Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Another day, another T-storm

Here it is the middle of another week, and the first day of October. It is 5:55 p.m. EST, and I’ll see if I get this post finished and uploaded to my blog before the next thunderstorm happens.  I can hear the thunder to the west and the clouds are moving this way. The wind is picking up too. We already had one T-storm this afternoon, but thankfully it didn’t last long. We had one last night too and with all this rain, sidewalks and decks are getting slicker each day.  Once it lets up a bit I need to get out there with white vinegar and spray, spray, spray surfaces.  That stuff really works great, it just takes a brush on a stick, time and some elbow grease.

Here are some photos taken the last couple of days some from inside and some outside.

This is from inside my little creative space looking out onto the front patio.



This is the front patio, my window that I look out here from, is to the right.


These are an unknown orchid given to me many years ago by customers where I work.


Yesterday I did a little work in the creative area in my bedroom.  I brought in a little desk lamp I found in the workshop, ran an extension cord under the rug over to this area and now I can see better what I am doing here. I can do finishing work here, get things ready to mail out, etc.


DH and I had a picture framing shop many, many, many years ago. I have a really great chopper that cuts two 45 degree angles at once. I have framing vices, etc. I even have picture frame molding. I just need to clear off the work benches and get rid of stuff I won’t be using, so that I can do this again.  DH told me before he left this planet that the work shop would be mine and to do with it what I wanted. Well, it’s not something I could hardly think about, much less do in the beginning, but with the passage of time, it has gotten easier and I can feel his encouragement. I look forward to working in there this fall/winter/spring when it is cooler.

Why I brought picture framing up is because I took a 10 cent ready made frame that I got at a yard sale in the spring, and cut a paper mat, not the dimensions it should be, but just to make this work in this frame.  DH did this pen and ink drawing of me soon after we came home from Spain and I found it going through things and it means a lot to me. I was into knitting back then and this old bentwood rocker we bought in Spain from an elderly lady who sold things from her home.  We also bought the wall clock in the above picture, from her too.


Today I was inspired by something DH had made for a small sterilite storage unit that didn’t have a top.


These sterilite storage units are great, except for the tops, which aren’t really reinforced very well at all. The larger ones, with more of a surface, sag in the middle. Not nice at all. I remembered the top DH had made, and headed out to the workshop to see if I could find a piece of plywood that hopefully would be the right size or close to it.  See how the original top in photo below sags.


Well, here’s my shelf.  I even found the wood trim he used up in the rafters, cut three pieces, nailed them on then painted it all with some paint I found.


As a lot of you know, my life changed drastically 09 Dec. 2012. It has taken some getting used to. I miss my DH every single day, but the grieving has lessened, it does sneak up on me at times though. This morning I read a line on another widow’s blog ‘Widow’s Christian Place’, that really struck me. In fact, it was the title of her post today.  It is this: Functioning With A New Reality. Wow!  That is me for sure. Some days I function better than others. Worries about this, that or the other thing, pop up, especially in the middle of the night when there isn’t a darn thing you can do about them. Some things seem overwhelming, some things are rather simple. Each day is new and a gift, I can wallow in self-pity, or I can become a stronger, vibrant reflection of God’s grace and tender mercies. The latter is my desire. 

Anyway, each new day is really an adventure, and with God by my side I will make it in this journey of widowhood. There is much to learn, much beauty to take in, joy to share.

Here are my latest tubes of beads and I look forward to creating with them.


Now, below is a picture of a mystery that I just noticed a couple of days ago. What the heck is this strange marking from? Well, a little while ago I figured out what the cause is.  It is from my foot being pressed up against the curved side of my desk. What a relief!


One day when my husband was ill, and I had just come home from work, he called out to me and said, “The verse of the day is, Cast all your care upon Him for He careth for you.”

Thank you dear husband for your encouraging words from God’s word even when you were so ill. I love you still, love you more than ever and miss you muchly, but your love and your words ring in my heart and mind, bringing me closer to God in my faith.


Saturday, September 27, 2014

This & that

It is 11:14 a.m. EST, here at Plum Cottage, in s.e. Fl, it is 86 but with the humidity the real feel temp is 96. I think we’ve had rain just about every day for nearly two weeks.  Finally earlier this morning the sun came out and I thought now’s my chance, I need to mow. I didn’t get to last week, and rain is predicted every day up until the 9th. So, out I went, it felt good to be outdoors, it took me 45 minutes to mow. I am happy to have that done. I enjoy mowing, have since I lived at home and my sisters and I took turns mowing.  There are rain clouds gathering again.  The picture below are rain clouds from this morning. It did rain for maybe 5 minutes, then cleared and the sun came out.


It’s been an indoor week needless to say. I’ve done some cleaning, still more to do.  I rearranged the mantle for fall, by putting out a cluster of alabaster grapes my dear husband had a friend of ours get when he went to Italy on leave. (This is while we were in Spain, while DH was in the US Navy.) The alabaster has been sprayed the reddish color. It does have a real grape vine section for the stem. I have different scented candles, pine, mulled cider, cupcake, Frangelico, and black cherry that I have sitting on the mantle too. Now that fall is here I feel like lighting candles to scent the room.



This morning another needleworker showed her workspace on her blog and I was relieved. I’m not the only one with a messy work area. That inspired me to take pics of my space after working in here this week.  Here is my desk.


This is beside my chair, containers of beads, books, stretcher, etc.


Here is my work space, what a hoot! I need to clear it off, just so I can mess it up again.  I ordered 23 tubes of beads yesterday as they were 20% off, so now I’ll have a good selection of colors. I got the email notice while I was working on a beaded embroidered piece.  Smile


I finished these two pieces. This coming week I want to get several pieces into my Etsy shop.  It’s been awhile since I last had anything in there for sale. Losing my ‘loving encourager’ has taken a toll on me in different areas of my life, that is for sure.

(Edited ~ 5:02 p.m. ~ I just got an email from a friend who is buying the ‘hope’ heart, so it won’t be going into my Etsy shop.)

Sold Smile




Blooms at Plum Cottage.

Vanda ‘Miss Joachim’ with morning sunlight hitting them.


This is a wonderful lavender, Lavendula ‘Pinnata’. This does very well in FL.  I love the scent. In the background is a bloom of ‘Rose de Rescht’.


Blue Pea vine blooms on the back arbor.


Here are yellow dwarf Poinciana blooms with morning rainclouds behind.


The next three photos are of ‘Kathleen’ one of my favorite roses.




Isn’t this little rose bud sweet?  I don’t know what kind of rose it is, but I am enjoying it.


This is a full bloom from the same bush.


‘Rose de Rescht’, what a wonderful scent. I love it. This is from my friend Deb and her hubby Charlie.


This might be ‘Bon Silene’. I’ve still not tackled the west paths in the main garden. Maybe this coming week, in between rain and if it isn’t too hot out.


‘Maman cochet’


‘The Paul McCartney’ rose.


One morning this week before the rain started, I felt like doing something different in the ‘creative’ dept. I had these bucket of brass pipes with two holes at one end, that a friend of ours had been going to make wind chimes with. He gave them to us before he passed away a few years ago. They went into our stash of things to do. Well, I got inspired to dig them out after listening to nice you-tube videos with wind chimes making their music. I also dug out a rusty gear DH had in his stash, which I wire brushed, then strung monofilament through the tubes and tied them onto the gear. There are 6 tubes. They sound wonderful.  I need to find a round wood piece to hit the pipes and a metal piece to catch the wind. So far I’ve not found what I wanted.



That’s it for now. Enjoy your last weekend in September.

I’m off to take a nap.


Monday, September 22, 2014

It’s a new day, a new week


Good morning Friends ~ It is Monday morning, partly cloudy out at 20 til 9 a.m. EST. My feline alarm clock, Miss Tork, woke me up at 4 again this morning. I was ready once I saw what time it was. I have things I want to do today and hope to get most of them done.  I’ve already got a loaf of Coconut Milk Bread going in my bread machine.  It’s starting to smell good in here.  It is made with canned coconut milk, a very easy recipe.  I looked up my recipe for Ricotta Pound cake and plan to make that this morning. I want to make Moussaka too today.

I’m on a vacation from work for the next 2-3 weeks as my boss just about emptied the shop. He loaded and took a truck to the huge antique show out in Round Top, Texas.  He goes twice a year.

So, I’ve made up a list of goals for this time off. One of the goals I have is to get some pieces listed in my Etsy shop. I’ve not had anything in there in months.

Yesterday we had another thunderstorm which dumped LOTS of rain again.

This photo is looking out from the kitchen’s screened porch, drive way like a river to the right of the shed.


This is looking out the north ‘scullery’ window.


This is looking out the west ‘scullery’ window into the ‘cat-rium’.


This is looking west out of the bedroom window into main garden. Look at the water pouring out of the rain-barrels’ overflow. When the rain let up a bit I went out and reconnected the drain so that it would go elsewhere in the garden.


I am standing in the driveway here, the ‘secret garden’ gate is standing open. This is on the east side of the cottage.


You can see the caravan behind the red bench, this is looking northwest.


I’m on the path now looking east. You can see my little wash-house/storage behind the birdbath. From under the awning there you can walk under an arbor out to the clothesline area.


This is one of two matching tiled cement benches that DH found many years ago.


Walking around the bench, you come to the ‘caravan’.  I bought 5 bags of potting soil the other day. I stacked them, then covered them from the expected rain.


This photo is looking east and you can see the rising sunlight through the trees separating us from the apt. complex next door. The DIY arbor is being filled up with Confederate Jasmine and for now Moonflower vine too.


Here is the other DIY arbor that goes into the clothesline garden area. This arbor has blue pea vines, moon flower and passion flower vines growing up and over it.


Two more angles.



Keep walking to the left of the above picture and you’ll be in the driveway heading south. DH found the street sign many years ago, we decided to put it on my shed.



This is another overgrown/weedy area at the front southwest corner of main garden. The road is running behind the left ‘faux bois’ chair, and behind the right chair is our neighbors’ driveway. The chairs are just two of eight that our friends who have an antique shop next to where I work gave us many years ago.  They were going to pitch them as they are falling apart, but suckers that DH and I were we loaded and brought them home.  They are heavy, being made out of concrete. They had these shipped from France. (Faux bois (from the French for false wood) refers to the artistic imitation of wood or wood grains in various media. The craft has roots in the Renaissance with trompe-l'œil.)


This is the front patio looking northwest. This wall is the front wall of my little 6’x8’ creative space, off the living room.  That is a door, but we chose not to use it. The iron piece in front of the window has mint on the bottom shelf, and baby roses and a wonderful lavender that does very well down here in tropical FL. It is Lavendula Pinnata or Jagged Lavender. It smells wonderful but the flowers are not edible. (I hope to paint the house this fall/winter when the weather is cooler.)


The next two photos are of the front patio coming from the west side. The gate at the back of the second photo opens up to the driveway.



Ok, that’s it for another tour around Plum Cottage.

Here are two last photos. I crocheted a beaded edging for this heart and sewed it on.


My latest creation was very enjoyable. I really like how the beaded edging looks like lace.


Have a good week, wherever you are, whatever you are doing.

Learn and grow.

Live, love, laugh.




“Write it.
Shoot it.
Publish it.
Crochet it,
sauté it,

Joss Whedon