Transitioning...Back To The Simple Life

Saturday, August 19, 2017
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)
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 clothesline, 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 clothesline 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 round) 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 1800s...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 started dating. 

It's always been sort of funny to watch people in dismay because I dress like I came from an 1800's reenactment.

Picking tomatoes in the garden.
Pulling weeds in the garden.
I held my own for quite some time, even amid 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 knead by hand and bake at least five loaves of sourdough bread a week and freeze it. My older boys had never eaten store-bought 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, day gowns and bonnets that I've smocked.

Sourdough starter {A metal bowl is a no-no, but for the sake of the photo, I used it. }
I homeschooled my two older boys. Sawyer, my middle son, graduated with high honours. I used a lovely curriculum, and his electives were writing music lyrics. He loved it so much. He's an exceptional writer, has his own band and is pursuing a career. 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 of 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 the mother, 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 a 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 delighted 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 would 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... 

Most abbafbly yours til my next swim, Raquelxxx

Dearest Friends...

Thursday, August 17, 2017
This is my new simplistic blog that I created as a way of telling you a beautiful new story about me, with its own chapters of how I returned to what I call home after a long pilgrimage.
Many seasons have passed away and so many events have transpired in my life. I willingly have chosen to refrain from many of my disparities here on my blog; not for any other reason than I want to bring a part of my world to you, that's full of bliss and joy. However, I do share in depth occurrences on my Youtube channel as another outlet to encourage my healing and inspire others along the way.

This blog is my journaled documents as a still placid reminder of my spirited continuation of my returning endeavors back to simplicity, rebirth, awakened self-love, and acceptance.
I want this blog to be filled with the surroundings of simplistic beauty as my transformational journey continues, as well as a rebirthing of the woman I used to be before I allowed such trivial matters to conform my spirited soul and get the best of me.
I willingly chose this path of good old-fashioned feelings. I would love it ever so much if you came along with me as a way to grow in love and friendship.
Yours til my next swim, Raquel

A Day Of Exhaustion And A Little Excursion

Wednesday, August 16, 2017
This morning my BG (Beloved Gardener) was home resting for the third day, as we do believe now he had a mini heat exhaustion attack.

 He came home from work on Friday of last week with severe dehydration. I put together some remedies for him to encourage his wellness, so I thought I'd share those with you, my dear readers. 
If one doesn't take a trip to get an IV drip, here are a few home remedy particulars that I've used and a few were quite popular in the early 1900's. 

Plums-Soak some plums in water till they are softened. Mash them in the water and strain. This drink is especially perfect for an actual heat stroke, and to calm the body. 
Coconut Water- Drink a good amount to replace the electrolytes. I think most are quick to get Pedialyte, but coconut water is much better for you. 
Sandalwood Essential Oil- Apply a few drops (dōTerra is the only brand I use) on the forehead and it will reduce fever.  
Encourage lots of slumber.
As my BG slept for almost three whole days entirely, I worked a little in the garden, in between rain storms...I began pulling weeds.
I then took a small trip to the local thrift store and found several baskets to add to our ongoing collection and to make drying rack more full. 
When I returned to the cottage there was one of the lovely back to basics I purchased for my BG on gardening. I also purchased the self-sufficient life for myself. 

I'm trying to keep pace, but often times I get overwhelmed at the amount of work a garden and cottage life entails. 

"Next year, I'm going to build a proper cold frame, mark my words, just like the one I saw in The Tale of Benjamin Bunny. Now that was a fine piece of craftsmanship, with stout brick sides."-Tasha Tudor

Yours 'til my next swim, 

19th-Century Simple Living In A 21st-Century World

Thursday, August 10, 2017
The summer months have nearly passed away, my dear friends.

 My BG and I had to remove our large 30-foot palm a few months ago. I asked my beloved to bring home his chain saw from the garden shop so that he can slice the trunk into 3- inch chargers. They will be spectacular for evening garden parties. I'm not one to waste. Not because I'm such a frugal person, but I suppose because it's my creativity pouring from my fingertips. I find it utterly pleasurable.
At the back of the cottage doors, I find it's quite convenient to keep boots, baskets, gloves, and clippers close at hand.
As I've been going through some transitional moments, the tides turning so to speak, I am reminded again of all the particulars in my life and how every thing rebounds.

Most of you probably aren't aware of the side of me that I really haven't spoke of much. At least since the internet has come along. I'd like to take you along on a journey of the woman I was long ago before she was forgotten. That woman I would sum up in the best way possible by saying I'm an aspiring woman of 19th-century simple living in a 21st-century world. I was browsing through the few photo albums that I have of my children and I saw the girl I was as a young mother. I used to make dozens of calico printed skirts, smocked linen petticoats with lace and wore them daily with darling pillowcase aprons that I would sew.

My daughter would also wear pillowcase dresses. Do you remember when those were something the little southern girls would wear often? I think my daughter had at least seven, one for each day of the week. Her great-great grandmother would sit in the nursing home and embroider the edges of pillowcases and I would make them into dresses. My daughter never left our home without a pair of eyelet bloomers beneath her dresses. Barefoot maybe, but never without bloomers. (heh...)
As I've observed the numerous virtual committee meetings for the curatorship of the mansion in Carmel, California, I must admit it seems like at times I can see no light at the end of the tunnel. But then when I post an entry like the one tonight I'm reminded straight away that everything is in perfect timing.
Collecting more straw for another wispy broom. My collection is coming along nicely. 
  Preserving the harvest. Fresh green beans for supper. Whatever is in the season really eliminates the choices of whats to be prepared for our meals. What I love about gardening is the variety of fresh vegetables that are in season.

 The cottage has been under- construction for some time! For the last several months I've spent my time in between painting by removing all the carpet in the cottage. It may seem that it's not the best looking but I happen to fancy the bare concrete floors. The clean up is easy and especially when there's a bun-bun hopping about it makes my duties much lighter. I'm converting our front room into my artist's studio since it'll be much easier than having to clear the dining table every evening for supper. I am planning to seal the floors with a flat sealer to encourage repelling spills and markings from seeping into the concrete.
 I had sweet corn from the farmers market, so after my BG and I ate the corn I decided that I'd spend a few minutes creating some corn cob dolls. I loved making these at Thanksgiving with my daughter especially. My little boys weren't super fond of them, but they did enjoy making the turkey pine cones for name place cards.
 Today I planted flowers and watched closely to be ready for seed harvesting. soon...very soon...
 I find that preserving a seed harvest helps you to appreciate all the hard work that goes into every seed pod when they begin to flower--and that feeling of accomplishment is the earth's endowment.
My BG picks us daily vegetables from the garden and says "Let's make something from our harvest today, my love." (I feel little distinguishable nose twitching from holding my eyelids shut tightly to keep from dewy drops of tears streaming down my freckled fair complected, rosy cheeks). 
 I spent the morning like most mornings out in the garden. As I was perusing my tools, I was reminded of how much I appreciate my BG (Beloved Gardener) for collecting all vintage garden tools. He even sharpens them himself. Gardening tools are the first thing he goes towards whenever we visit a yard or estate sale. I think it's quite romantic. (shhh...) :)

Life is a gift to be appreciated every day. How glorious it is to be surrounded by natures beauty, the simplicity of daily devotion; to feel the true joy of contentment.