Saturday, August 19, 2017

Transitioning...Back To The Simple Life

I'm so appreciative of calm peaceful days spent in the garden.

Entrance to our coastal garden.

Entrance To Our Coastal Garden and those rocks you see is our homemade fire pit made by my BG. 
When my BG and I married I moved into his comfy little home. It's actually right in the heart of bustling suburbia Tampa, Florida.
The front of Staffordshire Cottage. The only difference today is the face of the cottage has creeping fig growing up the sides.

The Big Sur (2014) California

Carmel California (2014)
While my BG and I dream of living closer to the shores of the Pacific, but far enough away to have chickens, a big garden, yellow labs, bunnies and a barefoot baby running amuck we are enjoying and making the most of our cute cottage we are now in. 

It's so romantic to paint outside in the garden. 

We plant a limited variety of vegetables and make the most of the small square-foot organic gardening. We also have a clothes line and I've made a few beds for flowers by bordering them with homemade (English) wattle fencing from old branch trimmings of crape myrtles. 

When I first moved in, I created a makeshift clothes line by using the fence posts as my anchors for my laundry line. It's one of two places in the garden that has full sun.

Taking time to pick a few heirloom tomatoes. 

Jeffrey enjoys a garden full of mostly tropical. Whereas I enjoy tropicals as well (the garden looks alive all year around) but I've been adding my own style of English gardening flowers and definitely a tiny fragrant rose garden. I now have a knockout rose bush, blue girl, and a sugar moon. I've wanted a rose garden since I was a tiny girl. I'm quite pleased thus far. 
It's lovely at how quickly the flowers filled out, adding fullness along the pathway to the garden gate.
Sugar Moon's first bloom of the season. 

An experiment where I am trying to get my hyacinths to take root.

Our topiary gardenia bush.
I absolutely adore hydrangeas.
Delicate lavender says English garden to me. 

(I'm saving my love story for another entry), but wanted to share with you here on my new blog how my simple old-fashioned life came to be. 

From the time I was a small child, I would never wear pants. I really enjoyed old things. (I wonder if it's because I was reincarnated so many times that I carry this style with me through the incarnations)... (Hey don't knock it... even Tasha Tudor believed she was a  reincarnated captains wife from the 1800's...I'm not so weird... or maybe I am heh... ) 

I've always loved old clothes, old writing, old books, old music, old people, old vehicles, old lifestyle in every single form there is. 

I clung to the lifestyle of old-fashioned living. I think the first time I wore pants was in high school. As time wore on I began feeling the pressures of society, peers, friends and especially when I began dating. 

It's always been sort of funny to watch people in dismay because I dress like I came from a 1800's reenactment... I bet wondering to them "What occult is this lady from."(heh...)

Picking tomatoes in the garden.
Pulling weeds in the garden.
I held my own for quite some time, even in the midst of my rearing young children (I'm 45 and have 4 children: (Son-Carter 24)(Son-Sawyer-22)(Son-Brooker-19)(Daughter-Zoë Kennedy-17) sewing, smocking and hand sewing all of our clothes. I grew vegetables and canned, and made almost everything from scratch. 

I'd hand knead and bake at least five loaves of sourdough bread a week and freeze it. My older boys had never had bought store bread until the time they were about 5 years old. I've never held a career. I was always a stay at home mother by choice and loved every minute of it. I'd happily do it all again. 
The patterns I've used for years to make my clothes. 

A few of my childrens blessing bishops, daygowns and bonnets that I've smocked.

Sourdough starter.
I homeschooled my two older boys. Sawyer my middle son graduated with high honors. I used a lovely curriculum and his electives were writing music lyrics. He loved it so much and is an exceptional writer to this day. He has his own band and is pursuing a career at it. My daughter lives in Oklahoma with her father. If I had moved back to California after the divorce she would have gone with me, but beings she had been plucked up and moved dozens times prior; I thought it best to listen to my child's desires. And that meant she implored of me that she wanted to spend her last year at the same school and graduate with her friends. I couldn't make her leave with me, I didn't feel in my heart it was right. As much as it's been difficult for me as a mother (someone that was the sole parent for all of their lives) I think it's pertinent to listen to our children. I do believe we as parents can sometimes use children as excuses, as well as, leverage when a marriage dissolves. I was bound and determined to not do that; no matter the disparity. 

My three boys were on their own living in their own place and they chose to stay in Oklahoma as well. I think now that they have all made friends, have jobs and girlfriends they enjoy the state quite a bit. 

Zoe Kennedy has informed me she'd like to travel the world (as a flight attendant) and base out of California. I'm with her...;) that's also what Jeffrey and I plan on doing very soon, making the move to Carmel, California. 

After my divorce, I went to live with my parents for a time and continued to work on my inner being, giving myself lots of love and self-care. I had never done that before. I got lost. I forgot who I was before marriage. I forgot the things I loved, like my painting, and wearing old-fashioned clothes, hanging clothes on the line, sewing by candlelight, and the list goes on. But, I've found myself again. Like a lost treasure deep in the depths of an ocean. I found the treasure and that treasure; IS ME! I found me again and My heart is so full of joy every single day. 
For now, we (my BG and I) are very satisfied with our lives as we know it. I have a small circle of close knit friends that I simply adore, a cottage bunny that is the dandiest companion I could've ever hoped for, and a soul mate love that little girl's dream of. So all in all... I have a simple but fairy tale life if one were to ever ask me. 

Thank you for listening to me. I do appreciate you, dear friends. I thought it best as the dust has now settled to share a few words about my past. Sweet dreams... 

Yours til my next swim, Raquel


  1. I have discovered we are more kindred...than I could have ever imagined...Tasha Tudor lived the kind of life my heart dreams of...You are now enacting that dream as well...My life is not as "simple" as I would like...I run to a drummer that keeps me in a world that is not "simple"...yet, I know I must follow that "drummer"...Loved this post, dear friend. Years ago, my mother once said I was too much like my "grandmother" and "great grandmother"...She didn't mean it as a compliment. I was too different. As I look back, I am LOVING the fact, I am much like my grandmothers gone by...I am content with that...LOVE you dear friend...

    1. Deb, Ive always adored you! I know too that we are kindred spirits. You have been an outstanding woman and example to me throughout the time I've known you. Thank you for LITERALLY being the one of two friends that stuck by me in friendship along my journey. I love you and thank you for sharing. Yours affably, Raquel

  2. Raquel,
    Such a lovely story . Same here , born an old soul with a love for preserving the old ways of living. I love staying close to our hubby farm and keeping the world and it's ugliness at bay. It's been lovely getting to know you through Take Peace and hope we can meet someday😊 My daughter is vacationing in CA presently and took a picture of herself at Clint Eastwoods restaurant in Carmel. She said it's beautiful. I fear we shall never leave New England-born here and live the old ness of it all here. Although I grew up on the beaches of Cape Cod loving the seaside.
    Take care kindred spirit ♥️

  3. Suzanne, of my stars... I would betshes having a delightful time in California. I wish I never had to have left... but hopefully soon my BG and I will be farewelling the coast and make a new home in Carmel. Fingers crossed. I think Carmel is so charming. Also, one couldn't blame you for your true love of New England! It's a dream place too! Thank you for commenting. I agree with you wholeheartedly... it's been a real treat getting to know you too! Yours affably, Raquel