Wednesday, August 2, 2023


 In character, in manners, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity. Author Unknown. 

I've read many books about "how to simplify," "living simply", "simplicity", but after reading some of them it sometimes felt overwhelming and not at all simple to get to the point of Living Simply. I was looking for a way to simplify my life but in small baby steps because it is, after all, a lifestyle, not a one and done event. These are things I"ll need to be doing for the rest of my life! 

Basically I was looking to  create new daily habits that would automatically create a simple life. So I tried breaking things down into doable baby steps to make "Living Simply", well, simpler!  

When you create new daily habits, your brain is being rewired to eventually continue these new habits automatically without thinking about them. Neuroscientists say that it takes 20-30 days to create a new habit. So if you were to intentionally create new daily habits, after 20-30 days it would become automatically wired into your brain as a lifestyle habit that you won't have to think about. Think about some habits you have now that you don't think about. Simple things you do every day without thinking. Do you have habits around brushing your teeth, making your bed, combing your hair? You don't think about them nor have to force yourself to do them, its just a part of your lifestyle...what you do every day. 

Just as you created those habits, you can create habits around living simply. You don't have to create them all at one time. Just choose what habits you will create first and after you have that habit mastered go on to another one. Some of you may want to create more than one new habit at a time but you don't have to.

Here are some baby steps you can take that will help you to Live Simply. I have broken them down into 5 categories to be able to work on all areas of your life. 

1) Your Mind

      Keeping your mind focused and in the moment will help you to live simply. If you work on keeping your thoughts focused instead of wandering "will nilly" you won't be feeling so overwhelmed. It takes practice but makes a huge difference. Focus on what you are doing in the MOMENT!  

2) Your Space

        Begin to take baby steps to clean out the clutter. But take it in small steps as in maybe one drawer at a time. Even one little step like that will motivate you to take another baby step. 

3) Your Time

         Decide what is important to you and what your values are. Then begin so say no to anything that does not fit your values. You may need to stop doing some things that don't fit your values also.

4) Your Relationships

          Make a list of the important people in your life that you want to keep growing your relationships with: family, close friends, and others. 

5) Volunteering/Giving Back

          It is important to reach out and do things for others in a meaningful way. Although you shouldn't stop ministering to others, make sure your time spent is meaningful and maybe even involves working with your family doing for others so the family time isn't sacrificed.

I know these are just little simple samplings of "to dos" and I'll flesh out more on each item later. But this is a start! It's important to just take baby steps with your new simplified life! Give yourself time to breathe during your day!

Happy August and Keep It Simple!


Saturday, July 29, 2023


 An honest answer is like a warm hug. Proverbs 24: 26 The Message

As I look back at my posts I realize I've been posting just one post a 
month. Not what I had hoped to do when I first started this blog. I had hoped to post much more often! But the reason for this blog in the first place was to let you all know when our Hob Nobber sales were coming up and also to share some of our "finds" before the big sale and the adventures we had finding them! But change is a part of life and as we got older the work became harder. It became quite a huge project to fill this big old house with vintage and antique finds, as fun as it was! So that's when I opened up my online shop, Gwen And Alma's, on Etsy. Later my daughter and granddaughter joined me in this endeavor. Hubby Les, became our shipper! Occasionally we had a booth at Gold Rush in Rochester but later stopped doing that as well.

Presently we are still selling in our online shop, Gwen And Alma's! Hop on over there to see some of our latest finds!

One thing that we started doing is having a yearly garage and vintage sale to begin downsizing while also selling some of our Gwen And Alma treasures. So I'll be sharing here when our next garage sale will be. Most likely in September. So keep an eye out for it! You might also want to check out our Instagram page which Elissa will be taking charge of and will be posting photos on there! 

As mentioned in several posts I'm also sharing about how to simplify your life which, as I think about what I've written here, doesn't sound like I'm doing any simplifying myself! Hahaha! It's a work in progress!

Another thing that's in the planning stages is a Centennial Celebration for the Plummer House in 2024. Read about the Plummer House on another page seen at the top of our blog. The Plummer House was built from 1917 to 1924! It took 7 years to build this 49 room mansion! Next year it will be 100 years old! So we're planning an event to celebrate! I'll share details as it gets closer!

Every year my granddaughter, Gili,  sets up a Fairy Garden on the grounds. We found a spot at the bottom of a stone stairway that is hidden just until you come around the corner and there it is! A pleasant little surprise! People began leaving change in the little shell that we set next to it! That was a magical surprise for US! It never amounts to much but we save it and buy new things for next year's garden. Below is this year's Fairy Garden.

              Gili posted a little note that reads, "My Fairy Garden...Enjoy but please don't destroy!

Stay Cool!


Saturday, June 24, 2023


 I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June. Anonymous

It's June and I'm trying to live in the moment, enjoying  and soaking in each beautiful memory!

We've been busy during the first few weeks of the month. Gili ( granddaughter #3) loves horses and started following the horse races. She and her family would always host a Kentucky Derby party! This year they were out of town for the Derby so they hosted a Belmont Party! It's a pretty big deal! We have snacks first and then while snacking we watch the preliminaries. After seeing the horses and their jockies and owners we get down to making our pics! This year Monica and Gili won the Trifecta! They both picked the top three horses, first, second and thrird place. They didn't know they had picked the same ones until after all the pics were completed and hung on the wall! During the very short but exciting race there are lots of whooping and hollering! There was also a horse race with the "kids" on their stick horses! 

And the winners with The Trifecta are...Monica and Gili!

Usually Memorial Day weekend is the time we put the boat in the water. This year the water was very high so we waited until the next week to put it in. It turned out to be a gorgeous day but a bit chilly for swimming though the kids braved the cold water and went in anyway! 

                           In a SUNSHINE state of mind!!  πŸŒž

We stopped at our usual beach which, back when I was growing up, was called Point Sob. There is a different name for it now, but WE still call it Point Sob ( or was it Point Saab? ).  There are always lots of boats on this beach and some anchored nearby in the water! It's a very popular spot!

Of course I found an Estate Sale this month and made some purchases for the shop! They are not all listed in the shop yet, but will be up soon! Hop on over and take a look!

We also made it to a play, A Raisin In The Sun, at a local theatre. Wonderful play, by the way! I knew one of the men in the play whom I had known since he was 12. I still think of of him as a little kid but now he's a grown man.

                                                Demetrius whom I used to know as Meechie!

                    And before the play got started we were treated to some Jazz music! It was wonderful!

And we also watched our grandson play flag football. Our great grandson, Leo, LOVES his Uncle Charlie!

                                                 So that's been part of our month so far! 

We are on Instagram and post pictures of our treasures that we sell in our Etsy shop, Gwen And Alma's! Check it out at Instagram

Enjoy the rest of JUNE!


Saturday, May 27, 2023


Veterans are a symbol of what makes our nation great, and we must never forget all they have done to ensure our freedom. Rodney Frelinghuysen

Thinking of Memorial Day and the brave men and women who died to ensure our freedom.



Saturday, May 20, 2023


 What wings are to a bird, and sails are to a ship, so is prayer to the soul. Corrie Ten Boom

As I shop for items to sell in our Gwen And Alma's shop I often find that I end up keeping a few things for myself! Thats the beauty of this little side business! ; )

So today I'm sharing a couple of ( or a few ) things I least for now!

This little Antique English Burnt Bamboo Shelf is one recent treasure I had a hard time letting go... so I kept it! I had already found one at an Estate Sale and sold it and then immediately regretted it! So when I saw this one I HAD to have it! Right now it's sitting in a back hallway that is a large enough area to put something in but it needs to be on the smaller side. So it fits the bill. 

I also purchased the sweetest little vintage bird picture which I also kept and for now it is sitting on this shelf but I really like seeing the little bamboo slats on the back of the shelf so I may not keep the picture there. I'll probably hang it!

                   The blue pitcher was a Mom's Day gift and the pot was made by a friend.

Near the shelf is this Scandinavian bench I purchased at an Estate Sale several years ago and I think I'll always keep this, since I'm fully Scandinavian!

     I also kept this extra large pillow from an Estate sale that is covered with an antique flour sack!

Recently I was bidding on an online auction and saw a Primitive Milking Stool that I really liked. I finally stopped bidding as the bidding went higher. And then over Mother's Day weekend, my daughter and granddaughter and I went to Gold Rush, an Antique, Vintage and Flea Market, and lo and behold, there it was! How crazy is that? It was in a Scandinavian booth which I stop at when Gold Rush is in town. The owner has a Scandinavian shop in Wisconsin. I asked her if she had just purchased this at a recent online auction and she, of course, said she had! There couldn't be TWO of them, after all! 

I had been bidding on it thinking of selling it but now that I saw it in person I decided to buy it for myself! I told my husband he just bought another Mother's Day gift for me!

It's a little more primitive than my living room so I will probably find another place for it! But it's a fun conversation piece and it has a fun story to go with it! Right now it's a plant stand.

         Les and I went to the 100 Mile Garage Sale and I picked up this antique mirror...

I'll hang it later but for now it's going to sit on the dresser, which by the way, I purchased at an Estate Sale. 

Oh my! I didn't look in the mirror before sharing this. LOL I didn't quite get the bedroom ready for a photo op. This bedroom is used by the grandkids so I keep little cute things on the dresser, including the pixie sitting in the bowl of sand from our "second home" in Panama City Beach, Florida.

On our latest trip to South Carolina, I purchased this vintage embroidered pillow from a cute little gift shop in Old Bluffton. They carried antique and new items. 

                         This little guy, "Baby", is ready for May in blue hat and flowers. I change his head wear monthly according to the seasons. 

Enjoy the May flowers! 


Tuesday, May 9, 2023


 Life is simple, but men keep making it complicated. Confucious 

One of the things I want to do in this blog, is share my thoughts on keeping life simple. Maybe there is no such thing as a "simple life" but there are things we can do to keep it from getting more complicated. I like to think of a simpler life as "Joyfully Balanced". So list making is  one thing I do to try and keep from complicating my life.

Are you a list maker? I might be the queen of list makers! I make lists of lists! I also write things down on my lists that I already did but had forgotten to write down. Just so I can have that great feeling of crossing them off! Yup! I really do that!

Lists help me stay organized. They act as reminders. They keep me feeling calmer because I don't have to have so many thoughts going on in my mind trying to remember what I need to do. 

Here's a list of some of the lists I keep:

1) Master To Do List...This list is the one that is ongoing where I add everything that pops into my head that I have to do, buy, remember, etc. Yes it's a long one but I use this list every day. At the beginning of the week, I check to see what is on the list that I have to do in the current week. I transfer the items to the calendar on the day in which I need to do that item. I then get to cross the item off the master to do list. This Master To Do List might be my most important list.

2) Beach Vacation List...Most of our vacations are beach vacations and I used to forget some items when we went on vacation. So I made a list of things we always need and maybe some things we don't. I keep the list on my computer and download a copy when we're getting ready to go on vacation.

3) Grocery List...I keep a list during the week of things we run out of and things  I will need to buy and add to them during the week so when I make out a weekly grocery list to shop I have a beginning list ready at hand.

4) Budget Lists...I have a budget list for Monthly Bills, Christmas Expenses, and anything else I'm saving money for.

5) Birthday and Anniversary List

6) Ideas List..This is one that I keep in case I come up with an idea for something that I don't want to forget about. It might be a blogging idea, a creative B-day idea, anything that comes to mind. 

7) Projects

8) Menu Planning

9) Monthly, Weekly, Daily To Do's

10) Gift List

If this seems overwhelming to you, consider starting with only a few lists. Or start with just a Master List. You'll soon find how easy it is to do and how much it helps. 

Happy List Making! 

                                                                          ENJOY THE SPRING

la det skje ( let it happen ) 


Monday, May 8, 2023


 Despite the forecast, live like it's SPRING! Lily Pulitzer

This is actually an old picture of our grandson, Charlie, who is now 14!  But I love his little smile! And I enjoyed this little teal colored bench which I sold at one of our sales, though now I'm wondering why I sold it! 🀣 That happens a lot to me! But I can't keep everything! After all I'm working at simplifying my life, if it's even possible to do being in the antique business! This maybe was not even taken in the Spring! Oh well! It has flowers!     


We haven't been home long after a 2 week vacation to South Carolina and Florida! Four of our family members received tickets to The Masters Golf Tournament so we stayed a short distance away in our niece's Vacation Cottage ( it is really MORE than a cottage) which is in Bluffton, South Carolina.  (Thanks again, Amy and Tom! ) After that, on to Florida for our usual Spring Break "second home".

Coming back home my husband and I took it slow and stopped at an Estate Sale in Franklin, Tennessee and a few other antique shops along the way. I found some fun treasures to list in our Gwen And Alma shop and maybe some to keep for myself! Check out our Gwen And Alma's shop here!

                                       The Estate Sale was in a beautiful countryside horse ranch! 

                                          Shown below are some of my purchases on this trip...

Since it was the last day of the sale I missed many of the treasures I saw posted online but I still managed to find some very fun things! I'm keeping the little pillow for myself! At least for now! 😜


SPRING is springing up here at the Plummer House, slowly but surely ! 

The Plummer House Gardener , Ben, ( he probably has a more official title but I'm not sure what it is) has been very busy already! He, of course, is in charge of more than the Plummer House so he is a very busy guy, indeed! There is also a "Summer Gardener" who works alongside Ben in the summer here at the Plummer House. Every spring Ben put's Pansies in the concrete pots. Even the concrete pot he placed by our front door! 


            I just hope no little bunny comes along and eats them!



 Several years ago we purchased a Cherry Blossom Tree in memory of my Dad and my husband's Mom. The blossoms are lovely but it's now overflowing into the open greenhouse. We may have to have it transplanted if that's even possible. 

The other day I went to Sargent's Greenhouse to spend a gift card I had received a while back. The new coffee shop they opened is overflowing into the green house so customers can enjoy their coffee surrounded by the greenery! I'm going back there for just that! You might want to check it out for yourself! 🌹🌸🌷🌻🌺

I bought a fern, which I hope to keep alive! I'm kind of a serial plant killer. 😭 But I'm going to try to keep this one alive! I hope it helps to talk to them every day because this pretty lady and I have conversations about how she's going to keep on growing and thriving for years and years! 

When I went up to the cashier to pay I couldn't find my gift card! 😞 I ended up paying for it! Hah! So now I have to buy something else with the gift card, which as it turned out, was in my purse after all! Oops! Oh well! More plants for ME!!

Here she is in our foyer ( Les insists its a FOY YAA ...long A). 

                            Sorry about the poor lighting! The sun created too much shadow!

                             My antique cupboard is next to it along with a lantern I purchased at one of our Hob Nobber sales and a handmade clay "Baby" which I purchased from Coyla, a dear friend. After Coyla's husband's retirement, they sold almost everything from their home and moved to an island they had purchased! 

"Baby" was made by a patient of Coyla's husband. I put different hats on it every month. Coyla always had him wear different hats so I had to keep him dressed as he was used to. 

In between these two items is a Scherenschnitte art piece I made for my Mom years ago. It was one of the things I kept of hers after she passed away a couple of years ago. Next to the cupboard is a large brass vase which holds Les' collection of canes and walking sticks.

Since it has been months since I posted, I have much to share but I'll have to stop here for now! This is getting toooo long!

Be sure and enjoy each moment of this lovely season of SPRING! As I write this I hear many different birds singing in the background and it's drawing me outside to enjoy even more the sounds, sights, and scents of SPRING!




Monday, November 14, 2022


 Hello, November!

Thank you for reminding us there is so much for which to be grateful!

 I can't believe it's already Mid November! But there was a very lovely snowfall this morning so I'm not complaining! I'm grateful! I love these soft snowfalls! So pretty! And then in the background noise I heard the distant sound of a train's whistle. I love the sound of a train whistle! There is something romantic about a train whistle I think. Not in the "loving romance" kind of way but...well, you know!

                                    This picture was taken out of one of our living room windows.

A couple of weeks ago Hob Nobber, Renee, and I helped at a local church of which our other Hob Nobber partner , Karen,  belongs. Karen had a heart attack followed by a stroke and is in Rehab right now. Please pray for her. If you've come to our Hob Nobbers sales in the past you'll know Karen was a small yet strong lady with so much energy and good health that it shocked us all that she ended up having a heart attack and stroke! But those same characteristics will help her get through therapy along with her determination and faith in God. 

Karen always helped out at her church's Rummage Sale in the "finer items room"...which includes antiques... so her family called on us to see if we might take her place and help out in that room and we were thrilled to do it! We had a great time and they even served the helpers ( including US ) lunch!

I purchased a few things so THAT was a bonus! I bought a crazy quilt, an antique frame, two small pyrex refrigerator containers, and a really beautiful hand crafted Kaleidoscope! 

The crazy quilt and pyrex are listed for sale in our Etsy Shop, Gwen And Alma's. I'm keeping the Kaleidoscope, and I'm still trying to find the right picture for the frame but if I don't that will be listed in our Etsy Shop also!

My husband, Les, and I attended an Estate Sale on the last day where everything was 50% off. The home had beautiful antique and primitive furniture... right up my alley! I really wasn't actively looking for furniture for myself but I fell in love with a beautiful primitive hutch or bookcase. They actually called it a " pie safe" and I think that was because it had screens on the doors.  I currently had a bookcase/shelves that I had purchased new at a store years ago but my long range plane was to get rid of it to buy something old and similar to the lighter wood that I preferred. Here's my old ( store bought ) one...

I do love the sliding glass doors that show off my blue and white collection better though it's kind of cluttered right now. It needed to be down sized and simplified!

And this is my "new" old one that matches more closely the rest of my furniture. I'm still working on rearranging my treasures and I even downsized them! Simplifying!

I listed my old one for sale and the buyer said she thought she got the deal of the century, which made me happy! But my husband said I must not have asked enough for it if it was "the deal of the century"! Hahaha! ; )

The wax leaf banner was made by our granddaughter, Gili, adding a nice Fall touch! I also might be adding something on top in the near future. Are you in favor of putting things on top of hutches and armoires or leaving it as is?

Thanks for stopping by!