Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Another week has zipped by


It is a warm, cloudy, and ‘still humid’, Tuesday afternoon.  I did work outside this morning and I have to say it was nicer outside than it has been. I weed-whacked the paths around my main garden, did some trimming and weeding too and raked up a bag’s worth of debris. I still have the west path to do, I did all I could do for today.

For the past couple of mornings, the mocking birds have been singing and singing, that’s definitely a sign of fall coming. The sun is at a different angle and that’s nice too.  I am so glad summer is just about over.

Here’s what I did today. It might not look like much to you but, the paths were all overgrown.  The brownish paths are roll roofing that we laid down in 2007. It’s cracking up now and hopefully this fall/winter/spring, while the weather is cool I can lay new roll-roofing over it. I think it will take me about 3 rolls, which is around $36 a roll. (I just checked and it’s gone up $3 since the last time I looked. The rolls are 3’ wide by 36’ long.) I did this in the first place so that I wouldn’t have to weed-whack paths. It worked for a long time.

This is looking west, 5 lane road is to the left in picture, about 12’ from the gate. Patio is on the other side of hedge on the right.


This is also looking west towards the main garden.


This is a little pathway between house  and east sidewalk of main garden.


East sidewalk.


Main path looking north.


Looking south.


The next three pictures are the paths on west side of garden. Another day for this project.




Roses are putting on new growth and are giving me blooms. This is ‘Granada’ below.  I love this rose, and Granada was a favorite city of ours in Spain. 






This is ‘The Paul McCartney’ Rose


I love this ‘Tahitian Gardenia’.  Technically it is NOT a gardenia, but that’s what it is called.  The flowers are huge and the scent wonderful and it has been giving me blooms since spring when I bought it.



This caught my eye the other morning from where I sit at my computer.


Here are some more of my needlework creations.




I’m going to crochet a beaded edging for this.  It just needs a little something more. I did the embroidery probably 3-4 years ago.


This piece I made by sewing down a piece of old lace with beads onto black felt.  I then embroidered the heart onto it.


Fresh picked ‘Tahitian Gardenia’ and ‘Mr. Lincoln’ rose on my desk with a nice picture of some garden, somewhere, on my monitor. The pictures change and inspire me.


That’s it for now. It’s time to fix some supper.

I hope you all have a love and peace filled week.



Life is too short to worry about stupid things.


Trust God.

Enjoy life.

Don't let the little things get you down.

Nicky Gumbel

P.S. I want to thank you all for your kind comments about what would have been our 45th wedding anniversary. I can’t stop celebrating love .

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Once again…


Another whole week has slipped by without any posts from ‘Plum Cottage’. The week zipped by. So glad it is now September, that means we are getting closer to more comfortable weather.

Yesterday was a celebratory day, it was our 45th wedding anniversary. I had a peaceful, relaxed day. I worked on & finished a heart that I had started on Sunday afternoon. It has seed beads, faux pearls and two freshwater pearls in a dusty/peachy/pink, embroidery floss and silk ribbon. I made the crocheted and beaded edging to finish it off.


I stayed indoors all day except to do some hand watering of plants in containers. I thought of my dear husband and the 43 years we had together and was thankful. I miss him every single day, but I know where he is and that fills my heart with peace and joy. Being with God has to be the most awesome thing ever. Smile

The gift for the 45th anniversary is sapphire. Well, my dear husband gave me a ring with sapphires and opals many, many years ago, ahead of this anniversary. It is very special to me.


I looked into my cupboards to see what I could pull out in sapphire-like colors and this is what I came up with. The napkins were from Lemon Verbena Lady awhile back and I save them for special occasions.


The bride and groom is the cake topper from my in-laws wedding, September 7th in 1942. Dad was in the coast-guard back then, (DH was in the US Navy). This was on my list of things from their estate. The embroidered and beaded heart I made for DH and I a few years before he left this planet. The heart on the right represents him, the one on the left myself. The rose petal fell from one of the roses in bouquet.


I bought this bottle of wine a couple of months or so ago as it was discontinued and on sale, and we enjoyed a good Tempranillo. At the time I didn’t know when I would open it, and when our anniversary rolled around, it was the perfect time. It was really nice.


When I read the back label last night, I was pleasantly surprised with what I read and underlined it in photo below. ‘A daily hug’. Wow!  On our 45th anniversary. That makes me tear up writing it now. DH always complimented me on my meals.  He was a good sport with new menus and we enjoyed our nightly dinners/suppers together. (I did fix a few duds through the years, needless to say I didn’t fix those recipes again.)


I fixed ‘Steakies’, a beef patty dish using Sherry. Very good and easy.


Since this recipe made 4 patties, I froze three and it will be nice to take one out to fix for supper on days I work, or don’t feel like cooking.  I love to cook, always have, but it’s not the same cooking for myself.  I can’t stop though, and I do have to eat, now I just have more left-overs for other days.

Here is the recipe.  I did tweak it last night though, as I didn’t have everything on hand, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.  This is taken from my cookbook ‘Wine and Wine Cooking’ by Anne M. Logan.



1 lb. ground beef

1 c. (firmly packed) soft bread crumbs

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1/2 c. cream

1/4 c. Sherry

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

3 Tbs. bacon drippings of other fat

2 (10 3/4 oz.) cans beef gravy

2 Tbs. Sherry

1 (4 oz.) can mushroom stems and pieces, drained, optional

In a mixing bowl combine beef, bread crumbs, eggs, cream, the 1/4 c. Sherry, onion, parsley, salt and pepper; mix lightly but thoroughly. Cover and chill mixture several hours or overnight to make it easier to handle.  shape chilled mixture into 6 fat patties, allowing about 1/2 cu mixture per patty. Heat bacon drippings in a large, heavy skillet; brown patties slowly on both sides.  Pour off fat from skillet.  Add gravy, the 2 tbs. Sherry and mushrooms; cover and simmer very gently for 45 minutes, turning and basting patties several times.  Serve on toast, or with mashed or baked potatoes. serves 6.

(Last night I used 3/4 c. oatmeal flakes instead of soft bread crumbs, 1 egg, a little half-n-half instead of cream, Sherry. Didn’t have parsley, with the onion I added 2 cloves of minced garlic. I used olive oil for the fat, I didn’t have beef gravy so I used 2 beef cubes, water and flour.  I didn’t have any mushrooms either. It was still delicious.)

This is making me hungry as I write, so it’s time to go have some breakfast, I’m late this morning.

I’ll write another post full of blooms and more needlework later, too many for this post.

I read a line yesterday in a devotional that I got in my email that makes me stop and think about the blessing and gift of each new day. 

“A life once spent, is irrevocable!”

We can’t undo anything in our lives, but hopefully while we are still in the land of the living, we will learn and grow from mistakes we make.

There’s also a song that’s been running through my mind too, “One Day At A Time”. This was written by Kris Kristofferson


I'm only human

I'm just a woman

Help me believe in what I could be

And all that I am

Show me the stairway I have to climb

Lord for my sake help me to take

One day at a time.

One day at a time sweet Jesus

That's all I'm asking from You

Just give me the strength to do ev'ryday

What I have to do.

Yesterday's gone sweet Jesus

And tomorrow may never be mine

Lord help me today show me the way

One day at a time.


Have a great week and count your blessings, big and small.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

End of August ~ Wow!


Hello Friends ~ Boy oh boy, is this year ever zipping right along. I did have a ‘hint’ or two of fall coming since my last post, but that’s it, tiny hints. For the most part is has really been miserable out. I have worked outside 1-3 hours in the mornings, depending on how it is. Today we had a little rain, which was nice. I was doing some clean up of debris this morning when the sky darkened and the wind picked up. I put away my tools and headed inside and the rain started.

We’ve had so much rain down here the past couple of months that the place has become quite overgrown in some areas. I decided to tackle a couple of them this week.

At the end of the driveway, between the pine tree and the back fence is a pathway into my potting area. You can also see weeds in area from pine tree to my van. All of that needs some serious work.


Below is the pathway to my potting area, which I’ve not done anything in since my dear husband left this planet.  I really want to work back there again and this is just a start. More work to be done in the cooler months to come. I’ve a wonderful stainless steel restaurant sink/counter to work at. We found it in an ally many, many years ago when a restaurant was renovating. The reddish/orange flowers are from the Ixora bush, covered in air potato vine. SIGH!  What a pain in the rear they are! 


Forward progress.


I also started weeding the patio area between the caravan and clothesline.


This was after weeding but before raking the debris up.  Still a work in progress


I mowed the other morning and trimmed trees and shrubs along the driveway. I’m standing at the driveway gate looking north.


This is looking south through the gate. 5 lane road out front, 45 mph speed limit, but people go faster to beat the light at the corner 3-4 blocks to the west. Across the street used to be cow pastures many years ago.


When I went out last evening to take pics, I saw this 4 o’clock in full bloom.  I wish you could smell the sweet fragrance of these flowers.




Here are what I’ve always call ‘bleeding hearts’ Florida style.  They are Clerodendrum splendens.


This is Lavendula pinnata, from my friends Nanci & John.  This smells wonderful!  It is not edible though.


Black Eastern swallowtail butterfly.



This is inside the ‘cat-rium’. The wall is the workshop’s east wall.  Sunlight is shining through the stained glass window on the west wall of workshop. The iron pieces on either side of the window are old screen door inserts.  Aren’t they cool?  I need to repaint them.  I did just see a can of exterior high gloss enamel so that is another project for the future. This area is still a work in progress. 

The little round piece on the wall to the right is a pull-out clothesline. The reason I am showing this photo is because of the new addition, the little lion wall fountain.

DH and I were going to make a fountain using a cement lions head that has a hole in it’s mouth, but alas, that is one of the projects that we didn’t accomplish. I’ve been looking at small fountains online over the past few months, and just Sunday morning I was looking at an email I had sent myself about one seen in HD. I checked it out again, and couldn’t justify spending the money on one, so deleted the email.

I went to early church service with a widow friend of mine Sunday, and we were joined by her daughter. After the service they decided to go to Denny’s and asked did I want to go too. They told me that there’s been a run of inexpensive breakfasts $2, $4, & $6. So, I decided to be brave and do something out of my comfort zone, and said sure.

We all went for the $2 sausage covered biscuit with hash browns and I got a glass of o.j. too. It was good, and for the price and being with friends, worth it. While we were eating, my friend was telling her daughter about my little place, how peaceful it is, etc. and the daughter asked me if I’d like a small wall fountain. She no longer wanted it. I asked how much, and she said I could have it. I thanked her and said I’d love it. WOW! Can you believe that? Not a coincidence.

So, Monday I was at our widow’s group staff meeting at my friends house and her daughter brought the fountain.  I could hardly wait to get home to try it out. It worked and is so soothing.  I even had it plugged in yesterday morning while I was trimming in the ‘secret garden’, and it was great, then I went to hang up clothes and could still hear it there. I still can’t get over how it all worked out, but I do believe God was behind it all. A little gift from Him to me and I am thankful. He cares even for little inconsequential things in our lives. I know Mark would like this, and if he can see it, he’s happy for me too.

The two light green potted trees are there because I haven’t decided where to put them yet.  They have huge thorns, get bright pink flowers, and grow to about 40’ tall.  A customer from work grew these from seeds. They need to be repotted while I contemplate where on earth to put them.

I may paint the fountain, as it is cement covered fiberglass, no all that pretty.  But I think she had it indoors, maybe it will get a nice patina on it if I just leave it alone.  I do plug in into a GFCI outlet.




Let’s see, what’s next. Oh yea, my three ‘45th anniversary’ celebration roses came Tuesday. They were mailed on Monday. Of course, we’re in the same state, but I was still impressed. These are ‘babies’. I’ve moved them up front and placed them on the stand in front of my window, so that I can watch them grow. I also have ‘Rose de Rescht’ there too.  It has a bud on it, yippee. It has a wonderful old rose scent. (That was given to me by Deb and her hubby Charles. Her blog is: A Day In the Life’)

There is a saying about roses, "first year sleeping", “second year creeping", “third year leaping”. So, I’m looking forward to watching these babies grow.


Roses in bloom today.

The first two are ‘Mr. Lincoln’. A wonderful deep old rose scent.



These are the ‘Paul McCartney’ rose. This has a delicious rose scent too.  Just wonderful.



Two unknowns.



I decided to pick a bouquet this morning before the rain came.




Well, that’s it. This has turned out quite long.  That’s what happens when I don’t post for a week. Smile

Don't go through life, grow through life.
Eric Butterworth

Have a great weekend ~ FlowerLady