Thursday, July 12, 2018

Life in sub-tropical FL

Good morning Folks ~ Hope you are all enjoying your days, whether you are having hot summer weather, or cold winter weather. As most of you know, I live where it is hot and humid in sub-tropical s.e. FL. We had several weeks of rain last month, some storms with heavy rain and AWFUL T-storms. I do NOT like T-storms at all. My little cottage shakes & rattles, but does not roll thankfully. This is a zoom shot out  through the ‘scullery’ window.

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This is my view into the secret garden from inside the ‘scullery’.

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With all of the rain we’ve had and keep having, the tropical cottage gardens just keep growing and growing. This hedge is too high right now.

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Same hedge, except from the driveway area. The butterflies love the blossoms of the hamelia patens, but I can’t just let it keep growing. Most people keep this as a low hedge, mine has gotten out of control. Smile

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Here are a couple of path areas in my front garden, what paths? you might ask.

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This is how it looked after weeks of rain and a heavy rain. We are not in drought conditions any longer. The ground was soggy for days.

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I love the reflections in the water.

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I love flowers, as if you can’t tell by visiting here and my online name of FlowerLady’. My dear husband gave me that name because I was always out in the flowers. He knew where he could find me. Before we knew he was ill, he said to me one day, don’t plant any more gardens. What?!?! I was a tad miffed at the time, no more gardens, but now that he’s gone, I know ‘why’ he said that. I don’t need anymore gardens, he knew I had plenty to take care of with what I had/have.  I have planted a few flowering shrubs here and there, but they take care of them selves. I’ve taken to grouping potted plants together for ease on this aging gardener, and putting plants in gardens I already have. When I’ve done too much in a morning in this heat and humidity and my body is telling me it is time to stop for the day, I can almost hear him also telling me it’s time to quit. He used to come out and check on me when I’d been outside too long. These days, I carry my phone in a fanny-pack around my waist, in case anything happens, since I’m here by myself.

There are ‘back 40’ areas that he used to take care of that are totally overgrown and one of these days, when it’s cooler, I’ve got to tackle those spaces. It is certainly a tropical jungle here, and I do what I can. I thank God for the beauty that surrounds me and ask His help in caring for this place that I am blessed with.

Now for some photos of why I love gardening. What I can’t capture are the scents to share with you.

This morning I was hand watering plants in containers and I could smell a wonderful scent but couldn’t find the source. A little bit later, I spied the source, a single ‘Maman Cochet’ climbing rose bloom.

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Here are some other rose blooms growing around Plum Cottage.

An unknown with a wonderful rose scent.

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This is ‘Prosperity’. Doing great after all of the rain.

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This is another unknown growing in same area as ‘Prosperity’.

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‘Dwarf Bahinia’ orchid tree, has a slight sweet scent. Grown from seed.

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Miss Joachim’ Vanda orchid. Grows like a weed here.

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Pink hibiscus blooms

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Tropical Lilac

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Alamanda grown from a cutting.

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Malaysian Orchid’ ~ not really an orchid, but what it is called.

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Another ‘why’ for gardening, because of critters like these ‘cowbirds’, at least I think that’s  whay these guys are.

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There’s a blue jay on the stump to the left, waiting his turn to splash in the birdbath.

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Zebra Longwing butterflies are our state butterfly and a lot of these visit here daily.

These are sipping nectar from ‘spinach tree’ blooms. I got several cuttings from a small nursery a couple years back and they are really doing good.

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And, here’s my sweet indoor critter, Miss T.

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The west living room wall has been repaired and is ready for me to sponge down to get the powdery sanding dust off, then I can paint. I chose a color called ‘Bleached Linen’, to me it has a hint of ‘joy’ in the color, and that is something I need. The other two color samples I had picked were on the cool side and seemed dull to me. I didn’t want to do stark white.

I’ve been crocheting prayer shawls and comfort lap blankets too. Am trying a free month with Pure Flix, and am enjoying that.

This morning I watched a wonderful spiritually inspiring and encouraging vlog post by Jessica, a young mother/gardener/artist. I was moved to tears and blessed beyond words. I recently found her garden vlog and she’s a real delight and very knowledgeable.

Pear Trees and Bathroom Stalls | A Garden Devotional

In a blog friend’s blog these words, “This Girl Can”, inspired me also. My life has changed drastically with the loss of my dear husband, but life goes on, and,

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13.

I have up and down times, more up than down and I am thankful for that. I miss my husband every single day. I thank you all for your love, encouragement and prayers and ask you to continue to pray for me. TIA.

A week or so ago I saw a small trees growing in containers at the local veggie market I go to. The sign said ‘Moringa’. I had heard the name before, but didn’t know any info. I came home and googled and my oh my, there is lots of info on this ‘vegetable’ tree and it is referred to as the ‘tree of life’. I thought of buying one, BUT, after reading about it’s fast growing and a gazillian drumstick seed pods, I quickly changed my mind. I ended up buying some powdered leaf capsules from a small family owned business, through their Amazon store front.

Moringa Powder Capsules from Paisley Farm & Crafts in TN.

I ordered them yesterday morning and they are already on the way to me. I am looking forward to trying these and giving an honest review of them to you all.  Have any of you tried this supplement before? Lots of great reviews on you-tube and Amazon.

Well, I think that is it for now. It’s time for a nap. Zzzzzz.

Be well, be joyful and thankful ~ FlowerLady

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Inspire Lg. Print Edition ~ Bible for Creative Journaling

Good Thursday morning Folks ~ Well, we’ve had even ‘more’ rain, this is our 5th week of liquid sunshine.  I will post photos of flowers and waterlogged driveway in another post.

Today’s post is about a new Bible I ordered from Amazon, The Inspire Lg. Edition Bible for Creative Journaling.

Those who have been following me for any amount of time know that I lost my dear husband 9 Dec. 2012. After being married to my best friend for 43 years, being alone has been rough at times. It was much worse in the beginning than it is now, but there is still a huge ‘void’ that his leaving has left in my life.

God has sustained me,  He is with me constantly, He has blessed me over and over, in many ways, large and small. My KJV large print Bible has been a huge source of encouragement and it has all sorts of underlinings and notes, dates, etc. written in it through many years of reading it, even before God took my DH home.

In the past couple of years I’ve seen blogs and you tube videos about journaling in your Bibles. Well, I can tell you that I was NOT impressed by some of it, and still don’t like covering total pages of scripture so that you can’t even read what it says anymore. What good is that? Just my personal opinion. I was turned off by the whole concept.

Recently, I saw some videos again, and one had this Inspire Bible which really caught my attention. It spoke to ‘FlowerLady’s’ heart. From the box it came in, to the page edges and all of the wonderful drawings just waiting to be colored. It is a wonderful way to sit quietly and meditate on whatever portion of scripture happens to be featured in the drawings. I ordered the large print edition, for my aging eyes to be able to read and color comfortably.

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Page edges

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As you open the Bible.

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Right off, I went to 1 Peter 5:7 and wrote a note. This is the scripture that my DH called out to me one day as I came in the door from work. He was bedridden, and it was a little less than a month before God called him home. This verse is very encouraging to me and I am thankful for those words from the ‘love-of-my-life’.

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I then started going page by page and found two pages, maybe 4 chapters missing, only pieces left in the middle. I thought ‘oh no!’ I didn’t feel I could send it back to Amazon with my personal notes written in it, and was bummed out. I  later decided it couldn’t hurt to email a note to the publishers telling them my story. I heard back and they asked for a photo, the ISBN # and my address. I did what she asked and they sent me a new Bible. Thank you Tyndale Publishing for your kindness. If I had found the missing pages ‘before’ I wrote anything in it, I would have sent it back through Amazon. (The box hadn’t been tampered with, it was all fresh and tight, so it must have happened when it was being put together.)

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I traced a flower drawing into my Bible and colored it in with crayons since that is what I had. Not very nice to work with at all. But it got my creative juices going.

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I watched some videos of different ladies who are into Bible journaling and saw their reviews of different colored pencils, etc. Oh my. I did googling and read reviews also, and decided to get a set of 36 Faber-Castell colored pencils. They are made in Germany, and are made of oil, not wax. I would have loved to have gotten the complete set, but that is way out of my budget. I have picked out 15 individual colors I’d like to add to my collection which to me will round out the color selection nicely, but can’t afford that right now. (Before I ordered these, I looked out in the workshop to see if DH had any colored pencils in his stash of artist supplies. He had oils, acrylics, and pastels, but no colored pencils. Not to say there positively aren’t any, but I didn’t come across them right then.)

These Faber-Castell pencils are a joy to work with. I’ve much to learn in using them and in becoming a better artist. I’ve painted in oils and watercolors before, but that was many, many years ago. DH was the artist and I could always get pointers and tips from him.

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I picked this little set below up at Target the other day, Prismacolor Premier Botanical Garden set of 12, for $9.99. Prismacolor was another brand with high reviews. They are made of wax though, and some have said the lead breaks easily when you sharpen the pencils. So far, I’ve not had any problem with sharpening them. These colors are so delicate and pretty.

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Here are some of my colorings.

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This verse really speaks to me

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and reminds me of another verse that isn’t featured in this Bible as a drawing, but I will quote it here.

Philippians 4:13 ~ I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

With that, I will close this post. I look forward to many hours of creatively meditating on God’s words.

Love, hugs & prayers ~ FlowerLady