Sunday, May 31, 2009

Flower Universes

Good afternoon everyone. It has been a quiet Sunday here. I took some pictures this morning to add to some I took the other day. A friend in a gardening forum had asked me to take some more 'flower universe' pictures. I've been editing them, then made them into an album. It was another fun project using my new photo program and my Jalbum program.

I hope you will enjoy the show.

To visit Flower Universes,

click on the picture below.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Hi Folks ~ I mentioned the other day that I was reading a little book entitled, "Take Your Time - Finding Balance in a Hurried World". It's an inspiring book, with lots of good food for thought.

Thoughts about paying attention, not losing your cool, etc. Negative thinking vs. positive thinking.

Well, I was washing dishes this morning and caught a glint of some action out the little window on my right, which is the driveway area. I looked closer and there was our cat 'Tork' and the neighbor cat 'Tinks' who is a bully and not a nice cat at all. Both of these cats are tabbies, both are girls. Tinks is fat and squatty, never seen a cat look like her. She runs funny and she is MEAN. We've been able to pet her, but she's taken one too many swipes at us for no reason, so we've quit trying to be nice to her. We've even fed her when our neighbor's have gone on vacation, several times. That doesn't matter, she's still mean.

Anyway, Tork came to us about a year and a half ago as an abandoned kitten. She's an outdoor kitty and we had her fixed last year. She follows us around when we're outside and she loves to sit in my lap and 'knead' my arm/shoulder. Every now and then Tork and Tinks come across each other here in our property and Tinks is the aggressor.

Well, what I see out the window this morning is the two of them in a 'stand-off' position. I raced out leaving the water running in my haste, luckily into the empty sink. I opened the porch door and yelled "Get out of here, you fat little turd." Tinks took off like a bullet while Tork came toward me with her fur all standing up on end. I petted her and told her it was alright, then came back in.

DH started laughing and repeats what I yelled at Tinks. We start laughing and he repeats it again which makes us laugh even more.

So, the ooooops is, here I am posting about living a calmer life, and I don't heed my own advice. I'm not perfect that's for dang sure. I've learned that when you want to do something good or be better at things, stuff happens to make you fall flat on your behind, and you take two steps backwards. It's not the end of the world though. There are lessons to be learned each day, and life is to be lived in each and every moment of the days we are blessed with.

It doesn't mean I won't call Tinks a turd or worse the next time she bullies Tork either. I wish to be calmer, to be more tolerant, but...

I'm sure DH and I will have chuckles over this for the rest of our lives. It cracks me up even now thinking about it.

Have a nice evening whatever you do. May you have a good night's sleep also, waking up refreshed tomorrow morning ready to face the day and what it might bring.

Here is Tork, looking in the window over the sink.
She sits out here watching for her breakfast
or just staring into our world.

Here is mean Tinks.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Good afternoon friends,

It looks like we're back to our normal weather pattern which is afternoon thunderstorms.

This morning I did get out early to get a load of laundry washed and hung out, then did some trimming, raking and bagging. Got the dry laundry in before the rains started.

Now I've got a loaf of Parmesan-Pepper Bread making in the bread machine. It won't be done until around 7 p.m. It will be great for sandwiches the rest of the week.

For supper I'm making Salmon Patties with a Peanut Sauce that is super yummy. I'll post both recipes later.

Hope you've all had a good week so far and have a great weekend.

Below is a picture of my bread machine. Pretty soon it will start smelling wonderful in here. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

That's it for now.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Be Still ...

Good morning Friends,

Hope you all have a lovely Memorial Day today. Let's not forget those who have served and do serve to protect our country, so that we might have the freedoms we enjoy.


The other day I checked out a nice little book from the library called, "Take Your Time - Finding Balance in a Hurried World" by Eknath Easwaran. This is a good read, very inspiring.

This morning when I first awoke, all kinds of thoughts of things that I think need doing started racing through my mind. I was hardly awake and here I was being put under a huge burden, sheesh. Then these words came to me, "Be still, and know that I am God." Wow.

A sense of calm, instead of feeling rushed filled my being. It is a feeling I want to carry with me the rest of the day, actually, the rest of my whole life.

Then this morning I received another great read in a newsletter from Terry Hershey, called Raccoons.

At the bottom of this newsletter was the following piece, that just fit into my life this morning.

I came across another piece as I opened my e-sword program, (Bible program) that was serendipitous. I will post that also.


May I not feel pressured by the demands of the day,
or let's say, what I think are the demands.

May I relax in the comfort
of knowing God loves and cares for me
and all things will be worked out.

May I be thankful for the many blessings that come my way,
today and every day.

May your day be gracious and full of many blessings also.



Be still, and know that I am God.
Psalms 46:10


Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.
Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart.
Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.
Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so.
One day I shall dig my nails into the earth,
or bury my face in the pillow,
or stretch myself taut,
or raise my hands to the sky and want,
more than all the world, your return.
Mary Jean Iron


“Forsake me not, O Lord.”
Psalms 38:21

Frequently we pray that God would not forsake us in the hour of trial and temptation,
but we too much forget that we have need to use this prayer at all times.
There is no moment of our life, however holy,
in which we can do without his constant upholding.
Whether in light or in darkness,
in communion or in temptation,
we alike need the prayer,
“Forsake me not, O Lord.”
“Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe.”


Saturday, May 23, 2009


Good morning blogger friends,

It is another rainy day here in 'not' so sunny so FL. It's been a week of T-storms, and more is expected over the next three days. I am not complaining as it's been great after being in a drought for about 3-4 years now. Hopefully this is the end of that drought period.

My DH came across this little article in the IBD newspaper and I thought it would make a nice little post, since the Mockingbird is our state bird.

** Mockingbirds can identify people and quickly react to those who have threatened their nests before, Univ. of Fla. researchers found. Mockingbirds in a study alarmed and attacked people who repeatedly touched their nests, while ignoring others just passing by. The birds could identify people after seeing them just twice -- and could even recognize the cars driven by potential threats. **

As a boy DH rescued a Mockingbird baby from kids who had the little bird in a box and were throwing him around. He said he thought he gave them 50 cents for it. He took it home made a nice nest for him and fed him raw hamburger and bread soaked in milk. He named him Riley because he had the 'life of Riley'. When Riley got big enough to fly away he would go for short spurts and come back to DH's shoulder, until one time he didn't come back. He flew off into the great big world to join others like him, looking a place to call his own.

Mockingbirds are very territorial. We see them chasing much larger birds all the time. Their song is a medley of all sorts of sounds they have picked up along the way. Their tunes seem joyful to me, like they don't have a care in the world.

As I am writing this piece about Mockingbirds and it is pouring and thundering and lightening outside, there is a mourning dove sitting on the wires out front, he's been sitting there for quite some time, while it's pouring, etc. so he must not be concerned at all. His head is bobbing around here and there as he takes in the world around him.

I sure wouldn't want to be out in this and I'm glad it's cozy and dry inside our little cottage.

Hope you all have a great holiday weekend regardless of the weather.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

My First Collage

Good morning everyone. Well, it looks like our drought is over. It's been raining off and on since Monday evening. Last night we had horrible T-storms, wind, hail, rain. It reminded me of the three hurricanes we went through. My stomach was upset for awhile as the wind and rain blew all around, lightening flashed and thunder crashed. I did fall back to sleep only to be woken up by a crash of what sounded like glass. We got up and looked out the windows but didn't see anything. When I went out this morning I saw it was my blue glass bouquet. The whole thing had blown over and it doesn't look like anything broke, so I'm glad of that. I just left it laying where it is since I'm going to have to reinforce it with rebar. It is pouring right now as I type. Thunder is booming too. No gardening for me today that's for sure.

Since it's an indoor day, I got into my new photo program and one of the things that came with it is Corel Media One. I can do lots of different things in there, but played around with a collage first. It was fun, and easy. The picture is below.

Have a lovely day whatever you do.

Hugs ~ FlowerLady

For after all the best thing one can do
it is raining,
is to let it rain.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

Like I mentioned in my last posting, it's been raining here, so yesterday morning I made these delicious, melt in your mouth Oatmeal Peanut Butter cookies. I got the recipe online from AllRecipes

In the picture below you can see some of my over 300 cookbooks. I've not bought any in quite some time now. Have enough don't ya' think? Got most of them from yard sales, flea markets and thrift stores. I have parted with some, but not very many. :-)

I used 1 c. butter, instead of shortening and margarine. I also added 1/2 c. chocolate chips, not called for in original recipe. Neither was the butter. :-) I also used regular oatmeal as I didn't have quick cooking.

Here is the recipe.

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies


1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup margarine, softened(or 1c. butter)
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 c. chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2. In a large bowl, cream together shortening, margarine,
brown sugar, white sugar, and peanut butter until smooth.
Beat in the eggs one at a time until well blended.
Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture.
Mix in the oats and chocolate chips until just combined. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

3. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until just light brown. Don't over-bake. Cool and store in an airtight container.

Rainy Morning Project

We've been getting some much needed rain. It started Monday night, and we've had more off and on since then. I am very thankful for the rain. Hopefully this is the end of our drought. The plant life is enjoying it that's for sure.

Since I've not been able to get out and play all that much, yesterday morning I made a batch of oatmeal, peanut butter, chocolate chip cookies. This morning I filled empty gelatin capsules with dandelion root powder received in an order from HerbalCom that we got yesterday afternoon.

This company is great. I do not work for them, but I do enjoy doing business with them. They sell herbs in bulk, by the lb. or in lots of 300 caps and other things as well. We've bought the 300 caps before, and bulk herbs for tea, like chamomile, nettle, peppermint, green tea, and red clover. In our order this time we ordered dandelion root powder and bilberry powder, one lb. each, as they didn't have these in 300 caps. Also ordered a nifty little tool called Cap-M-Quick, and the tamper to use with it for filling capsules. You can buy empty gelatin capsules in lots of 1000.

I put on a nice soothing CD called Mountain Stream and began the project. The capsule holder holds 50 so that's a nice number. Not too little and not too many. I did 300, this sitting, of the dandelion.

First you separate the capsules, putting the larger/bottom end in the holder. Then you spoon some of the powder on, then use the little scraper tool they give you to scrape over the top filling the caps. Then I used the tamper tool, added more powder, scraped smooth, lowered the piece that holds caps, so that they were sticking up and put on the caps. Easy, peasy.

Presto Magico!

Doing it this way really saves money. Will be ordering more herbs this way now that I've filled some caps myself with the tool. The last bottle of dandelion capsules that we bought from the healthfood store, was $8.89 for 100 caps. This way it's costing us $17.35, for 1000. (Do the math yourself, to see the difference.) If any of you decide to order for yourselves, be sure that you get the powdered herbs, as you wouldn't want to have to be trying to fill the caps with leaves. :-)

We've been taking herbs for our health and well-being for years now. We are thankful for them. They aren't a quick fix, they take time, but they are healing and strengthening to our whole beings.

Hope you all are doing well, enjoying working in your gardens and taking time to see the beauty and blessings that surround you each day.

Hugs ~ FlowerLady


In the beginning of creation,
the Great, Loving and Wonderful Creator of all life said,
Let the earth bring forth grass,
the herb yielding seed,
and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind,
whose seed is in itself, upon the earth:
and it was so.

And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind,
and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind:
and God saw that it was good.

And God said,
Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed,
which is upon the face of all the earth,
and every tree,
in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

And to every beast of the earth,
and to every fowl of the air,
and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth,
wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat:
and it was so.

Genesis 1:11,12,29&30

Sunday, May 17, 2009

No Law Against ...




longsuffering ~ patiently enduring wrongs or difficulties




meekness ~ a disposition to be humble; a lack of false pride

temperance ~ moderation in action, thought, or feeling


against such there is no law.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Heat, Humidity, Thunder

But... NO rain. Dang. There was a lovely rainbow though. (Took a couple of pictures, but my batteries need recharging, so can't post pictures yet.) The rain clouds have moved all around us and we only got a few little sprinkles. It's one of my two watering days today, so after the rain clouds moved off, I turned on the sprinklers.

Wow, I just looked out the window to my right and what do I see, rain drops falling. I hope we get a good soaking as that would be GREAT!

Yesterday I took some flower seeds, mixed them all together and scattered them around. We'll see what happens with them. I also planted some other seeds in pots and have them up front so I can keep an eye on them. I repotted a couple of vines. Can't figure out where I want them yet, so they'll stay in pots until I see the right spot.

Yesterday afternoon and last evening I worked on two photo albums so that I could make little slideshows of my roses. I have 52 pictures in the one from last year, 23 in the one so far for this year.

Now, it's after lunch, and before lunch I worked on an album using Jalbum, so that I could upload it to my website. A little while later, and I've just finished the album for 2008.

I am so glad I didn't listen to a friend of ours who told me many years ago that roses do NOT grow in FL. Some don't that's for sure, but there are plenty that will. I love them all. I would love to have more, but unfortunately they are expensive, and I'm running out of room. So, I'm learning to be content with the beauties I have.

I'm also thankful to DH for giving me growing flowers after I told him I would rather have them than a dying bouquet. Our gardens here at Plum Cottage are the result. They are a continual work in progress. They are a lot of work. They are a joy!

By the way, we did get a few rain drops. Sky is still cloudy, so maybe there's a chance yet for a good heavy downpour.

Happy Gardening friends ~ FlowerLady

You love the roses - so do I.

I wish the sky would rain down roses,

as they rain from off the shaken bush.

Why will it not?

Then all the valley would be pink and white

and soft to tread on.

They would fall as light

as feathers, smelling sweet;

and it would be

like sleeping and like waking, all at once!

George Eliot, Roses

Monday, May 11, 2009

Word for the day.


is the potential for unexpected mystery and insight

where one comes into the unshakable presence of the divine;

a sacred transformative space

that integrates and heals

the mind, body, soul, and spirit.

Taken from Terry Hershey's newsletter this morning.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Shadowy Blues


Click on pictures for larger view.

Beauty as we feel it is something indescribable;

what it is or what it means can never be said.

George Santayana

Prayer/Thought for today

May you listen to your longing to be free.

May the frames of your belonging
be large enough for the dreams of your soul.

May you arise each day with a voice of blessing
whispering in your heart

...something good is going to happen to you.

May you find harmony between your soul and your life.

May the mansion of your soul
never become a haunted place.

May you know the eternal longing
that lies at the heart of time.

May there be kindness in your gaze when you look within.

May you never place walls between the light and yourself.

May you be set free from the prisons
of guilt, fear, disappointment and despair.

May you allow the wild beauty
of the invisible world to gather you,

mind you, and embrace you in belonging.

John O'Donahoe

Monday, May 4, 2009

Monday Evening

Here it is another Monday evening. I hope you all had a good weekend and hope you have a great week as well. It's a little after nine p.m. and I'm feeling ready to get horizontal and read before sleep.

Today was errand day and shopping always wears us out. It feels great to pull back into the driveway into our little haven.

I am still learning my new PSP Ultimate program. I'm still having to get used to Vista and I've had it a year and a half already. DH hates it. He has XP. Anyway, when I first got the new computer we tried my Wacom tablet in it and it would not work. Dang! Well, this evening DH got online and looked up on a driver website to see if they had a new one for my tablet. Lo and behold they did, and we downloaded it and my tablet works. Yippee!!! In these economic shakey times, I did not want to spend $70 for a new tablet. I am thrilled.

So, here's what I did with my tablet, my signature. With that I'll say good night. Hope your dreams are sweet, your sleep restful.

Good night! Good night!
Far flies the light;
But still God's love

Shall shine above,

Making all bright,
Good night! Good night!

Victor Hugo

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sunday Morning

Good morning ~ Hope you are having a nice weekend so far. I worked at my job yesterday so wasn't able to get out to play in gardens. Today we are going out to lunch with an elderly friend, then afterwards to a local museum to see two exhibits. One is paintings by Georgia O'Keefe and photos by Ansel Adams, the other exhibit is American Impressionistic landsca
pes. I've heard that these two exhibits are great, so DH and I are looking forward to this afternoon date.

Below is a photo of my main garden that I played with in the PSP Paint Essentials program. This was before I started watching the instructional video. I look forward to getting back into the program to learn and do more.

Have a lovely day whatever you do.


Below is a redone photo of our lady statue. I love the soft look. I can tell I will be having fun with this new photo/art program.

The longer the island of knowledge,

the longer the shoreline of wonder.

J. Singer

Friday, May 1, 2009

New Tool

Good evening Friends,

Since I love taking pictures, and my PSP program was version 6, about 9 years old, we looked online to check out Photo Shop, which I'd heard different ones talking about. DH said he thought it was going to be expensive. Yikes! That's for dang sure. I could not see spending $800. We then checked out the latest PSP, ordered it and I just got it in the mail this morning. There is a learning curve to using this program. So, I've some reading to do and playing around with it to learn how to use it.

DH installed the program and all that went with it for me. He's the computer geek in our family.

Below is a picture of my first Don Juan bloom this year. I love the deep velvety look and red color. The scent is wonderful also.

TodayDH also worked on the arbor over our gate from driveway to patio area. I love how it's coming out. The arbor is the icing on the gate project. I'll post pictures later.

I am thankful for all the things that DH does for us. We have saved lots of money through the years because he was able to do so many things himself.

Have a great weekend.