Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer Project

Good afternoon Folks, It is a gray, very warm and humid day. We’ve been having rain off and on for several days now, and for that we are very thankful. Everything is greening up down here, and before long it will be a tropical jungle once again.
I thought I’d write more about our restoration/repurposing project. We call this our stationary gypsy wagon. The fiberglass half of this was the camper on an old pickup that had seen better days. We took the camper body off, and sold the truck last autumn. DH used his CAD program to draw up plans and we’ve been using as much materials as we already have either from other projects or curbside shopped. Plus 4 small stained glass windows we bought years ago. We have three tin panels that we are using on the roof. We have some terra cotta colored roofing paint that we found that is great stuff, and will be painting the tin with it. It feels so good to be using up ‘stuff’ from our stash. I’ve already been working on the courtyard garden that is on the back side/east side of the gypsy wagon. On the south side will be a partial view into the ‘secret garden’, DH’s workshop and our screened room where the jacuzzi is. Below is a picture of the front side. DH will be making a door, using the paned glass window, shown at the bottom of my last post.
Here is the first of two little stained glass windows that for the front wall. You can see the bougainvillea from our neighbor’s property in the center piece.
This is a side view. I know this doesn’t look like much now, and some of you might be running and hiding your eyes, but it will look much better when it is finished. We have two matching top windows that we found curbside many years ago, and have now put them to use above the windows in the original camper. All four of these windows have a sliding glass panel and a screen to let in breezes. The side facing us is where the little refrigerator, tiny stainless steel sink, and the propane stove go, with a small counter. The refrigerator runs on either electricity or propane.
Here is a look at the inside as it is right now, well, we do that the window in on the right now. This little space is only 6’x8’. We were given the back window which cranks out and is also tinted for sun and double paned. We installed a frame on the inside of windows space and put in a screen the other morning. We are going to insulate it with foam board and also 2” thick styrofoam. The walls and ceiling will be paneling painted white.
DH is going to paint faux tiles on the floor, and then I’ll put an old Oriental rug in there too. We will put a bench under the back window all across the back. We will use the two canvas folding chairs, cleaned up, and a nice couple of solid wood TV trays also. We want to keep it airy looking in here. Once the counter and little appliances are back on the other side where they were originally, it will start feeling cramped .
The other night we thought of using this space to sleep in while we remodel our bedroom, with flooring we have stacked in DH’s workshop, and paint the walls. We have an old Army cot that DH will sleep on where the chairs are now sitting and I will sleep on the cushioned bench at the back.
Here is the back. We will have two more little stained glass windows on either side of the window in the top wood. I just thought of these two little windows the other night. They were sitting in my scullery window. I told DH my idea and he thought it a good idea. I took a picture of one of the windows which is below this picture. We have siding to go on over the tar papered wall over the window.
This is the view of the courtyard in progress from inside. You can see my ‘solar dryer’. This is a pleasant area to hang out the laundry. Butterflies, birds, bees and hummingbirds, foliage, wonderful scents.

The flower below is on my bush Grand Duke Jasmine. It is loaded with these wonderful smelling flowers.


These two are in bloom in the hedge of the ‘secret garden’, which is to the south of the courtyard area. The ‘Incense’ passion bloom fills the air with its sweet scent too.


My friend Nanci, who has the shop next to where I work, gave me 5 orchids that I’ve shown the flowers of before. I was thrilled to say the least. She was going away for a few weeks and didn’t want them to die. She had already lost a couple of plants. I don’t know the name of this orchid or what type it is. I hope and am pretty sure that someone out there will be able to tell me. Here is a picture I took and posted awhile back. They have big oval shaped leaves. They had all seen better days, but I hope to keep them alive and have them thrive.


Ok, that’s it for now. I hope you all are keeping as cool as possible. Don’t work too hard, or too long in the heat and drink plenty of water.

The sky is dark, the wind is blowing, and thunder is rolling.

Bye for now.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Blooms tolerating the heat

Good afternoon Folks ~ It is hard to believe that June is almost over already. The older we get, the faster time seems to zip by.

I took a passel of pictures this morning. It is amazing how much is in bloom in spite of the heat, humidity and drought conditions that we are having. I heard on the way home from work the other day that 93% of our state is in extreme drought. We’ve gotten little bits of rain, but need so much more. You can smell smoke some days because of all of the wildfires that are burning. Hope we get a good soaking soon.

Now here are the blooms.

This is the bougainvillea that so many of you commented on the other day. This was here when we moved in 38 years ago. I love the colors .


This is the bougainvillea that grows up beside and over my shed.


This is a cypress vine bloom.


The next two are of sweet Dainty Bess. I just love her and her scent smells lightly and sweetly of cloves.



Next is a Gulf Fritillary butterfly flitting around one of it’s host plants, the passion vine.



Here we have hamelia paten. I grew this from a cutting. It is now huge and has also grown up and over the lattice covered area onto my shed’s roof. It is humming with life in the mornings as the bees cover this thing sipping nectar and collecting pollen. The butterflies and hummingbirds love this too.





This is a pretty hibiscus.



Maggie growing with humble vincas.


Passion vine bloom, you can see a Gulf Fritillary through one of the lattice openings.




I haven’t grown tomatoes in years. I saved some plum tomato seeds from tomatoes we bought, and decided to see if they would grow. Then I forgot about the rule of not getting their leaves wet, so they aren’t looking so great, but I do have flowers and at least one tomato so far.


Shells collected from the property. I think the brown striped one came off a flower pot that I had found that had shells glued to it.


Spiderwort, one of my favorites.


Texas Sage, another favorite.


I’m not sure off hand which vine this is, I call it ‘trumpet vine’.




The last is a spriggly unknown that grows ever year. I’m wondering if it is a native.



Here is another ‘teaser’ picture for the project we are working on. Smile


This next bit of writing came to my attention again the other day and I thought I’d end this post with it.


It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.

The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.

It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.

Lamentations 3:22-26 KJV


Have a great week.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Homemade Granola

Good afternoon Folks

Several of you asked for the Granola recipe so here it is. I did tweak it as I had read quite a few recipes online, and felt it was a forgiving recipe, meaning you could basically add this or that as you wish. I have a little cookbook called ‘The Quaker Oats Wholegrain Cookbook’, I ended up using their recipe changing it up a bit. I think you could do almost anything with a granola recipe and have it taste great


Golden Granola

3 cups Quaker Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked
1 cup shredded or flaked coconut
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts ( I used 1/2 c. sesame seeds and 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds)
1/4 cup honey ( I used maple syrup not the real stuff either, just pancake syrup)
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted ( I used light olive oil instead of butter)
1 1/2 tsps. cinnamon ( I didn’t add that)
1/2 tsp. salt ( I left this out too)
2/3 cup raisins ( I used a couple of handfulls of craisins and a handful of dried cherries and berries)

I also added 2 small scoops, maybe a couple of TBS. of flax meal. You could add more and I read online that some people add wheat germ.

Combine all ingredients except dried fruit in a huge bowl; mix well. Pour into an ungreased shallow baking pan and bake in preheated moderate oven (350 degrees) 25-30 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally; stir in dried fruit. Cool thoroughly; store in tightly covered container in cool dry place or in refrigerator. Serve as cereal with milk or as a snack. Makes 6 cups.


We eat it as cereal. I use a mix of the granola and cornflakes. I put on a dollop of plain yogurt and then add milk. When we have bananas I slice them up and add them on top.

It was easy, smelled delicious while baking and is great to eat and healthy. Be adventurous making granola your own way.

~ Happy Eating ~


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hot, humid, wind, rain, hail, granola, needlework

Some title huh? It is 4:22 p.m. 93 and with the heat index feels like it is 103. Yesterday morning there wasn’t a cloud anywhere and I said a little prayer asking for rain. Well, last evening a thunderstorm blew in with plenty of thunder and lightening, heavy rain and some hail too. Yikes! Tork ( our indoor/outdoor feline girl) started yowling like crazy and hid under the chopping block table in the kitchen, next to the freezer’s vent space. It must have been comforting under there. More rain is expected early this evening, we’ll see. The predictions aren’t always right that’s for sure.

Yesterday morning I made homemade granola for the first time. It smelled so good while baking in the oven and it is delicious as cereal in the morning. I will be doing this again.


The other afternoon I drew up another bit of needlework to work on. Haven’t started yet, but at least the drawing is done.


We’ve been working on our ‘project’ in the mornings, and even then it is miserable out. We did have quite a bit of cloud cover this morning and even cool breezes in the shade. It’s just the beginning of summer. Cool temps are a long way off for us, if we’re lucky it will be around Oct.-Nov. Just hoping we don’t get any hurricanes, the season has started and doesn’t end until the end of Nov.

Thank you all for your input on the unknown bird visitors we had the other morning. I do believe after doing research on one possibility that they were Spot-breasted Orioles.

Well, it’s almost time to get supper started. Tonight we are having flounder in a green curry sauce, served over jasmine rice with yellow squash, and white wine. Sounds good to me.

I’ll be working the next three days so not much puttering will be done around here. Hope you all have a great weekend whatever you do.


Monday, June 13, 2011

What kind of bird is this?

Good morning Folks ~ As I was sitting here at my computer I saw a flash of yellow/orange color outside the window. It was a bird flitting around in the orange flowering vine, then flew off. I grabbed my camera and headed outdoors and found not just one but two of these. They hardly sat still so the pictures aren’t that great, plus they were up on the phone lines.

It reminds me of an Oriole but I don’t know if they are here in FL. I’ve not seen these before.

Here are the pics, and thank you in advance for the i.d.





Saturday, June 11, 2011

More Rain ~ More Blooms

Good morning Folks ~ Hope you all have a great weekend, whatever your plans are. I’m working again today, off tomorrow.

We had some more wonderful rain last evening, a really heavy downpour that made me happy to say the least, and I know the plants loved it.

I’ve no time for picture descriptions.

The last three are project teasers. Smile