we are in limbo too and some days it is harder than others. maybe you can read a little bit of sarah's blog, "one day" - first commenter up there. she had longed for a move and finally made it happen and it's all working out. but i totally agree with you...it is a strange place to be. x

      Delete
  48. Janet I love these comments and it's a testament to your blog that they are so thoughtful and interesting and kind: like you. Well you know about me because I blog as well though I try to keep the challenges to a minimum and stay positive, sometimes it's difficult. I had a falling out with a fellow blogger a couple of months ago that was very hurtful and then just pissed me off, I must remember that the blog world has more good in it than bad, as evidenced here. I find life generally heartbreakingly beautiful, even though as Karl Ove would say "it is all fabricated" (I'm reading his books "My Struggle" this summer, funny how a Norwegian Depressive can point out the sheer beauty of life).
    I am madly in love with my husband of 15 years and because we had very young children when we married we are just now getting evenings to ourself now that our social butterfly daughter is 13. We are quite different yet somehow see eye-to-eye on things, after my first marriage I never thought it possible to be happily married, miserably-married seemed the norm.
    I spend lots of time worrying about my children which is normal, they are precious to me of course I 'm sure every parent can relate to that one. My youngest has epilepsy which really came back full-force this last year, so much worry, I hardly slept for months, she is now on medication which seems to have it under control but it can be so terrifying. I pray and pray she will be fine. Our son has been on his own since age 18 and is nearly done his physics degree, now begins the process of applying to grad school, my older daughter is a worry because at 20 she is so involved in academics and little else, I wish she had a few buddies to laugh with, true friendships (with loyalty) make life much more fulfilling. I'm hoping when she leaves for grad school next year she'll make more friends.
    We have another daughter (my step-daughter) who lives in a group home, she's now 20 and doing so well, she has multiple challenges, global delays, and we cared for her on weekends until a few years ago (when she wasn't with her mother). It was so difficult and I can understand the pain many families live through in trying to provide a 24/7 level of care, we could barely cope for years and years. Our other children helped and it strengthened our family... now my husband does plenty of volunteer work for the disabled, setting up group homes and making sure they have the care and the dignity they deserve. I do work for the environment and also social justice, and new this fall I'll be adding in more volunteer work with unwed mothers living in a local Catholic home, I'm hoping to bring one of our social justice programs to them, learning to live below our means with an eye on the environment is so important, especially with the cost of family life these days.
    There now you know all about me and then some! Yeah Life is Amazing, thanks for pointing it out Janet. Wish I was nearby I'd go on a big hike with you.
    Take Care Darling, XO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you for sharing dani. there is always so much more behind every blog. you speak of true struggles with your children and to me i find it inspiring that your blog puts the focus on the positive and happy things in your life. i've tried to do the same here. thanks for sharing so much dani. xo

      Delete
  49. Hello -- just wanted to let you know, I love your blog too. There is no end to blogs about young women so it is so refreshing to see that there are others out there like me (54) who love gardening and clothes and enjoying this time in life. Thanks Janet for sharing your ups and downs with us! Home is where the heart is! I hope you get to go back to yours very, very soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you so much connie. i'm glad you come here to enjoy the gardening and fashion. i know in a world of troubles those would be considered fluff but they really make life much more beautiful don't you think? x

      Delete
  50. I stumbled to your blog and have kept reading because I am trying to figure out who I want to me. I am 36. I am at a cross roads -- at the end of the time when having a child is a choice (husband wants one), but I am called to animal rescue, and not sure I can make the sacrifice of time and energy. I want to live a beautiful, simple, clean, happy life. I want it to be calm and comforting and not filled with waste and excess. Your blog seems to be about that and I want to figure out how you I can get there as I "grow up." You seem to have at least some of that worked out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks for sharing ava. you really are at a hard crossroad in your life. have you read the zero waste blog? she has the most simple and serene home and she has 2 teenage boys. i don't know how she does it but her life is truly beautiful. you may want to check it out.
      http://www.zerowastehome.com/

      Delete
  51. Hello Janet, I'm sending hugs and good wishes your way and continue to admire what you're doing for your father in law. Is there any way A&B could visit the cottage and send you your clothing? The cost of shipping should be less than buying new clothing and you wouldn't need to stress about buying what you already own.

    The posts on the blog today are very diverse and made me both smile and tear up. I work in human resources and on the outside, everyone looking at our office would think we have the most affluent, stable, problem-free workers in the world. So not true. Almost every day someone comes to me with a serious problem. They come knowing I probably can't fix it but I think to just to get it out by telling me in confidence. So I try to remain cognizant of and grateful for all that I have (and don't have).

    Finances are always an issue; living in this part of New England means high taxes and increasing cost of living expenses but we both have family close by. We think about moving but it probably won't happen for another 10 years. If you drive the streets of our town you will see endless for sale signs in front yards as more companies and people continue to leave the state.

    I love to cook and bake and am learning to be a better seamstress. My herbs and flowers are thriving and I'm planning my garden for next year (it's never too soon to plan for next year in the garden!) and while I argue sometimes with my favorite man, he's still the best thing to ever happen to me. One of my dogs is snoozing among the daylilies and the second dog is napping on the kitchen floor as I write this so I have no complaints.

    I hope everyone has a wonderful day.
    Wendy


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you for sharing your story wendy. It sounds like you are a great person to talk to in HR. what a wonderful job to be able to help so many people. your last paragraph sounds straight out of a book, so calm and relaxing. x

      Delete
  52. Hi Janet, I love your blog and have commented a couple of times. I live in Ohio with my husband of 35 years. Those years have been filled with ups and downs, some of them MAJOR ups and downs. But because of our faith in God, we decided to stick together, even when others would have told us to end it. I believe that we've learned more about love by remaining married, and when we celebrated our 35th with a vow renewal and a family vacation, we felt humbled and blessed by looking at the faces of our children and family members, gathered in a circle on that day.
    Your blog inspires me...I try to have a kinder diet...I love the simplicity and beauty of your wardrobe, house and garden...and I was so surprised that when you took your trip to Europe, it happened to be the same exact week of our dream trip to Paris...wow, was it cold and rainy, but so beautiful!
    Thank you for blogging...it really is a treat when you post. Blessings to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you toni marie. i don't think it's possible to be married for 35 years and not have had lots of ups and downs. i'm glad we stuck it out too. :) oh gosh wasn't it freezing?! but you are right so beautiful. blessings to you also. x

      Delete
  53. It's a difficult time in life, isn't it? When we're approaching our own senior years and yet having to put our lives on hold--even in limbo--to address the needs of elderly parents. My own mother is still mostly self-sufficient, but it has been difficult to guide her toward making decisions that are in her best interests. Difficult on the surface, that is; deep inside me it stirs up devastating memories and conflicts that only add to my own health problems and ability to stay on task with my work. And at any moment it could change, become better--or worse. I remind myself to let it go, to let the universe provide, so often it is a chant, a mantra, an earworm in my brain.

    I turned sixty last month. Have been married to my third husband for thirteen years. Yes, we have occasional arguments, but they are more often about stupid things than fundamental ones. Have one grown son who lives in the same town with his wife and my almost-1 1/2 year old granddaughter. We lost our shirts in a perfect storm of housing, health, and employment crises in '08--and have never really recovered. I embraced a simple and minimalist way of living to cope with as much style and grace as I could muster, and it's been a gift. Even if our finances would return to a more comfortable state, the simpler lifestyle will continue.

    I love to walk, but was having difficulties, so I lost twenty-five pounds and started wearing Birkenstocks, and that has helped a lot. I figured it is cooler and sexier at 60 to be scrawny and walking than curvy and wobbling. Could do without this wattle, though. I live in Indiana, back in the same town I went to college in all those years ago. It's a better town than it was back then, and we have a wee bungalow very near the town center, so it is easy to walk to shops, restaurants, and concerts--if we had the money. So indulgences are quite rare. I'd rather be living in Somerset in England, but as the years go by and the income doesn't get better, even a visit becomes less and less likely. There is only one thing for it, and that's to bloom where I'm planted, and hope that the kids stay nearby. So I write, knit, do a bit of gardening. But mostly write the novels that I promised myself I'd write back when I was still in college. Came full circle, I guess!

    I always look for your new posts, Janet. Quite a few of your readers have come by to read mine, too, over the years. I think we women of a certain age have had to turn coping with style and grace into a sort of art form. Have no idea what it would be called, but I know it when it see it. Hugs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks for sharing meg. i know 08 was sooooo hard on us too. we were lucky that after a long dry spell L's business did slowly come back. but the recovery has been slow but in a way sweet too. it really did teach me more about simplicity and what's important than anything i'd learned before. glad your health is improving and your son is close by. hugs back to u. x

      Delete
  54. Hi Janet. My name is Heather and I live in Texas, though originally from CT. I have a New England Yankee since in cowgirl boots. I miss New England (except for the snow and cold) but love Texas with all my heart. I am married, have a 9 year old son and my husband in a police officer. We live simple because we don't like hustle and bustle and we do struggle and argue and get annoyed with each other and life, but those are the days I know we need a time out. We try to get to the beach (2 hours away) or just take the dogs for a walk. Did I mention I have an 150lb Boxer/Mastiff, an English Bulldog and 1 cat that is in charge of us all??? : )

    I am very into organizing and finding ways of doing things better and saving money. Might sound boring to some, but I thrive on it. I am getting my Masters in Education, after leaving a soul sucking healthcare job of almost 20 years. I am looking forward to the adventure and new learning coming to me. I hit 40 last year, lost my mom, my BIL, my job and almost my mind. Decided to start really living, so here I am.

    I am also into essential oils, farmer's markets, the beach, animals, and prettifying old stuff to recycle for the house. Though I do keep it simple.

    Nice to meet you. :)



    ReplyDelete
  55. Last night at dinner with friends, we passed around the plate of fortune cookies and mine was . . . empty. No fortune for me. So you know the mood I'm in.

    I am 63 and single. No kids. One dog. I left a law firm partnership on the East Coast 18 years ago this month to relocate 2000 miles away in New Mexico to care for aging parents. They died in 2008 and 2010 and I'm still here, struggling to hold on to an old adobe house in a semi-rural community that probably has as many or more horses than people.

    I don't regret the move, and I do love it here in the Mountain West. Would not want to live in the congested urban East Coast again; too claustrophobic. And I was burned out in the old job; constant travel, 100 hour work weeks, living in hotels for weeks at a time, leaving home on a Sunday night and not returning until the following Saturday (if then). Impossible to have any real life.

    But the economy here is still in recession and the accumulating financial stress makes it tough to remember what I love about being here: the vast blue sky, the mountains, the hiking, the animals and wildlife. My friends are all retiring, have paid off their mortgages, are enjoying spouses, children and grandchildren, are traveling almost constantly. Needless to say, their fortune cookies all had fortunes in them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your story touched me. I think because your cookie had no fortune inside but the others did, it didn't mean you didn't have a fortune, it means that you are going to determine your own future by what you decide and not let someone else determine it for you. Just another way of looking at things. Good luck on your future! Christina

      Delete
    2. Thank you, Christina. I needed that.

      Delete
  56. what a lovely post and what interesting comments to read - we are all leading such different lives but everyone has their own personal struggles and challenges, don't we? i think how we live and how we handle what we are dealt just depends on our perception of our lives at any given moment.

    i have been married 20 years and have a 28 year old daughter from a previous marriage. she's lovely and like the saying goes, you are only as happy as your unhappiest child, so if she is bummed out for whatever reason, it gets to me too, how can it not? i am fortunate to live in northern california just past the gg bridge and have been here for 35 years and love every inch of this gorgeous place. i am 54, so blessed to have good health, and am very active with running, yoga, swimming, knitting, gardening, cooking and baking and i enjoy healthy good food and wine. life is good. my husband had spinal cord surgery 18 years ago due to a tumor inside his spinal cord and it changed our lives forever. we could not have children, and all of the things he/we loved to do (snow ski, mountain bike, water ski, etc.) he can no longer do. he has some physical limitations, but he can walk though and so we golf when we can and go on easy hikes and he finally listened to his wife after years of telling him to try yoga and that has made such a difference for him. despite constant pain, he has a really good attitude and living with him has taught me so much. life is so much better when you focus on the positive.

    my yoga instructor had the best comment yesterday and as so many things that yoga teaches me about life, this is another one. we were in a particularly challenging pose and she said, "change your breath, change your energy." that stuck with me. if you are stressed, sad, depressed, anxious, whatever, if you just change your breath, you really can change your energy. i know to some people that sounds ridiculously simple but it is so true! just try it. :)

    which brings me to your blog...i love your blog janet - you bring so much peace and serenity to your readers - i don't know if you realize that. i think your blog reminds people to slow down and enjoy the simpler things in life. at least that's my take away from your blog. it always changes my energy for the better.


    xoxox
    d

    ReplyDelete
  57. I am amazed that when you asked this on your blog, the responses of such heartfelt descriptions, is nothing short of amazing. It's like we were all waiting for someone to ask. You are courageous to be there in Utah, with your FIL at this time of need. Putting aside your own life in Southern California and doing this is very self sacrificing. And I'm sure quite difficult.
    My story is like many others above in some ways. I've been married to my high school sweetheart for 45 years. I was married at 18. I'm 62 soon to be 63. I have two children, my daughter is 30 and my son, 21. Wonderful children and I loved being a mom. 10 years ago I was diagnosed with an incurable blood cancer called multiple myeloma( think Tom Brokaw).
    I've been lucky after a stem cell transplant and treatments I've been able to live a pretty normal life except for right now. My last labs came back not so good, so that means changing my treatment. I'm depressed about this and it does make me start to think of what's next.
    I live in the sierra Nevada foothills , and I noticed many of your readers live in Northern California .
    We never really planned retirement until the last 10 years and so we still have a mortgage and my husband still works full time. France's are always an issue . We thought of selling but we're just coming out from being under water in our house due a stupid refinance we did at the top of the housing market here.
    I've had a wonderful life overall, a great marriage, 2 wonderful children. I discovered minimalism about 5 years ago, although I think most of our lives we were minimalists without knowing it. But in these last few years we've even decluttered more and have streamlined things. Out of necessity with my health, I started using Flylady's program and still do. It helps to keep up with things. Our house is very small, (900 sq feet) and old so it's a constant upkeep.
    Well, I've gone on long enough, I'm sure you must be surprised at all these responses and the power of asking such a simple question!!!

    ReplyDelete
  58. Hey kiddo I think all these posts would make a VERY interesting book, that is if everyone would cooperate...I dunno what do you think?

    As you know, most of my life shouldnt be memorialized, as it has been pretty wild and crazy. So I wont share it with your lovely readers. ;)

    love you forever,
    jeanne

    ReplyDelete
  59. Janet, how fun is this for us to get to know each other better! I love reading the adventures you have. And they are adventures to a city girl stuck in a boring, low paying job. But, I have so much to be happy about. I am 52 years old. I have two wonderful children in their early 30's, both married, both with little boys. I have a great fiance, we live in a little bungalow we bought three years ago, with one tiny bathroom that I can touch each wall with my finger tips. We are currently starting the process to put in a pool, and are a little scared about the financial commitment. I have two little tiny Morkie dogs, who are my kids now. I worry a lot about everything but, I have to admit God has always given me enough. Not too much, but just enough. I would love a bigger house like I used to have, with a big dinning room to entertain in. But, am enjoying only having to clean this little bungalow. You know how life is, you want more but can be satisfied with what you have. All in all ..... it's not to shabby.

    Lisa in Fort Worth

    ReplyDelete
  60. Janet, you are so right! Not fair that I get to know so much about you and you know nothing about me. I've been married to a wonderful man for almost 24 years. I have two boys. My oldest goes to college this fall (he got into U. of Redlands, but decided to stay here in Denver--can't believe I almost could have met you!) My youngest is a sophomore in HS. I just remodeled an older home and went very contemporary this time. You would love our huge commissioned painting of Jack White! I am blessed, but still have life challenges. You know the normal stuff. Family drama, illness, parting with long time friends, anxiety over the little things that can drive me nuts! I'm not a religious person in a conventional sort of way, but I do thank God for all I have each day. That's how I pray. I give thanks, and I am grateful.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Janet, I’m 55 and live in Virginia, have always lived in Virginia, it’s in my DNA, ancestors came over centuries ago. But I love to travel, and have been to California, love visiting! I live in our little historical house in the foothills of the blue ridge mountains with my husband and Golden retriever Maggie. I love to antique, garden, sew (raised by a seamstress), decorate our house and hang out with our family, two daughters, one son, three grandchildren. The grandchildren are the new addition to our life, 2 three year olds and a 9 ½ month old. I hope you can get home to hold that grandchild of yours very soon. She will steal your heart. I’m at the end of my career, a few more years to go, looking forward to retirement, and hopefully more travel. I found your blog a few years ago, and have read every post. Over the last year or so, the list of blogs that I check almost daily have shrunk to less than half a dozen, yours being one of them. I am not vegan, and probably will never be, but I have tried a lot of your recipes. YUM! I am following your downsizing, I don’t need all that stuff philosophy. Especially after having to clean out my mother’s house, not necessarily hoarders, but I was thinking that when I was in that mess. I am more grateful for the little things, and I sense that in you also. I think of you and what you are experiencing with your father-in-law, a lot, and hoping for peace for you all. This was fun, keep smiling, and God Bless you!

    ReplyDelete
  62. Hi Janet, what a fun post! It's lovely to read all about your readers. I have been reading your blog for quite a few years, I'm always happy when I see a new post. I also from time to time read back in your archives - I love the photos of your home and I find your ideas very inspirational.

    Tomorrow I turn 55, and on Saturday my husband and I will celebrate 23 years of marriage. We have 2 boys, 19 and 21, both living on their own but we see them fairly often. We live in Canada but I grew up in Scotland and met my husband when I lived in Germany for a decade after university. We have moved often over the years with my husband's job, but it looks like we will be stopping in our current home for quite a while, as my husband will be retiring in a few years. We will probably stay here - luckily, we lived here before about 10 years ago and still have friends, so we're quite comfortable. We live in a small town outside Ottawa, the people are mostly French-speaking, very friendly actually (luckily most are bilingual). Anyway, have fun reading all the responses!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy Birthday Patricia! I hope you had a wonderful day, may this year be your best yet :)

      Delete
  63. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  64. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Hi Janet (and Fellow Readers),

    My name is Susan and I have been reading your blog since the beginning, though I never comment. I love that the Internet allows us introverts to stay that way :) I live in a small but beautiful town in the Deep South where I teach at an also small university. It is not perfect here (though thankfully we are a blue dot in this red state), but I have carved out a place for myself and I am quite content. Yes, I agree that life is pretty amazing and I am grateful to be at a point in my life that I am more able to keep my problems and worries in perspective. I just spent a week in Salt Lake City with my parents and loved being near the mountains! Yes, my husband and I argue occasionally, though not as much as we once did. After watching our young adult son struggle with drug addiction and, at one point, fearing we might lose him, our time together (with each other and all our family) seems so much sweeter and we cherish it more. That is one of the rewards of difficult times, don't you think? When I first started reading your blog, I could not imagine living without eating meat, but now I am mostly vegan and consider it just another way that a try to show compassion. Veganism is good for the animals, our planet, and me! Your blog is my favorite. For me, honesty + kindness + simplicity = beauty, and that is what I find here. Not perfection, mind you, I wouldn't want that. So thanks for keeping it real and carry on, my dear (Internet) friend!

    Susan

    ReplyDelete
  66. Thank you Janet for your calm, sincere blog, reading what you have shared, and many of your reader's comments over the past few years has helped me.

    Life is getting better as my decade+ depression is finally improving, though there have been especially terrible trials in the past year.

    My mom died unexpectedly a few days before last Thanksgiving, she lived 2,500 miles away and I hadn't seen her for years due to my depression and her marriage. I miss her, but what I miss most was that she lived so far away, since 1980, that we never had a close relationship or friendship because her husband was jealous of her spending time with anyone else. I almost lost my home last year, the situation is still wobbly, so fingers crossed that I will manage to keep my home, and as bad of shape it is, it is still my home. A person who I befriended 15 years ago, told me in March that they didn't want to be my friend any longer, I was crushed, loneliness and isolation (I have had to move a lot!) have been a major component of my depression. Even so, I am feeling better, not the hopeless person I was and have survived the past terrible year and other years which brought painful struggles from other circumstances. I am single, in my mid 50's with some loving pets, and find I that I finally have some hope for the future and that while depression is strong, I might be stronger.

    ReplyDelete
  67. I've just been catching up on your posts Janet - such a beautiful part of the world you're in at the moment, although I imagine cabin fever is a definite reality! I'm sure you're missing your cottage though, and all the familiarity of household routines.
    As for me, well, I've been battling a very heavy cold for the past week, and had to cancel flights to Sydney for the weekend with my husband, so am feeling pretty miserable about that as we haven't had time away together for nearly a year now (the kids were off to their grandparent's). I also completely lost my voice for 2 days earlier in the week which meant I was unable to shout at the kids when they were being naughty! Really does make you appreciate your voice - it was so frustrating. But these are all minor things that will pass. Hope all is well with you, even though you're in a period of waiting. xx

    ReplyDelete
  68. Dear Janet,

    I found your blog through A Country Farmhouse, which was the first blog I ever read and followed...and I still do! You have a kindness that comes across as authentic. There is something in your writing that makes me believe what you are saying...probably because you are being honest! :) And I just love the way you decorate your house.

    I am a 32 year old mother of two boys (4 and 5 years old). I have been married for almost 9 years to the man I began dating 14 years ago (just after we graduated high school together). I have a degree in music education and would have loved to be an elementary music teacher. Instead, I took a job opening at the church that I attended most of my life. It's a rather large church now, and I work in the Children's Ministry department. It's a perfect job for me and I really love the people I get to work with.

    I live with my husband and boys in a 1925 brick colonial in Northeast Ohio. I love our home very much and I also love living in Ohio. I prefer cool weather to hot weather, and I enjoy being able to fully experience all four seasons to their utmost.

    The last few years have been life-changing for me because my husband became addicted to heroin. He kept it hidden from me for a few years, and after quite some time of thinking I was going absolutely crazy, I finally discovered the truth. Praise be to God, he is in recovery now. I don't know how long it will last, but I thank God every day for the peace that I am currently experiencing. My husband was also diagnosed with cancer less than a year ago. The tumor was removed and doesn't appear to have spread, but he receives full body CAT scans every three months just to be sure. I love this man that I married, and I am so blessed to have him in my life. When I watch him fight this addiction, it brings tears to my eyes and makes me proud of him. I have become so much stronger because of this experience. I have had to stand up and tell him to choose to do everything it takes to move towards health and recovery or to leave and do his own thing. Never in my life did I think I could say such a thing. But I understand now that it was the best way to love him. He is a compassionate, sensitive, and wonderful man. I pray that God will show him mercy and give him the strength to continue on the path of recovery. So, if I'm to answer the question of whether or not we fight.....We actually get along quite well....when he is in recovery. Both times he has relapsed, things are not so great. Then, there is definitely fighting. And a lot of it. It's so sad. I have a similar answer in regards to our finances. God has always, always provided everything we need, but it seems like we are barely scraping by when he has relapsed. When he is clean and recovering, we have enough with a bit extra. Although, my medical bills have been piling sky high between the addiction and the cancer the last two years. Deep breaths, take it one day at a time, and rely on God. That's how I've been trying to do things!

    This was a little scary to put out there. I don't have facebook, and I don't often comment on blogs. But you're right! You share so much about your life, and I share so little of mine on the internet. So, there it is!

    Raquel



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you for sharing raquel. i am going to answer every single comment here but i feel like i need to skip ahead to answer yours. your bravery in sharing your story is amazing. i have been dealing with drug addiction with my son for many many years. i just want to point you over to The Privileged Addict. Charles writes an amazing blog and has written an amazing book that really cuts through all the BS associated with this disease. he is brutally honest and that is what the addict and WE need. he has a post up right now that has lots of wisdom in it. please go check it out and God bless you raquel.

      http://privilegedaddictwriter.blogspot.com/2015/08/posts-geared-for-parents-spouses.html

      Delete
    2. Raquel - Came back here this am to read your post again and to comment. I, too, am dealing with a drug addicted child and follow The Privileged Addict on Janet's recommendation. I am buying his book today. It can certainly be all-consuming, and we have had an especially bad week. I hope Janet's advice can help you too. (TY again, Janet.) Lor

      Delete
    3. Thank you for the recommendation. I did hop over to The Privileged Addict when you mentioned it in an earlier blog post. I really do appreciate it.

      Just over two years ago, when I realized that what I was dealing with was addiction, I researched and read as much as I could get my hands on. I am the type of person who likes to know every little detail about something so that I can sift through it all and make a (hopefully) wise choice. I read books and blogs and articles, attended Al-anon, spoke with doctors and counselors, talked with the spiritual leaders at my church, met with friends who had been through similar experiences, discussed the situation with both my family and his family, read the Bible for wisdom and insight, and prayed like crazy. I have made lots of mistakes for sure. But I am determined to learn from my mistakes rather than repeating and enabling all over again. I know that he has to choose things for himself, but I certainly can be helpful or hurtful in the situation. I can finally say that in the past year, I am at peace with the decisions I've made. I feel as though I have found that thin line of being loving without enabling. Boy is it hard to stay on it, though! So hard.

      I will add you and your loved ones to my prayers, Janet and Lor, and I will ask God to bring healing and peace to your families. My home has been in a state of peace for a few months now, and I am so very grateful. Perhaps this will be the recovery that lasts, though I know there will always be some sort of pain or trial on the horizon in this life.

      I am far from being a glutton for punishment. (Believe me, I really like the easy road if it's available to travel.) But I truly believe that pain is sometimes God's grace in our lives. He allows the pain to awaken us. The pain is often the only thing that draws me back to Him when I am drifting away, and it is the fastest way for character development in my life. (Maybe not at first. :) I was pretty bitter at first.) But when I realize that I need to surrender to God's will and plan in my life and actually learn something from my experiences, then I begin to grow. God wants me to depend on Him, and I sure have because of the pain. So in a strange way, I am grateful for the experiences I've had with pain.............I still don't like it, though. :)

      Here's to another day of loving well. Thank you for your kindness, and please forgive another long comment.

      Raquel

      Delete
  69. Dear Janet,
    I am 66, single and recently retired. I paid off my house this month after many years of struggling and penny pinching. I want to sell it and move away. I am over owning a house, remodeling, repairing it is all too much. I want an adventure before it is too late.

    Madeline

    ReplyDelete
  70. Hello Janet,
    I love your blog. I am almost 60 and live on the West coast. I have been struggling with unemployment for 4 years. Age discrimination is alive and well but I keep applying. I love all things French. I live in an 850 sq ft house. Best regards.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Hi Janet
    I have been reading your blog for a while now, maybe two years and have to say it is usually the first and sometimes only one I read. ( except perhaps for the woman photographer In Scotland with the ponies) most days I feel blessed and lucky. I am in my mid 70's, have always been in good health and active. I am not rich by any means but with my pension and SS I have enough to live a comfortable life. I have no mortgage on my home. but as I age I am coming to terms with my mortality. this year I had a couple of health scares. for the moment everything seems OK but I can't help but think that maybe this is a taste of things to come. this past year I also witnessed a close friend a few years older than me descend into dementia. I am close to my family but they are busy and have their own families and I have to confess I often feel lonely. I have been single for many years. sometimes this is a good thing but as I said there are many times I feel alone. I struggle to feel relevant in a changing and increasingly technological world. I am saddened by what man has done to the planet. for years I had my faith but now struggle with belief. yet there I times when I am flooded with joy for the simplest of reasons, usually having to so with nature. I am grateful that I can get up in the morning and do what I need to do. thank you for this opportunity to express myself.
    Darby

    ReplyDelete
  72. Hi Janet, I have read your blog for soooo long, I bet it is going on 6 years. LOL, I am a housewife, we own our house outright. We downsized from a 5 bedroom colonial to a teeny tiny cottage with 2 bedrooms and 1 bath. We bought our current house in terrible shape and we put it back together ourselves. My husband works for Tyson foods and I am a vegan, weird right. I use to have a blog Adventures of veganism in midwestern america, and was vivacious vegan, but I had health issues and had to quit. I have psoriatic arthritis and I am typing this from a chemo room while getting my infusion. I love to garden and cook, although I don't cook like I use to now that our two daughters are grown. I need to really get back to cooking. I read a lot and while I am recovering from my infusion I watch top chef. I love your blog and it has given me hours of comfort when my life was totally out of control health wise. From cooking to decor, your blog makes me feel comforted. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us. xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  73. I have loved reading everyone's story today! I am 64 (still can't believe it!!), in good health and hope to retire in a couple of years. I live in VA have been divorced for years. (Had a couple of long term relationships but currently do not have anyone special in my life.) I have two grown married sons; one in the area with a daughter and one far away in Oregon with two small children. My kids are busy with their own lives now. My house is paid for but I 'd kinda like to downsize and not have to worry with a yard, etc. I am at a crossroads deciding what I want to do when I retire and where I want to be. I have two sisters in NC. My granddaughter who is local usually spends one night a weekend with me. Other than that, I am rather at loose ends and watch way too much Bravo and QVC. Life should be more fun than this! Angela

    ReplyDelete
  74. Hi Janet, I,too, have been a quiet reader of your blog for awhile now. I am always excited to see when a new post pops up on my feed from the Gardener's Cottage. My favorite things about your blog are your positive outlook on life and your beautiful home. I share you love of blue and white porcelain, black accents and slipcovered white sofas. I feel like we have similar taste - your is just more refined and classy!

    I live in a coastal Maryland town with my husband of 27 years. Although we don't fight often, we still have problems.....my husband's job is not stable.....layoffs, salary reductions, etc....It is very stressful. We have 3 children who are for the most part healthy - one has a chronic medical condition, but it is fairly manageable, so for that I am grateful. My own health has been up and down for the past 2 years, which has been a challenge.

    We bought a fixer upper 5 years ago when our kids were all in college - we have very limited funds let me tell you. Slowly but surely we have been making some updates. Love the location, love the view, but the house itself could definitely be better.

    I know you have a full plate right now and are taking care of a family member with a serious medical conditions and this will probably sound very insensitive, but if you ever decide to take on email decoration consultations I will volunteer to be your first customer! I know I would certainly value your opinion on some of my decorating questions.

    Thank you,
    Angela

    ReplyDelete
  75. Janet! Who knew you would get this reaction? I check your blog every morning (one of only two I read) and miss you when you take a break. I love this idea. You have to be tickled with all the replies! I know I am so interested in every one. Weird and creepy-stalkerish is that I have read them all twice. Anyway, I am a 51 YO divorced mom/grandma, and I live west of Chicago. I have two adult children, two grandsons who I love more than life, and helped deliver a stillborn grandson years ago, who I still cry for. I often worry about my adult children (does that EVER end?), one b/c of drug addiction issues. I am single by choice after two divorces, the first after 21 years. I never plan on having another partner as I love this independence way too much. As of 04/01/15, I am 100% debt-free, including my house, car and any personal debt/student loans, which I am very proud of. I have worked remotely at home for 25 years and my company is slowly but surely pushing me out, so I will soon be jobless and reentering the job market - not fun, although it will force me back out into the big bad world again. My companion of many, many years, my boxer, died on Monday, and I am grieving. I miss her so much and am just now realizing how much time I spent with her in her aging years (now I am crying AGAIN). Now, I, too, am struggling with the middle age not knowing what to do with my time, life, self, mind. HELP! I wish you could get a chat room on here for us in similar situations so we could chat and swap ideas or just feel loved/appreciated/fulfilled. Ive come to recognize some of these names and feel a lot of us are in a similar situation when all this time I thought it was just me. Thank you so much for doing this! I want to hug you for it...Muah! Lor

    ReplyDelete
  76. How am I? Well, thank you for asking, Janet. I enjoy your blog on my periodic visits, and dropped in today for a bit of an escape. My life is falling apart (a marriage devoid of passion, mind-numbing career, and perimenopause are all taking their toll right now), and I'm not sure what to do.

    In the meantime, your post and the comments brought me some temporary hope that I can get through this. Oh, and the discussion above reminded me to be grateful for my neighbors. I'm surrounded by friendly, peaceful, respectful neighbors. It's not always been the case, though, and can relate to the stories above. Warm wishes to everyone, and, Janet, thank you for your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Oh Janet. Look what you stired up here, your honesty is so pure and good, I adore reading and hanging onto every word you write, and question over and over why is ther not a book out on your journey through life, spending and saving.
    I deal with issues, these days very calm ones, divorced due to my husbands lack of sensitivity to life, and his attempts to fix things just dug him deeper into a hole of dispare. My son was old enough to understand life and was on his own, yet I was still caring for our daughter who was 10 at the time of our world caving in....my husband had another girl pregnant and that was where our story opened up to heartache and blessings at the same time if that makes any sense.

    I have been a signal mom for 11 years, an interior designer who works on elevation plans and designing from ground up.
    The economy crashed and my daughter and I sold our large home and down sized, it was a choice that felt comfortable and freeing, yet bills always seam to hit us in the face. I have no husband to argue with, and my daughter who lives at home is a prize ... We never fight or argue, and she is extreamly open with me, were mother daughter first and very best friends second.
    My daughter is in college a degreed to becoming a therapist in family social life, child abuse and social work.
    Myself creating on the side making ends meet and enjoying the passion of doing so. Staying fit as can be, and dealing with an auto immune disorder that causes bouts of vertigo, dizziness, ringing in the ear can really add to a day of struggling.
    So eating right with us is important. I love thrifting, I find it so refreshing to find something for next to nothing and allowing it to become something again, I really make a big deal out of my finds to my friends and family as well as myself.

    Way to many years I have billed investors, building contractors, and spending their money on home fashion and up-grades to model homes that are developed for estate real estate sales, seeing the hundreds of dollars spent to pull a home together and seeing the abuse to a home down the line mentally frustrates a designer who so gets the concept of the meaning of the dollar, and the lack of respect ones have for it.

    I became tired of the big dollar furniture sales and I contributed to that myself, I gave up and moved all the worldly goods out of my big home to pieces of old, and created old pieces to live with... The soul in a piece speaks to me, and no shame in casting them off when you tire of a salvage piece that cost next to nothing to move in another piece of joy.

    I so relate to you in so many facets of your life, how you live, breathe in your day with health and relaxation of yoga, your new and thrifty finds, your worn and tattered jeans, a simple white man tailored shirt, and a great hand bag, all from a thrift and you rock the look. I too dress your style...Twins, and feel it's me not trying to be anything other then me.
    Honest with life, honest with friends, and true to what I believe in.....I help the homeless in the cold of winter buying sleeping bags, and have a few homeless that we, my daughter and I call our homeless friends.
    Paying it forward with who ever crosses our path is important to us.
    I enjoy my friends who live with the beach in their back yards or front yards I should say, it's a peaceful place to cry, and I do that often. Saving money is important to us, and spending it is a big decision making between my daughter and I due to her future and mine. One important thing about me, is the smallest of things in life bring me the most joy, for I see such potential In creating something big out of smallness! This post was liberating Janet, and we love you for those very reasons.
    Hope to meet up with you when you get back home, we can share more then.
    Stay your beautiful honest self.
    Never let anything make you feel you are anything less then who you are.

    Xoxo
    Dore

    ReplyDelete
  78. Dear Janet,
    A bit about myself. I have been reading your blog for years and I don't even remember how I stumbled upon it.

    I am in my early 40s, married 11 years, work and live in Connecticut away from my family. I love my husband, friends, most neighbors, and my house. Husband and I argue...of course, but we are learning, growing, and hopefully getting better along the way. He has a stressful job and at times I need to remember to be content and let things go. I also work full-time in the corporate world, and while I do not love my job, I do like and appreciate that it affords me to live a comfortable life.

    I miss living near family and worry about my Dad and brothers, still grieve for my Mom who died in 2013 (metastatic breast cancer), and try to friendly and kind to all. My Mom meant the world to me...she was loving and kind, made the most of what she had, worked hard, volunteered, was a friend to many, and would strike up a conversation with anyone; we really made each other laugh. I yearn for a simpler time when my family got together weekly and we we were not so far apart, but life happens.

    I love antiques, old things, used things...simple and beautiful, even just utilitarian, I like to think of or wonder about the person who used something before me. I enjoy tag sales, flea markets, antique shops, although I don't go often any more, they are more of an occasional treat. Handmade and used are what I prefer to buy. I try to tread lightly in this world of want and waste.

    I love to get rid of things, although it is sometimes a struggle, I love to share. I put out free things because I like randomness and the thought that someone passing by could use this or that. I am happy gardening, reading, sewing, cooking, having friends over, feeding and watching the birds, cleaning my house, weeding through my things, writing letters, spending time with my husband.

    I am grateful for all that I have, my family; my kind, loving, thoughtful, gentle husband; my friends; my health; my financial stability.

    I enjoy the community that is part of your blog. I genuinely feel that we all have our struggles and we need to help one another. Kindness is everything! I love what you share with all of us and your posts truly brighten my day. I also read the comments most of the time, too. Let's continue to be good to one another and everyone we meet. There is too much greed and negativity in the world, let's counter that.

    Sending love and good thoughts to everyone. As Janet says, you are amazing!!!

    xoxo



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Loved your thoughts on kindness! Someone once told me that we will always regret something we said or did, but we will never regret that we were kind.

      Delete
  79. My son, Jarrett, died of melanoma almost 10 year ago (caringbridge.org/visit/jarrettboston). He was diagnosed at 13 and died one month after his 17th birthday. 19 months later, my husband of 20 years and the father of my five children walked out carrying only his laundry basket. He was having an affair with a 23 year old.

    I didn't think I could survive. I wasn't sure I even wanted to.

    Fast forward 7 years and I have a deeper appreciation of the fleeting beauty of life. It is a wisdom that comes from profound loss. I am happily married for the second time and the proud oldish (ok old) mom of a rambunctious 15 month old baby boy. Together my husband and I are parenting 8 kids. They are expensive (3 in college), funny, smart, and royal pains at times. We wouldn't have it any other way.

    I am a self trained decorator and spent 8 years of my life doing what I love. I began by decorating for friends and through word of mouth stayed steadily busy. I returned to teaching (science) for six years and am currently on hiatus not wanting to miss a second with baby Jack.

    I am inspired by you to downsize, to live within my means and to slip cover my brown furniture in natural duck cloth. The duck cloth is rolled up in my living room awaiting the drive to the upholsterers.

    I am a southerner from way back....and have an Instagram account under east_tugalo_design.

    Wishing you the very best! I'll keep you updated on my life with slip covers + 8 children + 3 dogs.

    Sincerely,
    Michelle

    ReplyDelete
  80. I live in southwest rural Georgia on ten acres in a manufactured home. This morning I sat on my back porch rocking as I sipped my morning coffee from a beautiful tea cup. My cat sat on the railing behind my chair, the dog lay at my feet, and the birds sang. Idyllic moments that what I tend to grasp and hold onto.

    I am 56. I'm 21 years into my second marriage. We melded a his and hers family into OURS and it worked with a lot of gut wrenching moments. Our kids have each gone through a crisis of their own and come out..

    I have 9 grandchildren. I've not seen my oldest daughter and her four children in 9 years. They live in North Dakota. My oldest son is stationed in California once more. His wife and children are here on this side near Jacksonville We can't see those kids at present due to the craziness. I have a son who just moved down below Tampa with his wife and baby. My youngest daughter, the one nearest me, is 2 1/2 hours away. She and her husband just had their first baby.

    I didn't feel well in the Spring. I kept saying, "God just let me see this baby born..." And He did. The next day, after we'd been to see her, I fell in the kitchen floor in a dead faint. I was rushed to the hospital and from their to a bigger city hospital. I had bilateral pulmonary embolisms. I was told at the larger hospital that I had a75% chance of living simply because I'd made it that far. Very sobering let me tell you. At the same time I was diagnosed with diabetes II.

    I was asymptomatic of symptoms. I had no clue I had diabetes. I thought, because we ate more healthy foods and I was feeling so well that I was well. I felt such a sham. I couldn't fathom how this had happened to me.

    2 1/2 months later, I have lowered my blood sugar to nearly normal rates, a HUGE drop. I am on ONE medication which my doctor, an osteopath with homeopathic leanings, tells me I can now add a supplement to my regime and likely come off the one medication. I can't afford the supplement which is just not in my budget. The diabetic medication is free with my insurance plan. Choices...

    We were debt free until this medical crisis, living on a very modest wage. I did get insurance through the state exchange and yep, I squawked about it. It was tough to figure out where else to cut our budget to afford that payment. Now we've taken out a loan to pay some of the out of pocket costs and have more we're just praying hard God will provide. It's a scary spot to be in when you're this near retirement age (for my husband). We never had a lot of money to manage but we managed. Six years of no raises while costs sky rocketed and starting over from scratch 23 years ago and now this...But we'll make it. I am sure of this.

    I learned in the hospital I'd been pouring out a lot of energy into relationships that net me nothing but pain. My mother, my brother, the one daughter in law. I decided that was due a change. Life is too short, damnit. Life is too short to waste time on people who have no feelings except hate. I'm learning to have strong boundaries for those who must be in my life and to say "No more" to those who don't have to be. In the end, it's my husband and I. It's us. I am so grateful that he is my best friend, my lover, my companion. I have faith we will find our way through this season of our lives and in the next ones as well.

    ReplyDelete
  81. Ok her goes, I have been married for 30 years, have 2 grown daughters, work in intensive care. I am Croatian born but live in Australia which is the most difficult component of my life. I have just returned from a trip with family in Croatia and the distance of 24 plus hours flight is distressing, I am torn between home and 'home" my life is in Australia but my connection is in Europe, this has been the way my life has been since arriving in Australia in 1973. I usually keep these thoughts deep within but the recent trip has spilt my emotions out, I am in need of regrouping my thoughts.....

    ReplyDelete
  82. I also live in Australia and have moved here from South Africa 18 years ago and can relate to Szana's feelings. We celebrated our 34 th wedding anniversary yesterday snd my husband two boys of 18 and 24 (and 2 cats) are my world. We have had it all and then lost it again in 2008, are struggeling financially now. But we live on a beautiful acreage in a little "about-to-fall-over" cottage and we are a very close knit family. We had a small business for 7 years which we have just sold. And thanks to a Government insentive, we have both been offered employment by companies who employ over 50's. Love your blog Janet and I get very excited when I see your email notification in my inbox.

    ReplyDelete
  83. Hello Janet! It's me Paula one of your fellow travellers from the famous 2013 Garden Tour! I don't get much time to comment, but I am reading and keeping up with your adventures. This post has made me pull out my tour photos and remember such a fun time. I could feel my blood pressure drop looking at all that greenery. I recall wandering around Kew Gardens with you and L. Also, the cab trip from Kew to Petersham nurseries passing through Richmond. The driver pointing out the homes of the famous - Jerry Hall lives there and Pete Townshend of the Who lives there, whereupon you called out 'Stop , let's see if he's home'. The driver looked horrified that you might be serious and possibly you were :-).
    Winter seems to have passed so quickly, the light is changing and spring is on its way. I think of you there in Utah and it must be starting to get cool.
    Are you still up for a day at the US Tennis Open?
    Hope you are keeping a little bit of Patsy in the mix x

    ReplyDelete
  84. I am well.
    Yes.
    Yes.
    Yes.
    No.
    Yes.

    You know everything about me already anyway!! x

    ReplyDelete
  85. My husband has Parkinson's disease. That worries me every day. We have two grown sons, 2 grandsons. One son is doing well, the other is 6 years into recovery from addiction. He recently told us that we have a 3 year old grandson we had not met. My advice was to make it right. My method of coping is to count my blessings. I have much to be grateful for, but it is easy to lose sight of that. Reading other comments on this post lets me know I have much to be thankful for. We, your readers, connect with you because we feel we know you. I look forward to your posts.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Hi Janet. Thank you. I am first generation American, married 20 years and have a 12 year old son. I live in Folsom which is in Sacramento County. If I were wealthy I would travel the world, as I have always had wanderlust. We have a small dog named Gracie. I work full time as a Pension Administrator and my husband is a retired Correctional Officer. My family and friends are everything to me. I love reading, fashion, and travel and ANIMALS! love your blog Janet and your energy. xo

    ReplyDelete
  87. Well, here it goes. I've been married 34 years. Yes, we can quarrel but we still laugh too. He's my best friend but even best friends can get aggravated with each other haha. Same with my three children. They mean the world to me but we can get a little annoyed with each other at times too. The most important thing is there's no doubt we love each other. Same for my three grandchildren. Sometimes it's our differences that make life that much more interesting. Forces you to look at things in a different way or a way you just never thought of before. It turned out my husband and I had to take retirement earlier than we wanted. That was tough. We both loved our jobs. Thanks goodness we always lived pretty simple and our children had just finished college! We've downsized and love it. In fact we're looking to downsize a bit more so we can move right on Lake Erie and have everything within walking distance. We know we have much to be grateful for. I have many friends that have had to deal with terrible sadness. We work at eating healthy and staying very active. A friend bought a little shop in our town and called me up to see if I'd work with her. It's turned out to be fantastic. I do all the displays and its 5 min. from my house. It's a fair trade shop. My husband has a part time job just a ten min. walk down the street. We have a very ornery Jack Russell that keeps us on our toes. The one big disapointment is two our our kids live out of state. I miss them terribly. We's so happy they're happy....just wish they were closer to home. My big girl job was an interpreter for the deaf. I worked at two colleges and did lots of freelance work. I love mental health settings. Actually a lot of it dealt with addiction. My heart goes out to families dealing with that. That's about it!

    ReplyDelete
  88. No kids at home anymore and I miss the family thing so much. Hoping one day we will all live closer. Haven't made much of my career really. Small jobs while kids were young ,then clerical stuff later. I started a business 10 years ago but it doesn;t do well. I am pretty bored these days and spend way too much time on the internet. I have picked up a new hobby and hope that inspires me and also leads to some income.

    I have been with my husband since I was 18, so 36 years. We went through some bad periods and separated twice because we both felt it couldn;t work. We ended up back together and now are really happy except for one big issue. Sex. I have no sex drive and he feels rejected and really enjoys regular touching and intimacy and I am the opposite. So it's kinda a viscous circle as this issue keep coming around. It's really our main issue. I wonder how many of your readers have sex issues. Maybe that should be your next question. I discovered while I was separated that so many women have issue with sex with their partners. Funny thing is that before I was separated they all would NEVER admit it.

    ReplyDelete
  89. Hi Janet - I've been reading your blog for several months and don't believe that I have ever posted a comment (although I thoroughly enjoy reading others' comments). I am very soon to be 63 and 36 years into my second marriage. My husband is 92 and we're facing the inevitable consequences of advancing age. We have two grown sons and he has four grown children from his first marriage. Together we have four grandchildren - 3 live with their parents about an hour and half away and the newest fourth lives with his parents in another country. We get to see the 3 close grandchildren frequently and were fortunate to be able to travel out of the country to visit the newest one several months ago. We have had to deal with addiction with our younger son. He seems to be sober for now and I pray that his sobriety continues. It has been very difficult lately on many fronts, but I constantly and repeatedly remind myself that God has a plan and stay out of his way - tough for me and requires constant reminders to myself. As stated in another comment, I feel that I know you and look forward to your posts.

    Susan

    ReplyDelete
  90. Hi Janet. What an amazing post that has really struck a chord with so many of your readers. There is no perfect life, is there? Everyone has tough things to deal with at certain times of their lives. I am in a very contended stage of life. My husband and I celebrate 41 year of marriage tomorrow, we have children that live close enough to see often, and two grandchildren that we of course adore. I am an elementary teacher, and still so glad to be teaching. I started my career late in life, so I haven't reached the burnout stage yet. We live in a small town in NE where we both grew up. We love to travel, but have no desire to live anywhere else, despite the long cold winters. We just could never go south for the winter and be away from our family. We have had many hard, and even tragic, times in our life, but at this stage we are feeling very grateful for our health, our family, our safe little community, and our appreciation for each other. I am an avid gardener, and love to decorate our house with thrift store/garage sale finds. We hosted our daughter's wedding in our backyard this summer. Reading about how you did that gave me some needed confidence. I respect your great taste in decorating, and in clothes, and am amazed how you do it so beautifully, yet frugally. I do miss seeing your garden and house...I can imagine that is hard for you also. So glad your FIL is doing better, and hope that your journey will soon take you back to your lovely little home.

    ReplyDelete
  91. Hi Janet-it's fun to see I'm not the only La Mesa resident! Coffee at my place, anyone?

    About me:
    I am a NYC born and bred tomboy who loves Calvin Klein, minimalism, Star Trek, great Lit, ballet/dance, and art
    ( John Singer Sergent to Pollack and everything in between); rock-n-roll is my fave but I will listen to anything well played/written.

    I enjoy Thai food, gardening, painting, writing, teaching, chocolate anything, my twin 29 yr olds, the hubby, and my crazy hound mix, Boomer.

    I was widowed the year I turned 50 but found love again at 55! Both husbands are/were eight years younger than moi.
    Go figure.

    I meditate, do some yoga, make daily lists and am an organizing freak. I do not have a junk drawer.

    Husband and I set out to make our lives very deliberate when we got together in 2010-as both of us had been widowed very suddenly, so we wanted to make sure we lived our lives with as much passion and engagement as possible.
    We sold his house in OR, kept mine in TX (o rent out) and moved to San Diego/La Mesa-a place we both loved to visit.
    Now it's our home and we love it. Except for the I-8 TRAFFIC! ugh.

    I start my dream teaching job at the end of this month. We also volunteer with Just in Time for Foster Youth-an org. here in
    San Diego that helps kids who have aged out of foster care and don't have families to help them make their next move in life. College-Bound is one program that I just love but the whole organization and all of their programs are awesome.

    I turn 60 next year and I want to celebrate that by doing the Rock N Roll half-marathon. ( I'll be the slow jogger at the end, LOL) Wish me luck!

    I'm an optimist, a realist, and a dreamer. Sometime all three on the same day.

    Thanks for posing your question-it's fun to read all the comments!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Susan,

      Glad you are enjoying living in San Diego! What part of La Mesa are you in? I'm on the other side of Mt. Helix, near Avocado & Fuerte.

      Congrats on your new teaching position...my husband is also a teacher at an elementary school, he will be in his 20th year this fall :)

      We should meet for coffee sometime! Just let me know and we can arrange something.

      Linda

      Delete
  92. Hi Janet. I too love the calmness of your blog and have been reading for several years. My cottage is not quite as old as yours but we have had great joy living in our tiny 100 year old house with our 3 lovely children buzzing in and around us and our labradog. We walk everywhere and enjoy just gazing at the stars and the clouds and the flowers in the trees. My husband and I have always said how lucky we are that we and our children, including our twins, were healthy and doing reasonably interesting and useful things. Our bliss was broken in a single moment last year when our beautiful 21 yo daughter was killed in an accident. One moment she was there chatting and the next our lives broken apart. She continues to inspire us when we think of her laughing and planning all th exciting things she wanted to do and places to see. The last thing she did at work was bring someone back to life who was dying- It is pretty crazy world isn't it. I think that is why you being able to still notice how a single flower and a $5cushion can make a pretty place in the world is so appealling Janet. Have a lovely day xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You didn't leave a name, but I just wanted to reach out and give you a big hug. I'm so very sorry about your daughter.
      XOXO
      Lor

      Delete
  93. It's wonderful Janet how you've created an opportunity for people to tell their stories. I'm sure it's very therapeutic too - it must really help people who are struggling with depression or domestic difficulties to know they're not alone, that others share similar experiences and that your readers around the world are wishing them well.
    As Faux Fuchsia says, so many people have problems, even those who appear really successful and as though they're leading a brilliant life can still have crosses to bear.
    Lovely too to see how people from our wonderful Garden Tour have responded - we had such a fabulous time and it was so great to all meet up. Congratulations on your new little grand daughter - what a delight! Grandchildren are the heart's delight! Best wishes, Pammie x

    ReplyDelete
  94. Hi! (I posted once, but think I accidentally deleted it.) I have been following your blog for years now and just wanted to say that you have been a huge source of inspiration. I have mentioned your blog so many times to my daughter, that she is familiar with you and usually responds, "oh yeah, the GardnersCottage lady." :) And she really enjoyed looking at the weddings pics of your son and his new bride. In many ways, my life seems similar to yours. And something tells me that we both come from the same sociopolitical spectrum. My husband and I have two grown kids who have "somewhat" left the nest. And my son, a beautiful artist with a heart of gold, has caused us more stress that we ever thought we could endure. I am a vegetarian who eats mostly vegan - but sometimes cheat with some local goat cheese. I sometimes argue with my husband, mostly about finances. And this has been an especially stressful summer because 2 months ago my husband was laid off. So now we are looking to downsize (again(!)) (which is good! Sometimes I feel like I am the only person who actually gets excited about getting rid of things. So that is why I love, love, love your blog!) And I am looking forward to beginning a new "simpler" chapter in my life where I can have the time to do the things that I enjoy and also spend time with my husband. I love to shop at Farmer's Markets and prepare fresh, healthy food for my family, but lately, that has been difficult on a budget. And being from Kansas and Oklahoma, all my relatives are big meat eaters and don't get my choice of food. So my relatives just don't understand why I don't eat their green beans even when they are loaded with butter and bacon. Anyway, I guess these seem like minor problems to most people. And I must confess that I own a pair of leather Frye boots which I will more than likely wear the rest of my life. So that is just a little about myself. I am a woman who enjoys the simple things: a good veggie sandwich, a cup of tea, a well-organized closet or pantry. These things bring such joy. I often find, however, the frustrations of family and finances getting in the way. So it's a constant struggle to find balance and I am thinking about taking up Yoga and would love to hear more about your experience with it. I am a short, curvy gal and this has deterred me from taking it up sooner. Thanks for all your sharing and inspiration! And please don't ever stop blogging. I truly enjoy all your posts!

    ReplyDelete
  95. After almost 38 years of marriage, I still argue with my husband. Worrying about my children is the worst and seems to never end, no matter how old they get. We just returned form a trip where my husband started eating bacon again, and I nearly lost my mind!! I could not stop myself from asking him "how can you eat a poor pig?" No matter his answer, I just kept arguing. Time for me to start meditating again and realize I am only respinsible for me.

    ReplyDelete
  96. Wow, Janet! I just got back from a road trip and all caught up with your blog. What a testament to resilience and grace from your readers.
    I am 58 and live near Pismo Beach with my 2nd husband and grand daughter. Married at 20, divorced at 40. I thought my life would be awful after the divorce, but now I know what it's like to be in a happy relationship.
    Two weeks before my current husband and I married, my son and his GF told us she was expecting. She already had a son with someone else, and this child was living with her mother. I tried to stay calm but I knew this was going to be a rough ride.We went through the court system, which is just so deeply incompetent. this mother is an accomplished liar and drug user, with many rehabs and relapses, she started down this road as a young teen. I hear she is doing better now, but she caused so much pain, and abused our grand daughter when she was an infant, so she is not in our lives. God blessed me with tenacity and it was a miracle that we got through and got guardianship. My husband has so much love and he's been an amazing granddad to our grand daughter even though he was never a dad. My son is struggling with being an adult, he lives nearby and is dearly loved by his daughter.
    My daughter lives near us too and is a funny, sweet, and brilliant woman. I am so lucky to have her as my daughter and my friend.
    I retired from teaching two years ago... my mother and mother-in-law both were both ill...dementia from COPD & lung cancer. They died 4 months apart and I am so glad I chose to be with them . My brother and I nursed our mom with the help of hospice. I think we are both just coming out of it.
    I feel incredibly lucky.The bad times allowed me to grow and to understand what is really important. I love my perfectly imperfect family. We have a nice home, furnished with family hand me downs and thrifted treasures, two cats and a lemon tree whose blossoms I smell when I am doing dishes.This is a good time in my life. I know other hard times will come too, so I am savoring this interlude. A friend once told me to accept with grace is the key to living. I struggle with that, but it is my mantra. I love your blog and your style. I grew up going to junk stores in Venice and to the Rose Bowl with my mom, love that SoCal vibe!

    ReplyDelete
  97. Good evening, I am posting from England. i am 66 & been retired for a year & generally have enjoyed it but was feeling a bit down today. reading the stories in some of the comments has changed that, I now think I have a charmed life. I was widowed & brought my daughter up alone until she was 15, it was hard & we didn't have much money but it meant we are very close. Then I met & married a man who spoils me thoroughly, we do bicker from time to time but nothing major. I have 2 lovely handsome grandsons & the family live close by. I have 3 lovely brothers & we stay in touch. My garden is my passion -I am gutted because I have just had a wisteria die! We have had traumas, my husbands stroke, then heart attack, a beloved sister in law dying early. But I think I am blessed.
    Kind regards
    Elaine

    ReplyDelete
  98. Dear Janet,
    I've been mulling this over in my head for days as I don't want to write an epistle. First of all I would like to say what an inspiration you are and that I have learned so much from you over the years I have been reading your blog. As one lady said some way back in the comments, you are an inspiration.
    I turn 60 this November and am happier than I have ever been. I live in a beautiful spot in Virginia, close to the mountains. I was privileged to live in Tasmania and Devon during the course of my 27 year abusive marriage to a much older man. I managed to get free 8 years ago and every day is a gift. There have been many hardships during that journey but it was well worth it. I take joy in the simple things, a cup of tea, a walk with the birds singing (lots of bluebirds around here), gardening, doing any number of creative pursuits including my newest one, Bobbin lace making.
    Not so good in the job stakes, left a good job with an abusive boss last year and had the same thing happen this year (this time boss was a woman). I love the flat I live in and have had fun decorating the entire place with used items as I arrived back in the States with little furniture.
    Since I took to living a life of gratitude everything is much better. Sure there may be lots of people better off than me but there are many more worse off. Everyone's story is written with a different pen.
    The best blessing was reconnecting with my son 5 years ago and he wants me in his life so much that I am contemplating a move soon.
    Health wise pretty good, have struggled with chronic depression since a child, fortunately modern meds help a great deal. What is hardest now is coming to accept limitations in strength and not being able to do it all, as I am used to tackling any problem myself.
    Again, thank you for being so much to all of us.
    Kind regards, Marguerite

    ReplyDelete
  99. Janet, oh yes, I could write you a book. The beginning....one of seven, well loved, great family, mother dies age 47 from cancer. I was a senior in HS, oldest female child at home with four siblings younger than I. I went to school and ran the house for two years. I've had asthma and a bit ADHD my whole life, the ADHD has mellowed the asthma has gotten worse. I have been married for 46 years to the same guy and moved 18 times during those years. I keep telling the hubby if we make it to 50 we'll have a big banner that says "It's a miracle." Yep we fight, but then we get over it. We both thought we would have a great retirement, the money is there but not the health for one of us. My guy had to retire early due to health problems, hearing loss, really bad back, survived two pulmonary embolisms and miraculously stage 4 throat cancer. He's 71 but more like he's 80. I've had other trials which I choose not to share but as I reflect on my 68 years of earth life I would have to say my life is a pretty amazing fairytale. Everyone who is born will have trials and challenges, it's how we face them that defines and refines who we are. Without sorrow and struggles we would not appreciate the good and joyful. I have great faith and a belief in God, it is what sustains me through both the bad and good that I have experienced. As I grow older I try much harder to look for the good in others, to empathize and support as best I can those in my sphere who are struggling. I've come to realize that I can't change others or fix their problems. I can only change myself and face life's trials the best I can. I choose to look for the beauty around me, to create beauty if it's not there, to view the cup half full, to compliment others, to be grateful because there is so much every day to be grateful for...like eyes, ears, hands and legs that work, clean water to drink, refrigerators and clothes washers and so much more. Just waking up every morning with a new day is such a gift. Those little tiffs with my guy are mostly silly and often just a way to relieve stress. I keep telling him that we don't have time for the negative or to waste energy on negative thoughts, words and behavior cause we're running out of time. This quote has been at the forefront of my mind this past week, why...because I know people who are dealing with some really hard diffiuclt things in their lives right now, "Be Kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

    You know, now that I think about it, we are having a great retirement, not the one we planned but one that many people will never have. We had a very interesting life but our crowning achievement is our 4 chidren and 13 grandchildren.

    Janet, you are a fish out of YOUR water right now but what you are doing is good and right. It's hard to see our children struggle but maybe good to see if they can figure things out on their own. Could one of your friends send you some of your clothes? I hope you have a library card to a nearby library, two books that I really enjoyed reading this summer are "All the Light We Cannot See" by Anthony Doerr and "The Boys is the Boat" James Brown. Please know that you are touching many lives by your example, being a caregiver is stressful especially when you don't have your own home to go home to.

    Finally, I adore your blog and so that means I adore you. God Bless....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I failed to give my age and place of residence...I'm 68 and I presently live 37 miles west of the White House in Northern Virginia. I have lived in Utah, (Berlin, Mannheim, Frankfurt and Heidelberg) Germany also Georgia, North Carolina, Kentucky, New york, Pennsylvania, Kansas and Colorado. I've found that you can be happy just about anywhere if you choose to be. I'll confess though that living in Europe was my favorite just because of the opportunities that it afforded our family. Once again we will pack up our "too much' stuff and move next year and guess what, it will be to Utah. I can't believe it but it's true.

      Delete
  100. I have enjoyed reading the comments. I love your elegant style. I am 56, married 30 years and I have 4 kids, ages 19 -28 y/o. One son is in dental school and married, another son is planning to go to medical school, youngest is starting college at the end of the week. My oldest has Asperger's and he has struggled with drug addiction and has been to treatments centers several times. The most recent was January - June 2015. He seems to be doing well, is working a job he really likes, and seems to be the happiest he has been in years. He decided to continue living in the town the treatment center is in which is 16 hours away by car. It was one of the most difficult things we have ever experienced. The adage that a mother is only as happy as her most unhappy child is true for me. Fingers crossed for him. We flew to him for a visit at the beginning of July and he looks great and seems very happy. This has been a subject that I haven't been able to discuss with friends because we live in a small town and I don't want this to be a topic of conversation for others. It is a lonely feeling.

    I was the primary caregiver for 4 years.for my mother during her struggle with cancer. I really miss her a lot.

    I am at a new life stage now that my youngest is heading for college at the end of this week. I would like to fill some of my time doing something new. I decided that I would like to try my hand at making Angel gowns for babies who pass away before leaving the hospital due to prematurity or stillbirth. I have been asking friends and acquaintances for their old wedding gowns to make the gowns. So far I have received two gowns and I am eager to begin creating the gowns next week after my daughter starts school. I have talked to a friend who works in NICU in our town and she said they would love to have some gowns. I am eager to see if this is something that I am good at doing. I love to sew and I love beautiful fabric.

    Your blog is one that I look forward to reading at the end of the day. I love reading your posts. Your son's wedding was one of the loveliest that I have seen. I tried my best to recreate a version of that for my son's Rehearsal Dinner in June. It turned out beautiful. I even make sack lunches for the kiddos and included a bottle of bubbles and a glow wand. from Dollar Tree. I have never seen kids have so much fun for a dollar. I ordered my flowers in bulk from Sam's Club. 190 assorted color roses for $108. The ordering instructions said to order the arrival date two days before you plan to arrange them, cut the stems an inch and put in a bucket of water. They were gorgeous mixed with hydrangeas and lemon leaf. Your beautiful arrangements inspired me. Thanks so much. I look for to your next post.


    ReplyDelete
  101. Funny, I just asked the readers of my blog the same thing, albeit differently :)

    I'm rue. I live in an old cottage in the mountains of Arizona. I have two children 25 and 19 that yes, I do argue with on occasion. I have a boyfriend, that yes, I also argue with. I have two fur babies named Mini and Bubba, that I don't argue with lol

    I love your blog. thanks for asking!

    rue

    ReplyDelete
  102. Oh and I'm super happy where I'm living. It's a dream!

    ReplyDelete
  103. PS, what I meant to repeat that a previous commenter said, was that you are Uplifting! It's amazing how reading you can make the greyest day brighter!
    Cheers, Marguerite

    ReplyDelete
  104. Hi Janet,
    I lost my original comment and that's ok. I don't need to post it, it helped me to just "put it on paper". :)
    I'm inspired and awed but the amazing readers who shared their stories. Your blog has helped me in more ways than I can say as have the comments. I'm one of the quiet/ shy readers but I thank you for taking the time to write this blog that has touched so many.
    To Susan who loves art, I am lucky to have a tiny summer cottage on Cape Cod as does my sister. She went to a tag sale this spring and bought a few things. She walked by late in the day and saw a painting in the "free" pile she had overlooked earlier. It turned out to be an original John Singer Sargent. My lazy butt and I stayed home eating muffins which is just as well. Two middle aged ladies fighting at a tag sale in our quiet town probably would have made the paper!

    ReplyDelete

kindness is never out of style.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Back to Top