Friday, February 27, 2015

Joie de vivre

Good morning Folks ~ Goodness, here it is the end of February already.  I know a lot of you are counting the days until the first day of spring to happen in your part of the US. After our week of chilly temps with two nights of ‘COLD’ for us, yesterday I was sweating as I worked outside. Spring comes early to s.e. FL. Hang in there, it will arrive for you all pretty soon.

Yesterday morning I looked out the window of my little creative space and the colors I saw made me think of the saying, ‘red sky in the morning, sailors take warning’, and I grabbed my camera and headed outdoors. We need rain and it is predicted.

The first view is part of what I see as I look out my window. The Carolina Honeysuckle is in full bloom here. Yesterday afternoon, from inside I could see a Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly and bees flitting from flower to flower. (Sorry about the power lines.) It was really breezy and the clouds were zipping right along from the southwest.


Now, I’m further back in the property and this was beautiful to see and with the breezes changed quickly. (As I am typing here at 6:53 a.m. EST, it just started to rain. Hurray. We got no rain yesterday.)


Here’s the Caravan, I’m looking east so the sun is coming up behind those trees.


I worked outside Wednesday morning for 2-3 hours, yesterday morning 2 hours and again in the afternoon for a couple of hours.  I am pleased with my forward progress. I’ve moved plants around, repotted some, put a hibiscus into the ground, trimmed, raked, and bagged. Last night I slept like a log from all of the physical labor.

One thing I’ve really noticed since my dear husband left this planet, is that I don’t work outside as much as I used to. I have more or less hibernated these past 22 months and 17 days. I’ve gone out when I had to for work, doing errands and getting together with other widows. My life has changed, some of the joy left when he left and it’s a huge adjustment that takes time getting used to, and I am slowly getting into new routines, finding joy in my life in spite of my great loss of his physical presence.

So, being outside these past couple of days has been wonderful.

I worked on the east side of the ‘caravan’, weeding the little patio there between it and my ‘solar clothes dryer’, better known as a clothesline. The trunk you see in the large pot is to a ficus tree.  I put it here to help give some shade come summer. The two little shrubs in the clay pots are Manuka Myrtle from New Zealand. I had this many, many years ago and am happy to have it in my gardens again. You can read about it here.


Here are the blooms.






While researching about this plant I found out about the healing properties of this honey, which has more anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties than regular honey. I have been dealing with rosacea, it has gotten worse from the stress of losing my dear husband and living alone. It calms down at times and then flares up. I am all for natural healing remedies and plan to use this for my skin and my digestive system. I found a good website here and plan to buy from them. Manuka Natural.

On my little walk-about the property, I saw these lovely Louis Philippe roses. This rose was my first rose I bought many, many, many years ago. This is not the first plant, but a cutting from it that is now years old, the first one croaked.  I need to make more cuttings, and you can learn how to do your own rose cuttings from Connie’s blog, Hartwood Roses.


My 66th bday is coming up on the first day of spring, and I found and ordered my present to myself online and it should arrive at my store Monday. I can hardly wait. DH would like this too. Roses, flowers and paisleys, (we both have loved paisleys since we were teens dating,) 100% cotton, over-sized, lightweight quilt and 2 shams. Smile Oh yea, it’s reversible too.

Here is the photo from online. I’m excited. It will look wonderful on our antique ‘found’ bed from Spain. I’ll show pics of it in my room later.


Well, it’s time for some breakfast. Speaking of eating, the other day when I was out doing errands, I decided to stop at the Salvation Army thrift store on the way home. I noticed they had a couple of carts filled with bread, but forgot about it as I walked around the store to see if I could glean any goodies.  I didn’t find anything, saved some money, but as I passed the bread at the door, I took a couple as they are ‘free’. When I got into the van I laughed right out loud because it reminded me of my dear DH coming home with free bread from there on days he would be out doing errands and stopping by there. It’s usually on Wednesdays but not always, and Wednesday happen to be Sr. Citizens day too.

The baguettes were $4.99, and the whole grain bread was $6.99. Past expiration date, but still good. I read about softening the baguettes online, good tips there. Then I decided to use some of it for ‘French Toast’ yesterday morning. You have to let the slices sit a bit in the milk/egg mixture to soak it up. This was delicious!!!!

I used the whole grain bread for tuna salad sandwich yesterday for lunch and for sloppy Joes last night for supper.



God does indeed sometimes literally supply us with our daily bread.


Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Ps. 103:2

Bless the LORD, O my soul.

O LORD my God, thou art very great;

thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Ps. 104:1

He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle,

and herb for the service of man:

that he may bring forth food out of the earth;

And wine that maketh glad the heart of man,

and oil to make his face to shine,

and bread which strengtheneth man's heart. Psa 104: 14-15


Here’s to Joie de vivre


Joie de vivre (joy of living) is a French phrase often used in English to express a cheerful enjoyment of life; an exultation of spirit.

It can be a joy of conversation, joy of eating, joy of anything one might do… And joie de vivre may be seen as a joy of everything, a comprehensive joy, a philosophy of life

Taken from wikipedia

Have a great weekend ~ FlowerLady

Friday, February 20, 2015

38 and feels like it is 30


Good morning Folks ~ I hope you all in the colder parts of the country are keeping warm and are snug and cozy in your homes. It’s chilly in my little cottage, but I slept warmly last night, and it’s warmer in here than outside. At 7:02 a.m. EST, it is 38 degrees F and feels like it is 30. I’ve not even cracked the door to see how cold it feels outside. When it warms up a bit, I’ll go out to see how things survived, visit the barn girls, and check out the plants in my wash house.

Late yesterday afternoon I read a post by Meem’s blog, ‘Hoe & Shovel’ and decided to put some tender plants into my little wash house/storage shed. I brought some herbs into the house too. Meem’s is another Florida gardener, who inspires me with her lovely gardens. Do give her a visit.

I went out to take pics of the plant stuffed space, but my batteries needed charging, so I came back inside and did other things while they charged back up. I was washing dishes when I looked out the window and there were these lovely peachy/rose/purply tinted clouds which made me want to see how the batteries were doing, and they were charged, so I bundled up warmly and headed out with camera in hand.


Below is the plant stuffed wash house, with the antique art student oil painting of a nude lady, holding a rose on her lap, with a potted leafy plant beside her. This painting is 24 x 36 inch in size and she adds some color and life to the space. We bought her many, many years ago when we had our antique shop.  I didn’t want to sell her. This little shed is 6’x8’, has my washer, some storage, a desk, and gardening stuff.

I hope the plants survived in there. Orchids, ferns, begonias, a geranium and a couple other things.


I then walked around the cottage and took a few more pics.

This is looking into the scullery/kitchen area into the lit living room.


This is the east living room window. After my DH left this planet, I moved this stained glass window from the west bedroom window. The living room window looks out onto the driveway and for peace of mind, I wanted the window blocked, and this is perfect, anytime of day. I like it with morning light shining in, and then it looks nice with the house dark and street lights outside, a nice glow. There’s a hanging stained glass lamp on the inside.


Then, heading on around to front patio and getting a glimpse of inside.  We do love arches. We were influenced by them from living in Spain for three years as newlyweds, while DH was in the US Navy. He made all of the arches and I love them.


This photo below is part of my main garden, taken Valentine’s day morning. DH bought me the metal gazing ball many years ago for my birthday.


During Christmas a needle working blog friend of mine, Lisa, had a give away of one of her wonderful pincushions. She gave away 3-4, one a week, and I happened to be one of the winners. In the rush of the holidays, I forgot to post about it. Thank you Lisa.

Here’s Lisa’s post about this Advent pincushion.






Another needle working blogging friend Jillayne, was making little hearts with a word on the back for those who would like to have one. You can read about them and check out her lovely work on her blog A Fine Seam.

I received my sweet, little heart yesterday. This is what I wrote on her blog for what I would like.

“My word of choice is FOREVER, because love is forever.
Burnished brown with a bit of lace. Dear husband had brown hair and eyes.”

Thank you Jillayne.



Both of these ladies do exquisite needlework. There are several others out there who inspire me too, here are three more. Suz at Suztats,  Suzy at SuziQu’s Threadworks and Susan at Plays With Needles. There are many more needle workers out there, these are just the ones that I can remember at the moment, whose works are influencing me. I have much to learn in working with needles, threads, laces, beads and buttons. Each and every day there are opportunities to learn something new.

That’s it for now.

Hope everyone has a pleasant day no matter what the weather.



It is only when we silence the blaring sounds

of our daily existence

that we can finally hear the whispers

of truth

that life reveals to us,

as it stands knocking on the doorsteps

of our hearts.

K.T. Jong