Sunday, May 27, 2012

Mirror Images ~ another curbside find :-)

Good afternoon Folks,

I hope you all are having a nice weekend.

Do take time to remember and be thankful for all of our military personnel for serving this country to protect us and our freedoms, and to their families who are behind them, and have to be separated from their loved ones, doing their best to keep family and home going. Being in the military is not an easy thing.

Thanks  to all.

This morning I cleaned the ‘almost new’ Weber charcoal grill given to us by friends after they bought a gas grill and no longer used this one. I’ve got chicken breasts, steak, and hamburgers defrosting in the fridge to grill tomorrow, weather permitting.  I wanted to grill up several things so that we can eat something, and freeze the rest for later meals.  Will be great on days I work. I won’t have to think about what to fix for supper.

Yesterday morning before I left for work, DH and I hung a mirror he found curbside on the street east of us awhile back.  He revived the finish last week and I cleaned the mirror after we hung it. I love this piece and what it does to our tiny cottage.  It adds light, sparkle and makes our place feel bigger. Any way you look into it, you can see so much. I noticed that this will make me want to keep clutter to a minimum and counters and table top cleared, because you can see so many spaces in the mirror now. Our cottage is around 750 sq.ft.

This mirror goes wonderfully with our Dade pine board ceilings. It looks like it was made for our cottage.  The cottage was built around 1950. The mirror is centered more or less in the middle of the wall space as we can’t center it over the sofa, and to give us maximum viewing into other spaces. You can see all the way into the scullery from this angle.


Here in the mirror you can see into the hallway on your right and a bit of the stove in the kitchen. Through the arch to the right of the mirror you can see my little creative space, part library too and where my computer is.


This is another view looking into the scullery.


Here I am standing in the entry into my little creative space looking north, into the hallway, and into the scullery.  Plus in the long mirror you can see the new mirror with a reflection of the scullery in it too.


The stained glass window is in the bathroom door.


A reflection in the long mirror of the stained glass window on the south side of cottage. The paper heart hanging on the mirror is left over from Valentine’s day. Smile


This is DH’s corner. He uses his keyboard in his lap.


A close-up of the paintings.  I really need to go around and take pictures of our artwork.  We collected these through the years at flea markets, yard sales and thrift shops.


My corner and a view into the kitchen. You can see the Bose speakers mounted on the wall above both our corners.  Bought that system many years ago. More paper hearts hanging over the archway.


This is on the other side of the wall of my corner. This is the main entry into our cottage. Weird I know, but that’s how we are. You can see ‘part’ of my cookbook collection.


Below, more cookbooks and kitch.  I have over 300 cookbooks, plus books on gardening, natural healing, crafts, etc., in this area. You can see ‘why’ we don’t go to yard sales etc. anymore on a regular basis.  Besides the downturn in the economy, a cut in pay and tightening of our belts so to speak, we do not have any more room for ‘stuff’.  I like what I have and am not into ‘collecting’ anymore. Not to say we still won’t buy something if it strikes us and is a good price.

The bell on the wide embroidered ribbon we bought in Switzerland when we were on vacation/leave while living in Spain while DH was in the US Navy, ‘70-‘73.


That’s it for now.  The new (to us) mirror inspired me. It is like having the Christmas tree up with ornaments and lights and it makes me feel happy, thankful and blessed.

Hugs ~ FlowerLady Lorraine


"A house is made with walls and beams.

A home is made with love and dreams."
Author Unknown


"Be grateful for the home you have,

knowing that at this moment,

all you have is all you need."
Sarah Ban Breathnach



Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Garlic vine, rain and freebies

Good evening everyone,

I found out from a fellow FL gardener that the vine I shared in the last post is garlic vine or CYDISTA AEQUINOCTIALIS, you can read about it and see more pictures here.

I took the picture below this afternoon before another bout of rain happened.  You can see the rain ladened skies in the background to the south of us.


Below is a close-up of the blooms.


This is also looking south from near the back of the property.



This morning we rebuilt the back door stoop and it feels good to have that done. Rain was threatening the whole time we worked on the project, and soon after we finished the rain started and lasted a couple of hours.  A good heavy down pour soaking everything once again. 

DH want’s to rebuild the lower deck area, making it rounded and less decking and we need more patio bricks for that.  We found all of these we have here. Someone had a load of discards left from when they made their driveway, dumped for trash pickup in front of their house.  DH went to the door and asked them for sure if they were throwing them out and they were, so we loaded everything we could.

You can see our outdoor shower next to the door, and next to that is the claw foot tub that we got for free from a plumbing supply place as they had it out for trash pick up. (It was is really heavy and we loaded it into the back of our van by ourselves. No one came out to help.) This is all in a screened enclosed area which we call the ‘Cat-trium’ off the back of our cottage. Tork sleeps out here at night.  You can see a ‘hallway’ between the cottage and the workshop and a screen door at the end, which leads into the main garden area up front.  As you can see, we’ve not finished painting the back yet, and we hope to do that soon after we pressure wash the whole cottage. The little wooden deck area off to the lower left of the picture is in front our our jacuzzi tub. The round shower floor is a concrete and tile table top that we found ‘curbside’ a bit cracked up, and we had passed it a couple of times and when I went by it by myself once on the way to work I thought hey that would make a nice shower floor for our outdoor shower.  That’s what we did, and that was another ‘heavy’ piece.  Lately I’ve been saying I don’t want any more heavy concrete pieces, as we are getting older and it is hard lifting all these pieces.


Speaking of curbside shopping, yesterday was our errand day and we found some goodies curbside.  A 5’-6’ Christmas tree already decked with lights in three sections.  (The lights all work.) We also found at the same spot, 21 VHS movies and 1 DVD movie.  Last night we watched Terminator 2 with a nice bowl of Redenbacker’s Popcorn, with extra real butter melted and drizzled over. Smile

We also found in two other curbside locations, an IBM computer, that does work but is slow as molasses and 3 bags of mortar mix.

After we did the stoop project this morning I vacuumed and dusted. This afternoon I made a loaf of banana bread then baked chicken breasts with a curried yogurt topping for supper which was delicious.

That’s it for now, we are thankful for our many blessings big and small.  Each day is new and you never know what a day will bring forth.



Reflect on your present blessings

of which every man has many,

not on your past misfortunes,

of which all men have some. 

Charles Dickens

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Thunbergia vine blooms ~ I think

Good morning everyone ~

Grace asked me for photos of this when it bloomed so I went out to take pictures this morning and have some from yesterday too.

I think this is a thunbergia.  I thought this was my old vine Sky Clock Vine or Thunbergia Grandiflora, but when the buds opened it was this, so my old vine is gone forever. Boo hoo!

Here they are. This is growing on my shed along with bougainvilleas, Louis Philippe rose, another rose, blue pea vine, hamelia paten and more.  We found the sign many years ago ‘curbside’.

The following were taken yesterday morning.






These were taken this morning.






That’s it for now.  If this isn’t a thunbergia vine I hope someone will let me know.  I need to go out and see if these have a scent. Although, they are over my head maybe I won’t be able to stick my nose in a bloom. Smile



"There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude,

a quiet joy."

Ralph H. Blum 

Roofing material for paths

Good morning Folks,

Hope you all have a great weekend. I’m working today, but will have off from work again until next Thursday so I’ll have time to putter around here inside and out then.

In my last post I mentioned using roll roofing for paths and have had a couple of people interested in doing that.  We had had some ‘found curbside’ roll roofing and shingles and we thought they would make good path material. I was tired of weed-wacking the paths.

I had to look up ‘when’ we did this project and found the pictures in the beginning of 2007,  which makes the project 5 years old already. My how time flies.





The photo below shows where the path in photo above leads too.  There was a portion of fencing behind the chair that opened as a gate. 


Above then, below now.


The next two pictures are from 2008 showing the two smaller paths using shingles.



We probably won’t be buying rolls of the bitumen roofing just yet, as we’ve just done gutter work and some other stuff that came up. I did call up a local roofing place though, ABC Supply Co. (they have locations all over, so you might want to check your area), and they are $6 cheaper than HD for a roll.

So, there you have it about using something for paths that you might not have thought of yourselves.

Happy Gardening ~ FlowerLady


"Enjoy the little things,

for one day you may look back and realize

they were the big things."

Robert Brault

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mid May

Hello Folks ~ It is hard to believe it is the middle of May.  For some of you spring is happening, for us summer is starting. Yesterday morning I felt ill from the heat and humidity.  This is ‘why’ we are trying to get things done outside that are ‘bigger’ projects, so that I can just basically putter during the summer this year. The older I get the more summers bother me.

We have been getting much needed rain and that has been nice. We had to do some tweaking of our rain barrel to keep out mosquitoes, and hopefully have that fixed now. This morning we worked on the rain barrel water gauge so that we can see how much water is in it.  DH drilled a hole in one of the outlet/faucet pipes, inserted a brass fitting and slipped on clear tubing, then we clipped it top and bottom to the barrel.  Right now there is about 35 gallons in the barrel just from what little rain we had last night.  This is rain though from most of the house and the workshop, so it doesn’t take long to fill up.  We did more calculating and this barrel holds approximately 160 gallons.



10 gallon increment marks on barrel.


This morning we also started on the lattice around the barrel.  I look forward to having flowering vines covering it.


We are going to take make the green screening over top of barrel better, this is the temporary prototype.


I’ve been working on weeding in the main garden, adding plants and changing things around. Thirty-two years ago this was just green grass.  I need to buy more roll-roofing for the paths, but DH doesn’t want to get the cheap stuff this time, modified bitumen is thicker and longer wearing.  I’ve had the cheaper stuff for years now, but it’s cracking up and becoming more brittle and stuff (weeds/grass) is growing up out of the cracks. We’re going to check out a roofing supply place that hopefully will be cheaper than HD.

Now, here are some blooms from our Plum Cottage Gardens.

This is my first gardenia bloom from a rooted cutting sent to me from Tom of Seventh Street Cottage. Gardenias are one of my first memories of Florida.  I first lived here before the first grade.  My grandmother had gardenias and the scent has stayed with and touched my heart since then. I’ve tried growing them before and haven’t had much success. This bloom opened on Mother’s day.  I was thrilled.  I picked it and have enjoyed the scent for days.





This shot is from the front courtyard looking out into the driveway area.  On the fence side is a tower of plumbago blooms. Along the fence is Virginia Creeper vine and Cape Honeysuckle. Near the gate is a hibiscus that I got from my mother years ago.



Now,  here we are in the secret garden and you can see passion vine blooms growing on the hedge that surrounds this space.


Bauhinia acuminata or dwarf orchid tree, is growing in a large terra cotta pot in the secret garden also.  This has a delicate sweet scent.  I grew this from seed.




Here is spiderwort and salvia coccinea growing in a pot in the caravan garden.


Here is a bee happily collecting pollen.



I think this is some kind of thungergia vine.  Some of these buds should be open tomorrow.


Here is the ‘Love’ rose. 05-16-love



‘Bon Silene’




May you all feel love, peace and joy surrounding you.



"The gloom of the world is but a shadow;

behind it,

yet within our reach,

is joy.

Take joy."

Fra Giovanni Giocondo