Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Thankfulness, a take back, and a whacky idea

Good morning Friends,

After much thought and research, I decided to return the rose bush ‘Fragrant Cloud’. I don’t want something that I might have to deal with later with black spot, as I try to garden organically as much as possible.  I got a refund, and next month will go to a local nursery where they sell Old Garden roses, which are much hardier.  I have bought from them before and have been very pleased with what I’ve bought.  Living down here where the tropics begin, the humidity would be a major factor for black spot. I did enjoy the one bloom from FC but was relieved when I took the bush back. I wouldn’t have bought it IF I had known about the black spot problem.  Oh well.

DH has been working on the electrical work for the caravan. We got wire strung through pvc pipe that is underground.  Ditch digging, root cutting, laying the pipe, stringing a feeder wire, attaching and taping wire together to be pulled through pipe, all prep work.  He had an old boat wench, whatever you call it, that we found a long time ago, and used that to pull the wire through.  The wire had to go through two bends, and at first I was cranking on the wench because we both thought that would be easier, and he was stuffing the wire into pipe along with applying the lubricant, then we switched places as the cranking was getting hard on my arms. We timed ourselves doing this little project (pulling the wire through) and it took roughly 22 minutes.  We were glad when that was done.  Now it’s the little stuff inside to get this part of the work on caravan finished.

Yesterday morning when we were first outside, he said to me “You’re probably going to think this is a whacky idea, but what if we put this and he pointed to an object, on the roof of the caravan.” I liked the idea, and at first we just set it up there, but it needed a base, so he scrounged around in his stash and came up with a piece of metal to work with, then we set the thing up there to get an idea and it made us laugh and feel happy.  No doubt some will think it is definitely a whacky idea, and not doubt it is, but it’s recycling, repurposing, and just plain fun.  To us, it really makes the caravan more something or other. I looked up the definition for cupola after I thought of that word for our project and this is what it is: A cupola is an ornamental structure placed on the top of a larger roof. Here it is temporarily for the photo session.






DH will make it so that we can take it off in case of a hurricane.  This was an outdoor light at one time. It is amber colored glass, and two sides have lovely scrollwork painted on the inside. They will face east and north, so that we can see them from the driveway. We will prep the metal of the base and lamp part, then paint them the plum color.  I thought of painting the finial on the top with the same paint as roof, but DH has a better idea. He has some real gold leaf in his stash and that’s what he’ll use on the finial. It will sparkle at all times.  We’re going to see about some sort of little solar light to go into the lamp part too, all in good time.  Stay tuned.

Yesterday afternoon I fixed us herbal tea and took it out to the caravan where DH was working.  He took a break and we sipped our tea and talked.  It’s the first time we’ve done that out there and it won’t be the last.  It is a light, happy little space. I love it and he likes it too.  We will be sleeping out there while we remodel our tiny bedroom.  Other times, it will be our little get away without having to fight traffic, drive for hours, and pay who knows what.  There is a jacuzzi on the grounds as well as an outdoor shower, an outdoor clawfoot tub, all in a screened in area. There’s  a washer and ‘solar’ dryer ( a clothesline) for our convenience too. Smile And of course, there are gardens. Whenever we feel like it we will go back there just to have coffee or tea, or for a change of scenery. I can already see me doing some needlework back there. Who knew that a crappy camper could become a cozy, cottage caravan.

Here is the camper right after Hurricane Wilma Oct. 2005.  We didn’t have electricity for 13 days, and once we realized the campers’ propane tank had gas, we popped the top, did a little clean up, and I set up a temporary cooking station in there. We had had two hurricanes the year before, Francis and Jeanne and they caused damage too, with downed trees and limbs.  Some smashing into the front of camper crushing the top. The pile of wood was from our downed tree that was cut up and we brought the debris into our yard from the back neighbor’s where the tree had gone into. We had several huge piles out front over a few weeks time to be picked up.  Florida lost a lot of trees and undergrowth from those three hurricanes.  Plus some kind of beetle blew in and started attacking pines, which caused us to lose more trees.




We decided to sell the junker little truck last fall, but wanted to keep the camper part, and the rest is history. I will do up a webpage about the whole thing once it’s all done.

Our weather is gorgeous and the birds are singing away.  We did more errands this morning and found two pots of something growing, curbside to be thrown out with the brush. I loaded them into the back of my mini van, and have a feeling they are some kind of ficus. Bummer.  I was hoping for something with blooms. The new leaves coming out are very green and healthy looking. I watered them, and will see what happens next.  I may plant them in our front hedgerow.

We bought a big loin of pork @$1.78 a lb. yesterday.  They had a diagram on the package for how to cut this up.  I cut it up and put the larger end in the crockpot along with some organic sauerkraut, caraway seeds, an cubed apple, brown sugar, mustard and a little sherry. Plus we have chops, and the smaller end, all wrapped and in the freezer now.

If you look closely, you can see part of the caravan over the top of the orchids.


Hang in there my northern friends.  Spring will be there before long.

I will close with the following.

The other morning as I was out working in the gardens, my heart filled with thankfulness to God. There was a nice breeze, there were sweet scents wafting in the air, new growth on plants of all types, birds were singing and I felt thankful. Thankful for our little home and compound, thankful for my DH, thankful for our love, thankful for God’s loving care in all areas. There are times when we can and do become lackluster in our thankfulness. Life is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination for any of us. We all go through pain in our lives, whether it be physical, mental or spiritual. We all have ups and downs. But, each and every day is a gift, another day to live, love, laugh, and learn through our experiences. May we grow in God’s love and grace.


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

They are new every morning

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

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

Lamentations 3 KJV



Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine’s Day to all


Hello Folks ~ The weather down here has been perfectly gorgeous today. I basically puttered. Put the stuffed steak rolls in the crockpot early, they are smelling really yummy right now.  I steamed some fresh asparagus and made a vinaigrette sauce for them. Will fix ‘instant’ Idaho mashed potatoes.  We’ll probably have coffee ice cream for a bit of dessert.

Yesterday we went to HD and I visited the garden dept. while DH was in the electrical dept.  At first I was just going to buy a couple of inexpensive things to add to my garden, then I spied  a nice selection of roses. Uh oh. They had some knock outs, I bent over and smelled several of them and was totally disappointed in their lack of scent, at least to me I didn’t notice any.  Then, I started getting a waft on the breezes of a heavy rose scent.  I walked around the selection and finally found them.  I ended up getting Fragrant Cloud. After we got home,  I picked the lone bud and brought it in and have been enjoying that heavenly scent all day.  I did a google search after I got home and saw that this particular rose might have a bit of BS. Oh bummer.  I’ll keep my eye on it, keep it in full sun, with plenty of air circulation. Lots of wonderful reports on how wonderful the scent is and how beautiful the blooms are. A few people even wrote (some from FL) that they don’t have much of a problem with it having bs, so I hope that is true. 

The first two pics of Fragrant Cloud are from yesterday, the last one is from this morning.




Chrysler Imperial


Next two, Cocktail



Bon Silene


Bon Silene




Dainty Bess





Louis Philippe




George Tabor azalea, my first bloom for this season.


I woke up this morning to see this opened.  What a beauty.


That’s it for now. 

Thank you all for visiting.


Monday, February 13, 2012

A tad warmer this morning

Good morning Folks,

This morning it was 47 when we got up and felt like it was 42. Yesterday morning it was in mid 40’s and felt like it was 36. It is still ‘cold’ for us down here though. Below is a picture of the scullery window yesterday morning. The orchids are usually outside, but during cold weather they come indoors.


I stayed indoors for the most part yesterday as it was windy which made it feel cold all day. Tomorrow is is supposed to be pleasant and I hope to get outside to play in gardens. I still have some work to do on the back reworked area.

Yesterday I wanted to do some beaded embroidery and here is the completed piece. The heart itself is about 2”x2”, with the frame 6 1/2” x 6 1/2”. I’ve got to mount the piece then put it in the frame. I really love embroidering and using beads makes it even more enjoyable. I used an old mother of pearl button too.



This morning we do our errands then it’s back home to our humble abode. I always love pulling into our driveway, driving through the opened gates, parking and closing the gates being back in our little haven.

My box of crochet thread should arrive today. I can hardly wait to crochet with those luscious colors.

Hope you all have a great week and a nice Valentine’s day. I’m planning to fix a stuffed steak in the crockpot. We already have the steak in the freezer, I just need to get a couple of things at the grocery and I’m ready to go. I enjoy cooking, but on holidays I enjoy it even more. I learned early on in our life together that I could follow a recipe and make a wonderful meal for a fraction of the cost of eating out, and we would have left-overs too.



Who, being loved, is poor?

Oscar Wilde


Love puts the fun in together, the sad in apart, and the joy in a heart.

Author Unknown

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Rain, cold front, Bernie news, thread colors

Good morning everyone,

Boy did we ever get the rain yesterday! Streets were flooded where I work, as it was just too much water for the drainage system to handle. I was glad to be inside.  It had started raining lightly here at home when I left for work, but got to raining heavier over the 30 minutes it takes to get to work.  I’m always glad to get to where I have to be when driving through rain.  It is NOT one of my favorite things to do.  DH said it rained here most of the day, but not like we had 9 miles away. More rain is expected today but not at all like yesterday, and then tonight it is supposed to go down to 42 and feel like it is 30.  That will be cold for us.  It’s a good thing we did not put our heater back up into the attic.

Bernie commented in my last post that she is fine, but there is some kind of Google glitch which shut down her blogs, picassa albums, etc.  She hopes to get it all figured out and be back in here soon.

I ordered 12 colors of crochet thread for crocheting needlecases and they should be here Monday.  I look forward to creating these sweet, useful cases.  I really enjoy using mine.  It is so nice to not have to look for needles in the pincushion, they are in one place.

Here are the color swatches.

River blue


Copper Mist




Dusty Rose


French Rose


Light Peach




Myrtle Green


Orchid Pink






Wood Violet


Today is my last day or work for this week.  I look forward to puttering around here until I go back next Thursday.  Hopefully we will have some lovely days of sunshine so that I can play in the gardens.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend.



Sunshine is delicious,

rain is refreshing,

wind braces us up,

snow is exhilarating;

there is really no such thing as bad weather,

only different kinds of good weather. 

John Ruskin



Hopefully I will remember line three if a hurricane comes our way this summer.

Friday, February 10, 2012

What has happened to Bernie H's blogs?

Hello Friends ~ I tried to get into both of Bernie's blogs and both have a sign that pops up and says the blogs have been removed.

I feel withdrawal symptoms starting already.

Bernie I sure hope you are ok.

Hugs ~ FlowerLady

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Days of Liquid Sunshine

Good morning Folks,

We’ve had days of what we call ‘liquid sunshine’ and there is more to come. I am not complaining as we really needed the rain badly. I planted seeds a week or so ago, some have come up and I’m still watching to see what others will sprout. Hopefully all of this rain won’t make the seeds rot.

The other day though we had some time where we didn’t get rain and I was able to get a load of laundry washed and hung out and almost dry before the next rains came. Brought it in and hung it around to continue drying, which didn’t take long.

Thank you to those who have wondered where I’ve been. I worked a 5 day work week last week, and when I get home from work I just want to relax. It’s not the work that wears me out, it’s the going to and from work, and being around people. It is our ‘busy season’ so some days are busier than others. Things are looking up at work and I’ve had my pay raised back ‘almost’ to where it was before the economy crashed. I am thankful. I’m working today through Saturday this week, so today will be my first day of work.

I do have some pictures for you.

La Marne roses.





Fading Phyllis Bide blooms.


‘Cocktail’ rose blooms




This is the same bloom, only a day later.


‘Callisia fragrans’ or basket plant. I love the scent of these blooms and the bees love them too.



‘Mom-of-millions’ love the difference in colors of these two pictures.



‘Bon Silene’ rose


‘Cocktail’ roses again. Smile



Cordyline ~ I just love these vibrant colors.


Next is an epiphyte, and air plant.



Kalanchoe blooms


La Marne rose rain drenched.


Reed orchid blooms


This is a tiny little orchid plant that I thought I had lost. I went out and lay in the swing in our screened in ‘catrium’ on the back of our cottage the other day and in this pot of some kind of fern, lo and behold, the orchid wasn’t dead after all. I went through old pictures to find the name of this but alas I couldn’t find them.



Firecracker blooms by the front gate, looking out onto the 5 lane busy highway.


Tuesday morning I made these two loaves of bread. Well, the bread machine made the high oatmeal loaf of bread. The other loaf is fresh strawberry and cream cheese bread. Nice with afternoon tea or morning coffee.


Let’s see, as to crafts, my needle tatting book came in so we picked it up at Walmart the other day. Now I can practice until I am comfortable and having fun with this new (to me) needle art. I also ordered some lovely colors for more needle cases. I sold another one the other day, which makes 3 now. The ordered colors are ~ russet, river blue, copper mist, silver, maize, wood violet, light peach, dusty rose, myrtle green, linen, French rose, and orchid pink, those are all size 10 thread. Then I got 3 size 30, fine thread, in cream, white and natural. I love making these needle cases, and I really like using my own. It is so nice to have needles where you can find them, instead of hunting all over your pincushion.

Work on the caravan is a bit slow right now as DH is reading up on electrical stuff, which caused him to go up into the attic and add another ground wire for our hot water heater sub panel. He passed all inspections years ago when we did some building here but things have changed so he did an improvement before doing anymore on the caravan. The little propane/electric refrigerator that came with the caravan is waiting to be installed next, and a counter built, the little stainless steel sink and the stove set in too. The 6’x8’ space is shrinking.

Well, I need to get a move on, so that I can get a few things done before heading off to work. Hope you all have a great day.

Hugs ~ FlowerLady


Life can be found only in the present moment.
The past is gone, the future is not yet here,
and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment,
we cannot be in touch with life.

Thich Nhat Hanh