Monday, February 13, 2017

Valentine’s Day Eve

Hello Friends ~ I hope you all had nice weekends and that this week will be a good one.

Saturday I had a nice lunch out and visiting with my BIL, Todd, while my SIL, Sue, was a judge at a musical competition from 8:30-3:30. We had Greek, oh so yummy. We had gyros with that oh so delicious and garlicky tzatziki sauce. They came with french fries and I also had a Mythos Greek beer.  I ended up bringing most of my gyro home and had it for lunch yesterday. If you’ve never had that tzatziki sauce, you don’t know what you are missing. You can’t stop eating it if you love it, and then you can’t stop breathing it out later.

My dear friends Nanci & John stopped by late yesterday afternoon on their way home from an antique auction they had been to earlier. We had a nice little visit sitting on the back stoop of the back shed. John handed me a card from them and said, “This is from the Valentine’s Bunny”. That cracked me up. He’s such a character and I love them both. I used to see them every day I worked, for 17 years, but that all changed when I lost my job now almost three years ago. It was really good to see them again.  Please keep Nanci in your prayers. She’s having health issues and should get some more info this week I think.

This morning I woke up not knowing what I was going to do today.  At first I was just going to stay home but I wanted to get out for a bit. I needed to get a few groceries also, and tonight and tomorrow rain is expected. My friends had given me a love $ gift in their card, and I thought of seeing if two nurseries near me might have roses since it is Valentine’s day tomorrow. Well, the thought came to me and I feel it was God’s doing, to stop at HD first, so that’s what I did. Oh my goodness, I left there with a huge smile on my face and joy and thankfulness in my heart.

Several years ago, DH and I had a private, renewing of our wedding vows and I wanted to get a rose bush to commemorate the event. He had wanted white and I wanted red, and what I found was the Grandiflora rose, ‘Love’. It has red on the tops of petals and white on the reverse/back side. That rose was beautiful, it lasted me about 12 years, dying a couple of years after my dear husband had gone to be with Jesus, Dec. 2012. I was ‘bummed’ to say the least. I had not only lost my best friend, I had now lost the rose that commemorated a happy event.

Well, at HD I didn’t even stop to look at other flowers with the intention of buying any, just headed straight to where they had the section with roses. I went around sticking my nose into the roses to see if they had a good scent or not, then, oh my goodness, if I didn’t think I saw ‘Love’ staring me right in the face. I had to read the tag and sure enough that’s what it was. I was GLEEFUL! I think there was only one more in the mixture of red roses. That jumped right into my cart. I had seen a climbing ‘Don Juan’, and had another look and put nose into the blooms and it also jumped into my cart. Then I headed to the cashier, smiling all the way. Isn’t it a beauty? It has a very faint scent, but it’s beauty, the name, ‘Love’, and the reason why I bought it in the first place, makes it worth having.





Below is ‘Don Juan’. The description below is from Jackson and Perkin’s website.

“This is the Rose most often given to spouses or significant others on Valentine's Day or anniversaries! The aptly named 'Don Juan' with its rich red flowers and deep sweet fragrance is the quintessential Rose representing romance.”

Sometime last year I had a dream about a climbing red rose and didn’t find one at the time, now I have one. Big velvety looking, red, very fragrant, old-rose, scented roses.



With those two roses tucked into the back of my van, I headed to the two nurseries.

At the first one there were not roses to bring home, but I did bring home two 2 gal. pots of red pentas, $5 each. This morning as I was sitting here in my chair, some movement caught my eye from the window. I looked closer and what did I see, but a hummingbird. He was gone before I could get my camera. I have a huge pot of red pentas and another red flowering plant that they love, sitting in view from where I sit. The pentas always attract butterflies.  I also bought 5, 7 gal. black plastic pots, at $3.50 each. They might not be pretty, but they do the trick.


Back into my van, and on to the next nursery. I buy my potting soil here at a good price, so wanted 5 bags. I spied a section of roses, so went over to see what they had, once again, sticking my nose into rose blooms. I picked out a ‘Fragrant Cloud’. Oh my, this scent is heavenly.

I only had these two buds this far open to show the colors. More buds on the bush. More photos to come later as they open.



Next, I headed back home, stopping at the grocery on the way. I felt like celebrating and after Todd and I had talked about filet mignon steaks on Sat. I looked to see what they had, and they had one pkg. of a single steak, which hopped right into my cart. I fixed these a couple of times in our marriage in later years, for special occasions as they are pricey. Friends had taken us out to eat a few times and we had these and were hooked on them. They are very easy to fix, I watched a few You Tube videos, and they melt in your mouth.

For desert, a small New York style cheese cake topped with strawberries caught my eye. I already had a piece after lunch today. Delicious!!!


Even though my dear husband is no longer with me physically, he is in my heart, and my love for him just keeps on growing.

I always loved preparing us special meals and did so our whole 43 years together. Today I bought these items to help celebrate that love we shared, and to celebrate and thank the Great Creator, God, who is LOVE, for the many ways He shows love to us all.

Happy Valentine’s Day



Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Where to Begin…


Good morning Folks ~ I hope you all had a lovely weekend and that your week is off to a good start.This morning it looks like we may get some rain, which would be nice for the gardens.

Ok, it’s been a few days since I’ve posted about happenings here at Plum Cottage so I’ll try to get caught up in this post.

On the 23rd of January I received an email from Firefly Books Ltd. The lady wrote saying she had seen my blog and noticed that I love roses and enjoy gardening, and asked if would I like to receive books and then write up a review for them. She listed the three books with links to them on their website, and I wrote back and of course, said ‘Yes!’ Well, yesterday I was out front working in the patio area when I heard some talking and it was getting closer as it was coming up my driveway behind me.  I thought who the heck is that and was a little aprehensive. Well, it was a Fed Ex man with my box of books. Yay. I put the box inside my little screened porch, and finished what I was working on.

I brought the box inside and opened it. First photo not very interesting.





Oh my goodness, these are beautiful books. The one on roses is a hardback. I felt like it was Christmas. I felt thankful & blessed, and look forward to enjoying these books and writing up reviews for each one. Also, there will be a give-away, for each book in it’s review, so be watching for that.

Every spring I start thinking about roses, and flowers, even though I can grow them all year, this spring is no exception. But, living on my limited income, I can’t always just go out and get what I want. The other day, I was reading something and this verse jumped right out at me, “be content with such things as ye have”, Hebrews 13:5b. Oh my, a good lesson for me at this time. I walked around my humble little, weedy tropical gardens, looking at everything and started thanking God for my many blessings. The roses I do have, all have new growth, so many things are growing and blooming nicely, there are lots of bees and butterflies, birds using the birdbath, gentle breezes, cool weather, scents are also filling the air. I have a roof over my head, a comfortable bed, clean hot and cold water, food to eat, clothes to wear, a van that gets me where I need to go, and so much more.

Below is part of my driveway, there is more behind me from where I am standing. This photo was taken after I raked up a LOT of fallen leaves and debris. It looks so much better.


Here are two photos of garden paths on the west side of my main garden area. What paths you might ask, as they are hidden by weeds and overgrowth. There’s a path right in front of me in this photo, and one to the left on the other side of the crepe myrtle trunk and ferns.


Here is a shot of some forward progress. Still a lot more to be done, but this is a start. One thing that motivated me to really get going, is one of the ladies of my small group in the BSF Bible study that I go to, wanted to come see my gardens. YIKES! I gave her excuses as to why I couldn’t have her over right now, and she graciously said to not worry, and just when I can. Here’s the other side to this little story, she has cancer that has come back after many years being in remission and starts her first chemo treatment today. I had asked her if she needed any help with anything or just wanted some company, to let me know. What she asked for, a walk around my gardens where she could enjoy the flowers and I could tell her what things are, and I denied her her request. I feel terribly ashamed. But, I am working on making this little place presentable for visitors. I may not get all of the property cleared first, but that will happen eventually. Keep me in your prayers. Pray for Ola also as she starts these treatments.


For the past two weeks I have been crocheting every single day on prayer lapghans. One was for Ola, one is for another lady in the larger BSF group, Ros, who also has cancer and has been going through treatments. These two ladies have both touched my heart with their love of God and their positive attitudes about their health.

Ola was given hers last week and she loves it. I had asked both ladies what their favorite colors are then went to Walmart to see what they had in the yarn dept. Ola is going to use her lapghan each visit for chemo which lasts 4 hours each session.

Here are the yarn colors.


The variagated yarn to the right was for Ola, the other two colors for Ros.

(the colors in this photo below aren’t true, taken with my smart phone, as I needed to buy new rechargeable batteries for my camera, what a shock the price for them was since the last time we bought any. But, they do last for years.)

I used the Granny square pattern for both lapghans and a large hook.



I hope to be starting another one soon, after I find out the colors needed. Smile

During Christmas time I made two beaded hearts for my sisters, and sent them out last week. They love them, and now I can share them with you here.

We lost our mother the end of last year and I wanted them to know they are loved, so made these for them. Favorite colors used, one likes birds, the other peacock feathers.



Ok, I think that is it. My stomach is starting to tell me it is time to break the fast. Sky looks a little clearer so maybe I’ll be heading outside to work on a project of two. I want to work in the screened room off the back of house. I keep trying to think of a way to fix the wrecked screens by the raccoons, one that won’t cost me $800 as I was quoted by one screen repair person. My dear husband would have already had this fixed, but alas, he’s not here to do earthly projects for and with me anymore. Until I figure it out, I’ll work back there making it pretty anyway. Dealing with plantar fasciitis for 5 months last summer and dealing with some depression, really put a halt to my working on things.

This is the east wall of DH’s workshop, which organizing the inside of is another project, that will take time. (Plum color faded out after years of sunlight hitting it.) We found those screen door inserts curbside, aren’t they cool?


This is looking northeast.


This is looking at the west wall of scullery. I have some nice outdoor fabric to cover that cushion with, and that may be my project for today.


It is the beginning of a new year, and with God all things are possible. He is my strength when I am weak, and I am to be anxious for nothing as He is working all things out for good and His glory and honor.

Have a great week wherever you are, whatever you are doing. If things aren’t going so smoothly, call out to God and ask for help. If things are going smoothly, thank Him.