Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Let’s hope this will work :-)

Hello Folks ~ I am in my lap top. It will be awhile before my BIL can get here to install more ram, that I  have still in the pkg. from when I ordered the two parts of so many RAM each. I don’t remember what I ordered, 2 GB’s each I think, but I’m not sure.

So, here I am in lap top and I just installed Open Live Writer which I love. It is modeled after Window’s Live Writer which was fantastic, but for some reason, they did away with it. OLW is great also though and I have been happy with it for a few years now. DH told me about it and installed it in my computer way back when.

Thanks again for all of your thoughts and prayers for SIL, Sue. She’s in therapy, using a walker, hopefully in 2-3 weeks she will have graduated to a cane. We would appreciate continued prayers as she exercises and recuperates.

Ok, I did order the Oster Convection/Toaster oven TSSTTVSK01. I got it from Best Buy. They had a 20% off on small appliances promo code, so I got it for around $63, instead of $80. It arrived via UPS last evening around 5. UPS usually delivers around 8 p.m. so I was happy this came early.

It is nice!!! I’ve not used it yet. I’ve got to wash the rack, drip pan and crumb tray as suggested in the manual. I’ve also got to heat up the oven on a high temp for 15 minutes to burn off any residues that might be in there from processing. I hope to do that tomorrow.


Now I had to make a space for this oven as it is quite a bit bigger than my old one, which was a little red Oster convection/toaster oven. I can do so much more with this oven and am excited to have it. But, let’s get back to the ‘make room’ story.

I had a 4’ high x 36” wide bookcase filled with books, cooking, gardening, health, etc. I decided it had to go so started weeding out books. I am proud of myself for getting rid of so many. I only kept what I really wanted. Back when I was collecting, we were setting up and selling at a local flea market and would see books CHEAP, so we bought on all kind of subjects. That is how our library grew to the size it is. Smile


Monday morning I headed out to look for a piece to set the new oven on. I had a loop of shops/stores to check out, Salvation Army being the first one as it is close to home. I saw a piece there, but thought to myself, let me see what anyone else might have. I went to Big Lots, GoodWill, Target and Walmart, zilcho, nada. So I went back to Sal. Army and the piece was still there. The size was good although could have been bigger or so I was thinking. It is 27 1/2 inches wide x 16 inches deep x 32 inches high. The price $29.99. I had looked online before heading out on this shopping expidition and nothing was this inexpensive. This piece is like new. It’s not real wood, but it works for me in this little cottage of mine.


Well, after I got home I looked at my space again, and decided to move the butcher block counter with a green serpentine marble top on it, to where the bookcase had been. I knew that would be the right size for the oven especially when the door was open. Marble top is 25 inches deep x 39 3/4 inches wide.

The oven would not go on the new little cabinet I had bought after all. But, I love how this has all worked out on a limited budget and mostly using what I already had.

Here is kitchen before. A wreck as I was moving things around, etc. We bought that solid square butcher block table many, many years ago when we had our antique shop at a yard sale near us for $100. I love it! It was hand made by the young Finnish man we bought it from.


The little floor freezer is under the a.c. DH made a formica top for it so that I could use it for a counter, as tops of those things are dentable. ( I miss my dear husband so much, for so many different reasons. I want to encourage you to love and appreciate your husbands and let them know how much all that they do you are very thankful for. Let petty stuff go, love, encourage, forgive, laugh and live peaceably as much as possible.)


Putting the new little cabinet this way gave me more access to the oven and the kitchen feels so much bigger.


This morning I ‘thought’ about going to Home Depot to see what I could get for some kind of top to go on top of the little cabinet, to protect it from hot items taken from the oven. Well, I decided to check out our slowly depleting marble stash again, and lo and behold I found one I was using on a plant stand, and it is the same green serpentine marble as what is under the oven. The size would work, not a perfect fit, but good enough. I cleaned it top and bottom, then used double stick tape to stick on pieces of felt on the bottom. In the pic below the dark areas were still drying from when I had cleaned it. This side is unpolished.


Here is the top all cleaned & on top of the cabinet.


Here is a view from the scullery. Excuse the living room in the background which is a total wreck as remodeling is being done, but on hold, you know how it is, stuff gets stacked here and there until you are done. All in good time. Framing needs to be done around the a.c. also.


Below is a small cuboard that I have in the caravan, just being used for storage.  It is 33 inches wide, by 18 inches high x 12 inches deep. I’m hoping to put it, have dear Todd put it, over the oven. In the picture below, it is upside down, so that I had a flat surface to lay things on.  Anyway, after it’s cleaned up it will look better and give me more storage.


This room still needs tweaking. I’m on a roll now though. It’s a new year, new & old projects are being worked on. I am thankful to God for leading me to a promo code, for getting rid of books, for the strength to rearrange (these pieces are heavy), for curbside finds to be used, and for marble in our stash. I’m also thankful for this beautiful and wonderfully scented rose, Mr. Lincoln.  It is 5 inches across. Picture taken with my smart phone instead of my Canon PowerPoint, as were all of these pictures, so to me they are not the best quality, (but I can send these pictures to myself via emal and then save them to this computer. It’s how I figured out to be able to have photos to post.) I sure do miss my desk top. Doing without will make me appreciate it all the more when it is up and running again. For now, I’m thankful for this laptop that I’ve not really used in about three years. We bought it so that I’d have a good computer where I worked. I had 99 windows updates to do the other day, and that took a few hours. Anyway, I hope it keeps working.


Ok, that’s it for now. I do believe I am caught up. I have been out working in the gardens too and that has been good therapy for me and I see forward progress there too. I do hope you are all doing well. Keeping warm, safe, and healthy.

Now I’ll hit the publish button and see what happens.


Saturday, January 27, 2018

Computer Woes

Hi Folks ~ Am having major 'puter problems. Not enough memory in my desk top to do anything. I don't know what to do. I did let my dear BIL know, but he's got a whole lot on his plate right now. It is what it is. At least I have this lap top, but it is giving me a hard time also. So, I don't know how much I will be posting,  if you don't here from me you'll know why.

I did order the convection/toaster oven by Oster that I was leaning towards. Got a 20% off promo code from Best Buy and I was thankful for that. Free shipping, no pick up at the store, so it should be here Tuesday. I'm doing some rearranging in the kitchen so as to have a place for the larger oven. I bought a small cabinet at Salvation Army thrift store, and have another cabinet to mount on the wall in kitchen that is out in the caravan being used for storage :-). I am taking out a bookcase that is in the space I need in the kitchen, so going through and getting rid of books. It feels good. I will have pictures when computer situation is under control again.

House is a total wreck with living room and bedroom remodeling going on, and now with the kitchen changeroo too. I'm just taking each day as it comes, trying to go with the flow, be calm and carry on and all of that.

It is gorgeous here, not to rub it in to you freezing northern people. I did work outside a couple of mornings this week and it felt great to do that.

Ok, I'm going to see if this will post.

Later ~ FlowerLady

31 Proverbs to Light Your Path ~ Book review

Good day Folks ~ First of all thanks to you all for your prayers, positive thoughts and good wishes for my sis-in-law, Sue. She’s doing good and came home yesterday. Now it’s weeks of PT, but at home it will be nicer, being with Todd and her dear kitty girls. Continue to pray for a complete recovery. Thanks.

I am always looking for books to encourage, strengthen and inspire me in my walk of faith. This is a book filled with personal experiences and insights on 31 Proverbs. It also has questions to stimulate you to look into your life and draw you closer to God.

The book of Proverbs in the Bible has been a favorite for a long, long time.  This little book by Liz on 31 Proverbs from this book in the Bible is a wonderful devotional to start your day, or to read any time you need to be uplifted and encouraged. There is a prayer at the end of each chapter also. Also a study guide at the end if you want to start a group and read this book together.

I love reading ‘real’ books and having them where I can pick them up and read again. My books have underlinings and comments in them, dates also.

I will close with some thoughts Liz wrote on Proverbs 27:19 ~

As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.

“The pressure to comform—to have the right shape, the right size, the right look—is intense. Yet when God created you, He had a unique plan in mind. A one-size-fits-you approach.

God’s Word assures us, “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Everything would include you and me and all the women we know and admire. If we’re comfortable with who we are, others will be too.

God looks beyond our mirrored images. He looks inside our hearts and observes the things we do.

God sees the absolute truth about who we are and what we’ve done. Even knowing all that, He loves us completely. As is. As His.”

On the inside cover she writes, “ When you follow God, you never have to worry about where you’re going or who will keep the path clear of debris or how long the journey will take. Rather than looking around for answers, look to the One who knows you, the One who loves you, the One who leads you. He charts the path. He lights the path. He is the path.”

I’ve given you just one of the 31 Proverbs in this book. Maybe it will inspire you to get this lovely book for yourself to read the rest.  The photo above is a link taking you to Amazon’s page. I get nothing from them, but I did receive this book from Blogging 4 Books to read, give my review of and to keep. Another wonderful addition to my library.

Have a great weekend ~ It is windy and cool here at Plum Cottage ~ FlowerLady

Monday, January 22, 2018

Prayers Please

Hi Folks ~ My dear Sis-in-law Sue is having a complete knee replacement tomorrow morning and I’m asking for prayer for her. She will come home from the hospital Friday and have several weeks of physical therapy. They say she will be up walking tomorrow afternoon. This is us Christmas 2016.

Thank you ~ FlowerLady

Friday, January 19, 2018

Help with convection/toaster oven decision & flowers

Hello Friends ~ Hope you in cold parts of the world are keeping warm and those in the warmer part, keeping cool. I worked outside Wednesday morning for about 3 hours. It felt wonderful and I even worked up a light sweat. It seemed a little chillier that evening, but I didn’t even think to check the weather. I woke up to COLD temps, the coldest being 39 and real feel was 30, not as cold as the earlier cold we had a week or so back when the real feel temp was 26. Needless to say, yesterday was pretty much an indoor day. I did some ironing.

On the 11th, we had some snow fall here at Plum Cottage. Pollen snow that is, from the palm tree.



Miss Tork has been sleeping in a comfy nest, about 5 ft. away from the old radiant heat space heater that I’m using. DH and I found this many, many years ago curbside. We never used it on high, and right now I have it on 3. It could be a little higher, but we are doing ok., keeping the elec. bill down.

This photo is from yesterday.


The next two are from this morning with the sunlight through the window filtering in.



Today is another indoor day. Tomorrow will be another one as BIL Todd and I will be working again in the living room and bedroom.  Both rooms are a wreck, but my bed and chairs in liv. room are clear. I’ll post pics when we’re all done. We won’t be finished tomorrow, but will make more forward progress. Todd is a blessing and I have told him that you all think so too.

Now for the dilemma of making a choice between two convection/toaster ovens that I’ve narrowed my choice down to. I’d like to hear what ones any of you may have and are very happy with. I’ve been reading reviews, watched some you tube reviews also. My old one is an Oster, that is very small, and the door now hangs open about 1/2 an inch. Since there is just me now, I’d like a larger one to bake casseroles, etc. in. My GE range has convection baking, which I use all of the time. Less energy and less time. But, I’d rather have a decent counter top one so as to not have to heat up the big oven.

My kitchen space is small, so I cannot get a ‘large’ countertop one, which I did see a couple I’d like to have chosen, but space deletes those two from my choice.

This one I like because of the manual knobs, but it does lack a light on the inside. Lots of pro reviews though, but then there are the negatives. People getting burned by touching the glass when they go to open it, flimsy rack, it gets hot, (what toaster oven doesn’t).

Oster Large Convection Toaster Oven TSSTTVSK01

This next one is also an Oster. Todd & Sue have one of these, have had it since last May and like it.

I like this one because it has a light inside. Reading the cons though always influence our thinking. Buttons don’t always respond, rack flimsy, slips on the counter. Although, there are a lot more pros. This one is cheaper also by about $20. I don’t know what the reason is for the difference in price.

Oster Digital Convection Toaster Oven TSSTTVMNDG 

So, there are the two choices I’ve narrowed it down to. They are both under $100. I can’t afford to buy the most expensive and best in the reviews, so I just kept reading reviews until my mind was getting boggled. and narrowed down my choices to these two. Winking smile  Please let me have some input from you who have a convection/toaster oven. Living on a very limited budget, I want to get the best I can that will last me awhile without breaking my bank. I don’t want to have to replace one every year. The old one I’ve had a long time.

Now for some flowers. I know you all that are buried under snow or just have barren brown to look at, will appreciate them.

Blue clock vine.


Blue Sage


Four o’clock


Phlippine Violet backlit by afternoon sun.


Seed heads from Blue Mist flowers


Azalea ~ hard color to photograph


Spicy Jatropha ~ popular with Zebra longwing butterflies.


Mom-of-millions ~ these spread like crazy, just by a leaf dropping off. They bloom a couple of times a year.


Scented begonia has a wonderful scent


every day variety of begonia




A raggedy zebra longwing, our state butterfly taking nectar from Penta blooms.


Gazing ball


Old light fixture I mounted to a post. This has the orange colored acrylic glass with the design painted on it on the inside.  I don’t have a light in there yet, this is sunlight behind it.


A ‘carpet rose’.


An unknown.


I took the desk, that is under the marble top, that DH had made for using out in his workshop, and put it in the little screened entry porch off the kitchen. I painted the top, since I hadn’t painted it when I did the rest to move it into the bedroom.


Here it is now. This was a fun, little artistic project that gave me a mental boost.


That’s it for now. Enjoy each day, seeing beauty in the simple, and being thankful for all that you have.

Happy January ~ FlowerLady


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Forward progress

Good morning Folks ~ Thought I’d do a quick update as I go along with this remodeling project.

Last night I watched a you-tube movie, ‘A Home of Our Own’ with Kathy Bates, 1993. What a great movie about perseverance, the story of a Mom taking care of her ‘tribe’. Near the end of the movie, a line struck me to the core and I burst into tears and just sobbed and let them flow, (feeling much better afterwards.) I am always amazed at the ways I am encouraged in my life now as a widow. Quite a bit has been through movies, a line here or there and I am thankful for each one. The line this time was said by the Mom to her teenaged son. “You work with what you get & you try to make it better.”

My dear husband and I moved into this little place in 1973. It has undergone changes through the years, inside and out. We were ‘tiny living’ before it was ‘cool, hip or trendy’ to do so. We made this into our ‘haven’ from the crazy, hectic world that we live in. It is paid for. I am thankful for that. It is not big or modern, does not have the lastest and supposed greatest this or that, but it is ‘home sweet home’. Several projects were left not completed when my DH left this planet, and some we had in our minds will not even be started.

Changes can be hard, the biggest for me losing my soul mate, my love, my best friend. He was the architect/designer/builder and I was his helper/sometimes designer. I would get ideas and we would talk them over and he would figure out the how-tos. We were a team. We worked great together.  I miss him and that so much. But, as we all know, life goes on. We can either go forward, or stay stuck in the past, wishing we had what we once had. Being a widow is really rough for the first 2-3 years, crying was at the drop of a hat, anywhere. Hearing a power saw in the neighborhood, going into Home Depot, one of our favorite places to shop, hearing songs, etc. could turn on the water works. Slowly, but surely the fog starts to lift. Your heart feels lighter, you laugh, but you never forget.

Last summer I went through 2-3 months of a depression that just came out of nowhere. I think my loss and the whole lifestyle change caught up to me. I prayed, read my Bible, and devotional books and was lifted back up into my more normal positive self.  It is where my DH would want me to be, it is where God wants me to be.

So, here I am at the start of this year with projects started and although change can be hard, it can also be freeing and uplifting. I am excited and thankful.

Yesterday morning I worked in the bedroom clearing the desk space where DH’s computer had been where I moved it to after he was gone. (I moved it here just to pay bills online from his computer. BIL gently suggested that I pay from my computer, we both teared up, and he told me to take my time in deciding. I did put info into my computer & have been happily paying bills (as much as one can be) from my computer. Going into his computer each time to pay bills made me feel sad.) His computer had been in the living room by his chair and that’s where he did his computing for years. By changing things around, the old familiar and now empty spaces are transformed, and hopefully for the better. In my case, it has been. Some widows leave their old homes where they’d built a life with their husbands. I cannot afford to do that. It wasn’t until recently that I could even contemplate doing such a thing, but as I told my BIL & SIL, I could now, if the right thing came my way. For now though, this is where I am, it is what I have been blessed with, and I want to thankfully and contentedly work with what I’ve got, and it is a lot compared to a lot of people around the world.

Ok, here we go, below is the living room in the beginning of 2011. Both the book case on the right and the desk unit on the left, are curbside finds. The book case was given to a young couple from church last year. I am keeping and dear BIL and I are moving the desk unit into the bedroom.


Soon after DH left, I wanted to change the space a bit, to hide the ugly old TV for one thing.

Below is the new look in Jan. 2017. I made a faux mantle with old wooden top to something or other. I had screwed a piece of 1x1 to the wall for the back edge to rest on, and the front edge rested on the TV. I pulled everything out of other locations in the cottage to decorate with, and covered the TV with fabric.


This is the new look I’ve been living with since Jan. 2016, after my friend Jessica gave me the floral plate. I wanted a newer, lighter look.


Here is how it looks today as I prepare to work with BIL Todd, Saturday to repair wall, do some other work and then repaint before bringing in the new (to me) bookcases and media stand. That wall is 9 1/2 ft. long and the new things will just about fill up that space and the depth into the room will be 12” for the bookcases, and 16" for the media stand. The new flat screen TV given to me by friends last summer, will go on the new media stand which is about 6” higher than where it presently sits, and I want Todd to make me another faux mantle between the two bookcases, over the TV. I love having a mantle. The curtain/tablecloth covers a doorway from years ago that we cut into the wall. It will be wallboarded over, as will the little vent area at the ceiling and the crack in wall patched.


Here is the bedroom space May 2013. I won’t show you what the bedroom looked like before this, til maybe some future date when it is completely redone.


Space now as it is dismantled. The desk unit in the liv. room is going to go next to the curtained linen closet, it is not as deep as the linen closet by about 3 inches. I can hardly wait to get it in there, more storage. I may paint it, haven’t decided yet, that will come after it is moved from liv rm to this space. The whole bedroom will eventually be done in the faux beadboard paneling and crown moulding put around the ceiling. I’ve got to take all of the artwork down from this space, which saddens me, as they all mean something to me, bringing back lots of good memories. I’ll just have to find new homes for them. Lace curtains on the right lead into the hall, and the bathroom is just to the left in the hallway, on the other side of that bedroom wall. You might say I have an ‘en suite’ bathroom. Winking smile


Anywho, that’s where I am this morning, about to take down artwork and clear out a couple more areas so that Todd and I have room to get started. Needless to say, things are piled here and there in bedroom and living room, not where they are supposed to be or will be, but things will get straightened out in due time.

Thank you all so much for your kind and loving support, your encouraging words, your prayers all mean a lot. I know I talk a lot about this journey I am on, but I hope it will help any widows out there and that it will help those of you who come in contact with them as to what ways or how you may help them in their time of need. Love & compassion go a long way for everyone, but especially widows & orphans.

It is another gray, wet day here in s.e. FL. perfect for working indoors. Rain is expected off and on through Friday.

Happy living life moment to moment each and every day. Count your blessings. Let your loved ones know how much they mean to you.

Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

Monday, January 8, 2018

It’s a new year!

Good morning Folks ~ What a cold start to the new year many of us have been having. I went out a few minutes ago and it was pleasant out after a week of cold weather for us down here in sub-tropical south FL. We had rain down here the 2nd and 3rd, which ushered in a ‘cold front’. On the morning of the 4th our low was 38 and the real feel temp was 26. The next morning it was 41 and real feel 33. It has slowly warmed up until this morning with partly cloudy skies and rain in the forecast, it is 67 and real feel 63.

I cannot imagine having to deal with the frigid winter conditions so many of you are having to deal with. I wouldn’t be able to stand it at this age. Have lived down here since 1960 and my older bones just wouldn’t like that kind of weather at all. Getting down into the 30’s is enough for me.

A blessing is that each day it is staying lighter a bit longer and it is one day closer to spring. Although, on that first day of spring I will turn 69 this year. Oh my, where has the time gone.

A word came to mind the other day for my ‘word for this year’, and that is ‘sufficiency’. This year my prayer is that I’ll rest more in the all sufficiency of God my Savior.

In Him I have been made complete. Colossians 2:10a

God has said, “My grace is sufficient for you,

for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 ESV

With that, I am looking for 2018 to see how God works things out in my life.

This past Saturday, the young man from church who came and cut down limbs from a hurricane damaged tree last Sept. came over and together we got some leaning fencing from that storm, standing back up. He dug 4 post holes and I had the 4x4 posts needed in a stack of lumber DH and I had stacked in that area. Johnnie only had to cut down one 4x4 that was way too long. It took us 2 1/2 hours and we talked as we worked. I enjoy working with him. He’s a hard worker and knows how to do a lot of different things. I am so thankful for his help and I know DH is too.

The area over there as well as my whole main garden was overgrown. We trampled down a lot of overgrowth where we worked and I told him this little project has inspired me to get outside to work more. I said I really have been down since losing my husband and haven’t felt like doing much at all. I’ve started coming up instead of going more in a downward spiral and that feels GREAT!. God has been my strength and I am ready to go with this new year.

Below are before and after pictures of the fencing and an arbor fix.

After hurricane Irma. Looking southwest.


Looking from the other direction, north. You can also see the rotted 2x4 that ‘was’ holding up the lattice.


This made me feel so depressed to look at. I asked Johnnie if he would fix this for me too, and he did. This little project made me want to cry, as it was not a necessity. Although, for my broken heart, it was a necessity as this was something my DH would have fixed for me long before it got into this state. This makes me feel so much better to have it repaired. I am excited to start working in my garden spaces again, making them better than ever.


Fencing no longer leaning.


2 x 4 replaced


Hidden space at the back of my main garden, has been neglected for too long.


This coming Sat., God willing, my dear BIL, Todd and I will start work in my living and bedrooms. I am so excited about this project. They gave me two bookcases and a media stand when they moved to new place. I will have a new look, in  a repaired and painted living room. I’ll show before, during and after photos when we’re done. This will take at least a coupe of Saturday’s to accomplish.

Below is a fringe flower bush.  I just love these blooms and the bush has purple and green leaves.


Some garden ornaments. I believe this one is aluminum.


Wrought iron from a chandelier.


Cast antique pot metal piece.


A metal gazing ball that my dear husband bought me years ago for my bday, seen from two different sides.



Now these next phtos are the reason why I love to garden. Not all photos blow me away, but sometimes they do and I gasp in delight and thankfulness. You think while you are taking photos that this is nice, but when you see them out of the camera ready to edit, oh my gosh. At least that’s how I feel when photos are better than expected.




Ok, that’s it for now from Plum Cottage. I may not be back for a couple of weeks as I work on getting ready for living room remodel and then doing some work too.

It is raining here so my tropical cottage garden will grow even more over grown, part of living down here in s.e. FL.

"Winter is the time for comfort,

for good food and warmth,

for the touch of a friendly hand

and for a talk beside the fire: 

it is the time for home."  
 Edith Sitwell 

Happy January