Thursday, December 31, 2015

Out with the old, In with the new

Well, here it is the end of another year. As I age, time seems to zip along a lot faster.
Fireworks have begun and I'll be glad when they are done in about 6 hours or so.
No champagne for me tonight, as I twisted too much and pulled not enough and the cork broke off right near the end. Sheesh!  I've not done this before and watched a couple of you tube videos and it seemed/looked really easy, but like I said I'm pretty sure I twisted too much, it's not the cork's fault. I just put the bottle back in the fridge.  I read that you can bring the bottle up to room temp and the cork should pop out on it's own. Tomorrow I'll give it a try.

Christmas is pretty much down, everything boxed back up. I did that this morning. I wanted to get a couple of stearilte storage tubs with lids, and didn't expect to see them at Publix, but there they were and they were buy one get one free, so I ended up paying $5.40 each, which is a good deal. The lids snap shut too.

Yesterday while out doing errands, I first stopped at Salvation Army to see if they had a table to use for my sewing machine, they didn't. After going to Home Depot for three things, I decided to head on out to Good Will thrift store. I almost didn't go, as I just didn't feel like it, but at the last minute decided to go ahead. Well, I did a quick glance at the jewelry, for beads, etc. to use with crafts, then headed to the back to see if they had a desk or something. Lo and behold, there was a sewing table with an old Kenmore sewing machine.  No price. So, I found a young man and asked him if I could buy just the table without the machine, and what would the price be. $19.88.  I said I'll take it. We unhooked the machine finally from the table, I paid for it, then drove around back and he loaded it into my van.  I was tickled pink, as it is 'solid' pine and heavy. It will go right in the wall space between two arches in the living room.  I just had to figure out what to do with the little cabinet that is there right now, and finally thought of a place, out in the caravan, where it will store picture frames.

Below is a picture of it with the two storage tubs. I don't think I'll be able to screw my new little machine down to the drop down piece in the table, but that's ok.  It's small enough to store elsewhere and light enough to carry when needed.

 Now for some end of the year blooms. 

Bahinia, scented white orchid tree

 Buddleia ~ smells like honey

Callisia fragrans ~ smells so sweet and these are starting to bloom all over the property.


An unknown creeper

Lemon grass with sage in the foreground.

First two roses are Paul McCartney roses.  They smell wonderful!!!!!

This is an unknown rose covering the back little storage shed and my potting area which I haven't worked in in at least three years now.

 The next three photos are of unknown roses.  They came without name tags.

Well, that's it for 2015 from Plum Cottage. I think I'll be taking some time off from blogging to do some projects around here. I want to do them before the heat and humidity really crank up again. So, I'll be posting only now and then.

Thank you for your friendship, encouragement and prayers. They and you are much appreciated.

May you all have a wonderful 2016.

Love, hugs & prayers ~ FlowerLady

Monday, December 28, 2015

Good morning Friends ~ I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and that this last week of 2015 will be a time of thanksgiving and reflection.  May 2016 be a good year for all.

Thank you all for your Christmas wishes of good times with family.  It was wonderful! My BIL, Todd and his wife Sue, had the gathering in their lovely home.  I met new people, got reacquainted with others, people watched and even though my DH wasn't there, I felt so much love from others. I teared up a couple of times, one was when we were singing a hymn and the words were about heaven, the other times were at the love and generosity of others.

We had love, laughter and good food. There were 16 of us, the youngest was 12 and the oldest in early 80's.  This was the tree after some gifts had been opened but before the troops arrived bearing more gifts.

 This was the group minus myself.

This was my plate. All was delicious, field peas from GA, a slaw salad, ham, corn casserole, carrot souffle, mashed potatoes and green bean casserole. For appetizers there was chips & veggies with dips, boiled peanuts (peanuts from GA),  crackers and cheese. For dessert there were cookies, apple and pumpkin pies, a wonderful banana pudding. We were all quite filled up after this feast.

After dinner and before gifts were opened, we sat in the family room where hymnals were passed around, and sweet Sue played the keyboard (she's a pianist) and we sang favorite old hymns.  I did good until we got to one song that mentioned heaven and then a few tears fell.  
It was truly a  wonderful celebration, of love, life and thankfulness to Jesus for all that He has done in our lives.
To top off the day was walking out of the door and seeing that beautiful full moon. Wow!
On the Saturday before Christmas, my friends Nanci and John took me out to eat to a fantastic Mexican restaurant called Guacamole. The colorful atmosphere, the presentation, and the food were all great! It was another love and joy filled time.
This cross collection belongs to the owner of the restaurant.

Colorful atmosphere.

This was my dessert, fried ice cream. Delicious and so huge was shared by the three of us. See my colorful margarita glass, almost empty. The first one I had was in blues. :-) I asked the waiter both times if I couldn't have the glass to take home. I came home empty handed in the glass dept. but did bring home lunch for the next day as I just couldn't finish my wonderful chicken enchiladas. Had been served with yellow rice and black beans.  We had had corn chips with guacamole and salsa for appetizer.

Here's a pic of Nanci and I taken by John on my new cell phone. :-)
They also came bearing gifts, which I put under my little tree and opened Christmas morning. They also gave me a monetary gift, which I used yesterday to buy a simple, small sewing machine by Brother.  It had a lot of good reviews and sounded just right for what I want to use it for, so that I can save time with my creations instead of doing everything by hand.  Does this little machine not look like one that FlowerLady would use?

Last night I got a Pinterest notification for new boards for me to check out and one of them was for making Hexie quilt projects. Oh my gosh, the creative juices started flowing and I am excited to be trying my hand at this.

I am looking forward to 2016.  To see what Jesus has in store for me this year.  My thought for the new year is,
** The joy of the Lord is my strength. **

Love, hugs and prayers for all of you,


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Happy Christmas Eve ~ I hope all of you are enjoying some of the final preparations for tomorrow's celebration. I hope you have a restful night tonight and a peace, joy and love filled day tomorrow, whether you are with friends and family, or even alone. I spent the last three Christmases alone, adjusting to widowhood, but this year I am spending time with family and I am looking forward to that.

It is almost 1 p.m. EST, is 83 degrees and feels like it is 87. This has to be a record setter for Christmas weather. It isn't. I just looked and it was 85 last year on this day, and in 1941 it was 88. The a.c. is keeping it nice and cool in here and feels good.

I did cookie baking yesterday and today. Would have made more but ran out of a.p. flour and didn't feel like going out into the madness that is out there to get more.

Below are pics of nativity and heavenly host. In my header you can see the main little Nativity figures, Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, the three wisemen and a cow and a donkey. We bought them in the little town square of Rota, Spain, the town where DH was stationed in the US Navy. These are made of mud, and can still be bought today, all sorts of figures, not just the Navitity figures.

DH made the creche probably 40 years ago and I love setting it up every year. I need to get some garland to wrap around the light wires.

That's it for now. 

Merry Christmas and have a wonderful 2016.

Let the Light of Love from God shine in your heart, 
filling you with love, peace & joy.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

No more Windows Live Writer!!! :-(

Well, the end of a great little program has happened, and I am bummed. It was so nice to be able to write up a post off line, and when one had it just right they could post it. There's an Open Source Live Writer that just took LW's place, but I've heard it has bugs and glitches, so I'm not sure about downloading the program just yet.

For now I'll try writing here on Blogger again. Will see how this goes as I've been reading about people having problems with it and posting pictures too. So far, good. I know how to do a little HTML code, thanks to DH.

Good news, I got the title to van transferred into my name. Yay! Not without a little hick-up but all's well that end's well.

I won two blog giveaways. One the day before the anniversary of my DH's going to his heavenly home, and one the day after. :-)

The first one was from Lemon Verbena Lady. You can visit her very interesting and informative blog here.

She sent 5 jars of her homemade jellies, and one of her raspberry jam. Jellies are made with herbs from her gardens. Pineapple Sage, Savory Grapefruit, Lemon Basil, Tarragon Wine and Rose Geranium. Along with those she sent 3 scented candles, some dried stevia leaves, some chamomile (from her gardens)tea bags, a box of 100 tea sachets, a lovely flour sack dish towel, 3 nice garden markers, two note pads, some note cards, and 5 antique little herbal books chock full of great info. I've had her jellies before and they are wonderful. She sent me a pkg. of them after my husband went to heaven.

Thank you Nancy.

The second give away was from Cindy and you can visit her sweet blog here. Two lovely dish towels, which I think I'll make into pillows for the Christmas holidays, next year. :-) I love the sweet little frame and plan to put a faith verse or saying in it and keep it out all year.

Thank you Cindy.

I just got notification from Etsy that I had a sale. Yippee!
I had one a week ago too. :-)

That's it for now.

Have safe, peaceful and happy Christmas holidays ~ FlowerLady

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

This & that at Plum Cottage


Hello Folks ~ Here it is a new week, hope you had a great weekend. Saturday my BIL Todd and I spent the dreary, rainy day working on fixing a leak under the house, putting in a new faucet, and putting up a medicine chest. We laughed, talked, and worked well together. We remembered my DH with love and great memories.

Todd did the hard work, I was his helper, just like I was with his older brother for 43 years. We were both pooped by the end of the day.  8-5, in and out of the rain too. But, we were happy with what we did.  A productive Saturday.  Thank you dear brother Todd. I appreciate all of your help in my life.

Here’s a view of the ‘scullery’, definition of scullery is “a small kitchen or room at the back of a house used for washing dishes”. When my DH was first in the US Navy, he had to work in the Navy’s scullery washing dishes and it wasn’t pleasant at all. When we opened up our kitchen, which ended at the edge of the fridge on the bottom left of pic below, I wanted to call this part of our opened kitchen, the scullery. Mine is pretty, and it is a dream come true to have a window over the sink. This long view space is about 10 ft. long by 6 ft. wide.


This old picture is from 1999. The hutch is in a 3 ft. alcove.  The spice rack next to it is hanging on the utility room door. Opening up the space really made a huge difference in our little cottage. The fridge is now in it’s own little alcove, as seen in pic above, bottom left, so does not stick out into the room.


I love the new faucet. We didn’t install the sprayer, as it is not something I would use.  I had one once and wasn’t crazy about it. The little faucet next to the new one is our reverse osmosis faucet.  The tank and filters are behind the curtains under the sink/counter.  A lot of love and hard work went into making this space from a falling down utility room.  Lots of memories in the making of this room. I feel love surrounding me all of the time.


The bathroom in this cottage is tiny. To take the picture I’m standing in the doorway. We had a 24x36 inch beveled edge mirror on the wall, which replaced a tiny medicine chest that was on the wall when we moved in. Todd and I took the mirror down to put up a medicine chest I had gotten earlier this year at a yard sale on my way to work. I paid $5 for it.  I saw it in HD when I bought the scullery faucet and the price is $69.  It doesn’t look like it was ever used, still smelled new. I would have put it somewhere else if I had the wall space, but this was the only space for it. I liked the large mirror, but needed some place for my essential oils, make up, etc. I just need to repaint the walls as the wall is a different color under where the larger mirror had been.


Found out about a week or so before this plumbing business that I have a hole in my van roof. That is the one poor area of construction in a Ford van, the roof.

Anyway, I turned the van around and parked with the front of van up under the awning that you can see in the picture below.  Well, that didn’t help at all as I found out Sunday morning when I got ready to go to church. The water had run from the back to the front right into the hole and into the van. It smelled wet, and I couldn’t believe what I saw, the cups in the console were filled with water, and water was on the floor.  More rain was expected, so I decided to just stay home. I emptied the water, and put this ratty old tarp over the van, and it never did rain again that day. 

Todd would have worked on this Saturday except we had that emergency fix needed for the water leak under the house. (Having water to the house was oh so nice and my first hot shower in over a week felt fantastic.)

I got out a tall extension ladder and leaned it onto the van with a tarp to pad it. I had my cell phone in my pocket, and I prayed as I went up the ladder.


Van is in great shape otherwise, with low mileage. The ‘hole’ is in the lower part of pic. Another one is about to happen to the back and to the right is a rusting out area above the windshield.  When Todd can, in January we hope, he will grind out the areas, do bondo work and paint.


I knew we had this super-duper really stick down tight metallic tape, so I decided to do a ‘FlowerLady temp repair’. Smile  I climbed the ladder and brushed off loose dirt, didn’t wash it down because I couldn’t really reach that far where I was on the ladder and I wasn’t going any higher. This should last, I hope. It is several layers going both ways and burnished down.


I stopped at the Salvation Army Family Store on my way home from P.O. today.

Found this bed skirt, which lays under mattress. I got it home and it’s either a queen or king size. Not sure what I will do with it, but all of that crocheted edging is what nabbed me.  I paid $3.99. It would take me hours and hours to crochet all of that.



A nice cookbook, wonderful photos.


Next are my latest two creations, both are gifts.


This is for an ornament swap which is happening tomorrow with a potluck lunch.


A lovely handmade surprise was in my mailbox this afternoon.  It was from an online friend who I’ve known since around 2000. We were in a forum called Country Life. Over several years we had ornie swaps at Christmas and they were always fun and putting them on the tree/s each year brings back memories of these friends.

I had already hung Pam’s two snow people that she made one year.  I always hang them together like this. Her surprise ornament is the heart below. It made me smile and also made me cry.


Tomorrow makes 3 years since my DH went to his heavenly home. He’s in a much better place, but I miss him every single day.

As we think of love, peace and joy at this time of year, love your family and friends and let them know. Life can change in an instant and you might never have the opportunity again.

This turned out to be a rambling post of daily happenings.

Love, hugs & prayers ~ FlowerLady

P.S. Unexpected expense, transferring title of van to my name, so I can get a new tag. I didn’t get a renewal notice this year, called up the  tax collector and told them and the nice lady told me what I needed to do. I have an appt. with someone to help me fill out the paper work, next Tues. I have to take a copy of the death certificate, our marriage certificate, title, registration and proof of insurance to take to the DMV office after that. Probably a week from tomorrow.