Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Thankfulness, a take back, and a whacky idea

Good morning Friends,

After much thought and research, I decided to return the rose bush ‘Fragrant Cloud’. I don’t want something that I might have to deal with later with black spot, as I try to garden organically as much as possible.  I got a refund, and next month will go to a local nursery where they sell Old Garden roses, which are much hardier.  I have bought from them before and have been very pleased with what I’ve bought.  Living down here where the tropics begin, the humidity would be a major factor for black spot. I did enjoy the one bloom from FC but was relieved when I took the bush back. I wouldn’t have bought it IF I had known about the black spot problem.  Oh well.

DH has been working on the electrical work for the caravan. We got wire strung through pvc pipe that is underground.  Ditch digging, root cutting, laying the pipe, stringing a feeder wire, attaching and taping wire together to be pulled through pipe, all prep work.  He had an old boat wench, whatever you call it, that we found a long time ago, and used that to pull the wire through.  The wire had to go through two bends, and at first I was cranking on the wench because we both thought that would be easier, and he was stuffing the wire into pipe along with applying the lubricant, then we switched places as the cranking was getting hard on my arms. We timed ourselves doing this little project (pulling the wire through) and it took roughly 22 minutes.  We were glad when that was done.  Now it’s the little stuff inside to get this part of the work on caravan finished.

Yesterday morning when we were first outside, he said to me “You’re probably going to think this is a whacky idea, but what if we put this and he pointed to an object, on the roof of the caravan.” I liked the idea, and at first we just set it up there, but it needed a base, so he scrounged around in his stash and came up with a piece of metal to work with, then we set the thing up there to get an idea and it made us laugh and feel happy.  No doubt some will think it is definitely a whacky idea, and not doubt it is, but it’s recycling, repurposing, and just plain fun.  To us, it really makes the caravan more something or other. I looked up the definition for cupola after I thought of that word for our project and this is what it is: A cupola is an ornamental structure placed on the top of a larger roof. Here it is temporarily for the photo session.

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DH will make it so that we can take it off in case of a hurricane.  This was an outdoor light at one time. It is amber colored glass, and two sides have lovely scrollwork painted on the inside. They will face east and north, so that we can see them from the driveway. We will prep the metal of the base and lamp part, then paint them the plum color.  I thought of painting the finial on the top with the same paint as roof, but DH has a better idea. He has some real gold leaf in his stash and that’s what he’ll use on the finial. It will sparkle at all times.  We’re going to see about some sort of little solar light to go into the lamp part too, all in good time.  Stay tuned.

Yesterday afternoon I fixed us herbal tea and took it out to the caravan where DH was working.  He took a break and we sipped our tea and talked.  It’s the first time we’ve done that out there and it won’t be the last.  It is a light, happy little space. I love it and he likes it too.  We will be sleeping out there while we remodel our tiny bedroom.  Other times, it will be our little get away without having to fight traffic, drive for hours, and pay who knows what.  There is a jacuzzi on the grounds as well as an outdoor shower, an outdoor clawfoot tub, all in a screened in area. There’s  a washer and ‘solar’ dryer ( a clothesline) for our convenience too. Smile And of course, there are gardens. Whenever we feel like it we will go back there just to have coffee or tea, or for a change of scenery. I can already see me doing some needlework back there. Who knew that a crappy camper could become a cozy, cottage caravan.

Here is the camper right after Hurricane Wilma Oct. 2005.  We didn’t have electricity for 13 days, and once we realized the campers’ propane tank had gas, we popped the top, did a little clean up, and I set up a temporary cooking station in there. We had had two hurricanes the year before, Francis and Jeanne and they caused damage too, with downed trees and limbs.  Some smashing into the front of camper crushing the top. The pile of wood was from our downed tree that was cut up and we brought the debris into our yard from the back neighbor’s where the tree had gone into. We had several huge piles out front over a few weeks time to be picked up.  Florida lost a lot of trees and undergrowth from those three hurricanes.  Plus some kind of beetle blew in and started attacking pines, which caused us to lose more trees.

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We decided to sell the junker little truck last fall, but wanted to keep the camper part, and the rest is history. I will do up a webpage about the whole thing once it’s all done.

Our weather is gorgeous and the birds are singing away.  We did more errands this morning and found two pots of something growing, curbside to be thrown out with the brush. I loaded them into the back of my mini van, and have a feeling they are some kind of ficus. Bummer.  I was hoping for something with blooms. The new leaves coming out are very green and healthy looking. I watered them, and will see what happens next.  I may plant them in our front hedgerow.

We bought a big loin of pork @$1.78 a lb. yesterday.  They had a diagram on the package for how to cut this up.  I cut it up and put the larger end in the crockpot along with some organic sauerkraut, caraway seeds, an cubed apple, brown sugar, mustard and a little sherry. Plus we have chops, and the smaller end, all wrapped and in the freezer now.

If you look closely, you can see part of the caravan over the top of the orchids.

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Hang in there my northern friends.  Spring will be there before long.

I will close with the following.

The other morning as I was out working in the gardens, my heart filled with thankfulness to God. There was a nice breeze, there were sweet scents wafting in the air, new growth on plants of all types, birds were singing and I felt thankful. Thankful for our little home and compound, thankful for my DH, thankful for our love, thankful for God’s loving care in all areas. There are times when we can and do become lackluster in our thankfulness. Life is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination for any of us. We all go through pain in our lives, whether it be physical, mental or spiritual. We all have ups and downs. But, each and every day is a gift, another day to live, love, laugh, and learn through our experiences. May we grow in God’s love and grace.

***

It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed,
because his compassions fail not.

They are new every morning

The LORD is my portion, saith my soul;
therefore will I hope in him.

It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait
for the salvation of the LORD.

Lamentations 3 KJV

*******

FlowerLady

27 comments:

Marti said...

Not whacky at all. I love it and can't wait to see it with the light on in it. What a neat getaway.

Sunray Gardens said...

I don't blame you for returning the Rose. I don't buy many as I really worry about blackspot and can't afford to just throw out plants. Your caravan is really coming along and I like these little extra touches you add.

Just followed you also on linky.

Cher Sunray Gardens

Antique ART Garden said...

You two are so dad-blasted romantic!! Crazy lovebirds in a caravan!To, too romantic.

~Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

What a nice post. That caravan is so cute. I like the cupola. You sure are having fun fixing it up.

sweetbay said...

You'll no doubt be happier with an old garden rose. Hybrid teas are awful for getting blackspot in the Southeast.

Love the idea of a vacation spot on your very own place!

Anonymous said...

Really nice work with the little pavillion or "folly". I can see that it will be a nice place to have tea and a quiet moment.Good work! Thanks for the blog, gives one a lot of reassurance that we can live within our means when we ignore all the hype of the modern world. Phil/Minnesota

Susan said...

I can feel your peaceful gratitude through your post. How lucky to have reached a point in life where you can find inner peace and gratitude for the simple but most important things. Have fun with your little caravan...love, love, love the wacky cupola!

Jillayne said...

What a lovely post, and what a beautiful end to it. I have been feeling like that myself of late...
I do hope you post a website or something about your caravan - I love to read about all the doings...

Morning's Minion said...

Our zone 6 is surely not tropical, but I have been disappointed in the performance of the rugosa roses I planted here--they were such stalwart plants in New England. Thus far the shrub roses have been the stars: Hawkeye belle, Double Red Knock-out and Yellow Simplicity.
I'm always yearning for more roses, but need to research before spending precious dollars on ones that aren't quite suited.
Your re-purposed camper is becoming a unique garden 'house'--the cupola shouldn't perhaps look 'right'--but it does!

Ami said...

Flowerlady: I too think the cupola looks nice on the top of caravan! I am sure You and your husband will have lots of relaxing time in that caravan.

I agree the blackspots on rose bushes are hard to fight in our environment. Good that you get the refund, and you can use the money for a OGR.

I have a exact white orchid as yours blooming right now too. Love it!

gld said...

It might have been a whacky idea, but I don't think so! It fits the caravan perfectly and I love how the light shines through the glass.

This was another of your "makes me feel good" posts. Thank you. I need to be reminded how lucky we are to have each other and the farm.

Anonymous said...

I think the cupola is awesome...being creative is what it is about! You are inspiring and I would love to have an old caravan to fix up. The Lord wants us to do the best we can with what we are given. You are a good example of that. Have a great week! amishwoman 49

Gayle said...

Remembering to be thankful.... an important thing that is often forgotten.

Rebecca said...

I think you already know how much I admire your husband's project. The cupola is just one more reason! I have been looking for just the right one for our Christmas cabin in the back yard. It needs to be just the right size to be proportionate...

I am REALLY looking forward to seeing the completed project!

Ilene said...

I love the cupola!

Who would believe your gypsy caravan was once a camper? I can't wrap my brain around that at all. Looking forward to the post about the transformation.

That's the nice thing about an old marriage, companionship grows over the years.

Balisha said...

OH, Flower Lady...It makes me feel so good to come here and read about a happy couple having fun together. The caravan is coming along so beautifully...what a nice place to rest in the hot summer.
We do the same with pork loins. We just got one and paid $1.98 a pound in the midwest. It saves so much money to buy meat this way.
The ending of your blog is perfect for this season of Lent.
Balisha

Rosie@leavesnbloom said...

What a lovely project Flowerlady and one that both of you can enjoy for so many different reasons. It must be lovely to have a little retreat on your doorstep. Thankyou for the reminder of being thankful for all things the Lord gives us each day.

Georgianna said...

Your ambitious projects are so inspiring! And I would have taken the rose back, too. Nothing's worth infesting the rest of the garden.

Thank you for your recent visits and signing up for the newsletter, too.

Wishing you a great weekend! – g

Autumn Belle said...

You made a wise decision about the rose. So nice to hear about your project with your DH. Such a cosy place specially for 2 ;-)

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

I love visiting you.
All you and DH do makes me smile
and is so much like me...
Enjoy your little get away.

Andrea said...

Hi, i have not been here for a while and just see this project now. It's not whacky, it really is cute! You are really so blessed for having a husband as DH, very creative. You said you will make another blog just for this project, oh I envy you for maintaining so many blogs, i wonder how you cope with all of them. I have only 1 and can't seem to post regularly.

{About my orchid post, that hanging purple dendrobium is native here but really very prolific, still thrive even with neglect, and the flowers are so sweet and lovely. It is so nice to have tea in the garden with those wonderful scent}

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Hi FlowerLady,
I enjoyed your post! I call that wonderful, not wacky! Thanks for your words of faith. We do have much to be thankful for.

janine said...

What a beautiful post! Love the caravan! Once saw a tiny little camper set up as a quaint garden room in a gardening magazine...and have wanted one ever since....Your Caravan is just perfect...looking forward to a whole view of it from start to finish! I know exactly how you feel...to look around your garden, smell the sweetness in the air....and know the creator of it ALL loves us so much that we get to share in such beauty.....Takes your breath away with gratefulness....Love your blog!

Skeeter said...

I love your Caravan! It is such a neat way to recycle and have a little get-away as well. What fun a fun idea!

Jeri Landers said...

I think it is a perfect cupola for the caravan, whacky or not! I love finding uses for odds and ends that would otherwise just sit in the barn or head to the dump. I almost make a game of it, trying to figure out what to do with, say, broken garden tools or an old sink. Just whacky, isn't it?!

Nicki Lee said...

What a wonderful post - I'm sitting here with my cup of tea, looking out the window on a cold rainy day and thinking how wonderful it would be to have a little bit of heaven to escape to like your caravan. I'm looking forward to all the new stories you will have to share will us once it is done - I can only imagine the enjoyment you are going to have once it's all done.

Hugs!
Nicki Lee

Anonymous said...

I stole a moment from my three little ones (the oldest is 5) to read your blog. It's Sunday and your little scripture meditation (and your life that personifies it!) really encouraged my heart. Thank you & God be with you!