Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Easter week blessings

Good morning Folks ~ I hope your week before Easter is filled with God’s goodness.  I am going to be putting orchid  photos shot yesterday  in between thoughts in this post today.  The orchids have nothing to do with my thoughts, they are just part of God’s beautiful creation, which are gifts to all of us.


This is my favorite holiday because of what it stands for. What a glorious celebration of the life of God incarnate, who died and then rose again so that we all might have eternal life forever and ever. ‘He gave every drop of His blood, and died on the cross, so that we’d be free’ ~ Carlos Santana. “Somewhere In Heaven”.  The words to this are beautiful and the singer has a fantastic voice and way of singing. (Play this all the way through as the singer and words are beautiful for the ending. It is joyous! You can turn down the middle instrumental part if it is too much for you.) This song is one of our favorites by Santana. We grew up with rock ‘n roll, and it’s been a big part of our lives.  My husband enjoyed playing the guitar and  Santana was one of his favorites along with Eric Clapton, Steve Vai, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Arlo West, Arlen Roth, Gary Moore and many, many others. My husband looked forward to a gigantic ‘jam session’ in heaven and it WILL happen. I can’t wait to join in the music, dancing and singing before our Great King, Jesus.


Sunday started out with a visit from my husband’s brother and his wife.  It was really good to see them, more tears of course, but lots of healing too.  I am thankful!  We went out to a wonderful Mexican restaurant called Rosalita’s. My BIL is going to help me with some of the projects around here and I am grateful.  We will work together and I am looking forward to that. He’s going to show me how to use a tool or too also.


I have been getting a devotional from Grief Share every morning in my email. This has been a big help to me.  They have groups also, that meet all over.  You can plug in your zip code and they will tell you if there are any happening in your area. I have done this before, in hopes of finding a widows’ support group. This particular group is for anyone though who has lost a loved one. The last time I checked, they had meetings happening at the north end of the county and at night, too far, and I’m not comfortable driving at night.


Last week when I got a devotional about loneliness and telling about finding a group to share and grow with, they had their link again, and I felt this nudge to try yet again and I am so glad I did.  It was God working it all out. (I have been praying to meet Christian widow ladies and just haven’t had success). There was a meeting happening at a church near me. I had been there for a Christmas program a few years back and it was great. The meeting was already going, so I decided to see what else this church might have in the way of groups.  Well . . . . they had a group called ‘Friends Needing Friends’ for widows only.  I emailed the contact lady, and she wrote right back saying they meet once a month and the meeting for this month was the 25th. I wrote back and said I would be there, and she told me to ask for her when I got there.


I was a tad nervous about meeting people for the first time, going as a total stranger by myself and  I’m rather reclusive. I said a prayer for calmness, and when I got there I up to the sign in table in the breezeway where this was being held, I asked for her and she was across the room.  Before she even got to me, I was already being  enveloped in love, with hugs, kisses and words of encouragement. These ladies were all survivors, with smiles on their faces and twinkles in their eyes. God has been taking care of them in ways they couldn’t even imagine.  They’ve been drawn closer to God and it showed.


I was asked to make a name tag, which I did, then I was handed a little form to fill out which I took in hand. I was told I didn’t have to pay for the lunch today as it was my first time, and that was nice. One of the sweet ladies said to come sit with her at a table and as I was putting my purse down by my chair, she introduced me to the lady sitting next to me. She said “This is Lois”. I looked over at the lady and just couldn’t believe my eyes. I said, “Lois!?!”. She looked up at me, I said “Rainey”. She got up out of her chair, hugged me and said she was so sorry. She had heard about my husband’s passing but didn’t know how to get a hold of me. Of course that started me bawling. She was a friend of my late MIL. She had known my husband since he was young. We all went to the same church back then. I just couldn’t get over it.  We’ve not seen each other in years and years. She told me it was good to cry and that it would get easier. She’s been without her husband for about 7 years I think.  I met the other ladies at the table, and filled out my form in a daze. I then took the form back to the entry table, and lo and behold, there is another friend from that same era, and she is my age, she lost her husband about 3 1/2 years ago. More hugs and tears and she was going to be sitting at our table too.  There is also another lady that I know who goes, but she wasn’t there yesterday. I look forward to seeing her next time.


Some of the new ladies I met I bonded with instantly, you know how that is, and it’s amazing.  I’ve never met them before but something just clicked. I can’t wait to go back next month. These ladies all have a story to tell of God’s love and how He has worked in their lives. We had a really nice time, with scripture, an Easter bonnet parade, singing that touched my heart and had  more tears streaming at God’s goodness. Lunch was delicious and then more getting to know ladies before I left. My two friends from before and I exchanged phone numbers and email addresses to keep in touch.  I still can’t get over it all. A nudge to do something I’d already done, led to this wonderful passel of widows for me to get to know, to learn from and to grow with.


I was smiling all afternoon and into the night, woke up this morning thankful for what God had done. It gives me hope to carry on, to live my life with joy and thankfulness in the fact that He cares deeply for us.  He supplies all of our needs.

Have a wonderful Easter week.

I’ve been invited to church and Easter dinner with my friend Julie. I am looking forward to that. I’ve known her family for years, and I will be meeting another ‘hippie’ who will be coming to dinner also and that’s great. I had just said to Jesus yesterday after I got home that I couldn’t help being who I am, I’m just a hippie, then got the dinner invitation to meet another ‘hippie’ lady. Smile

I will be fixing Easter lamb in the crockpot Thursday while I am at work.  That evening I will raise my glass of wine in a toast to Jesus for His wonderful gift of salvation, free to anyone, it is a ‘gift’. I will enjoy the lamb dinner and toast my husband too for all of the spiritual insights he shared through our 43 years of marriage. He was my mentor, is the love of my life. I miss him but I know where he is and I am celebrating that too. We will be reunited one day.

Have a blessed Easter.



The sorrows of death compassed me,
and the pains of hell gat hold upon me:
I found trouble and sorrow.

Then called I upon the name of the LORD;
O LORD, I beseech thee,
deliver my soul.

Gracious is the LORD, and righteous;
yea, our God is merciful.
The LORD preserveth the simple:
I was brought low, and he helped me.
Return unto thy rest, O my soul;
for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.

Psalms 116:3-7 KJV

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Latest project ~ not planned

This is how it has been a lot of the time here. Go outside to do one thing and end up doing something else. Does that sound familiar? Our ‘modus operandi’ for years. I think that’s why we’ve always had so many projects going on at once.

This project came about because Miss Tork hangs out in our screened room which we named ‘the catrium’ off the back of our cottage.  Tuesday morning I heard cats yeowling, jumped out of my chair and ran out back to see what was going on and there was a strange cat I’ve been seeing lately.  For Pete’s sake. There weren’t any stray cats around when that mean pit bull was behind us, so maybe he was good for something after all, not that I want him back, because I don’t.  Life is more peaceful without him snarling and slamming into the fence whenever we were back there. Anyway, I digress.

So, I wanted to protect the screening which is plastic screen in the one area, and to keep either Miss Tork from busting out or the other cat from busting in. I had some white plastic lattice that I had brought from out back a week or so ago, and decided to see what I could do with it. I had two pieces that would work, I just needed to cut some off. My husband would use the jig saw to do this, so I went into the workshop in search of the jig-saw, saying a prayer as I went, because I didn’t know where this was.  If he was here he could have told me and I would know where to look, but alas.

I saw his saws-all saws up on a shelf, but didn’t see the jig-saw, then I looked downward a few feet and there it was. Hurray and a thank you to God was said. I was happy to have found it. I had not used the jig-saw before, but had seen my husband use it plenty.

Below are the tools I used that day. Pretty exciting for this girl, who always was ‘helper’ not ‘doer’. I loved helping my husband with all of our projects, and working on this project, while lonely, was still fun and I laughed thinking about what he would be saying, and I felt great accomplishment when I was finally done. I still may put a strip of pecky cypress wood ‘if’ we still have enough left from trimwork in the catrium, to use to cover the seam. (He found a load of pecky cypress wood curbside out west of town a few years back, but we used most of it up.)


I didn’t want to attach the lattice to the aluminum framework, so I started looking for 2 inch by 2 inch sticks. I found one, and cut it to fit with a hand saw.  Then I had to look for another one, and finally did. Cut it to fit, had to use shims with both. Smile  They are the side pieces. Then I had to find something for the center, then I needed a cross piece and found a nice thin one, maybe 3/8 inch to 1/2 inch thick, just had to cut it to the length that I needed.


I don’t have an unblocked view anymore, but that’s ok.  This feels more comforting and cozy now.  I will put some plants in the planter and a pot or two of something or other on either side.


Here it is from the inside. I noticed that the center upright, is slightly bowed, but it was all I could find, and I didn’t notice it until I was done. So be it. We always go with what we have, and it if has a slight imperfection then that’s the way it goes.


I am quite pleased with the results even if they aren’t perfect.

I may put lattice up to the left in the picture but then again, maybe not.  It is heavier plastic screen. I don’t want to be totally blocked in by lattice.


Thank you for bday wishes. I turned 64 years young yesterday, the first day of spring. I went to a local botanical garden yesterday morning. Had emptied my camera card and charged up my batteries, and the weather turned out to be perfect, predicted rain did not happen.  I couldn’t believe when I got home and stuck the card in my computer and it said I had taken 322 pictures. I did a quick glance at them, and not all of them came out but I’ve got enough to give a good presentation of this wonderful and peaceful acreage.  I’ll be posting that later as I’ve got to pick and choose, edit etc.

Last night my friend Nanci and her husband John took me out for dinner to a lovely Thai restaurant that my husband and I had enjoyed.  They had asked me where I wanted to go, they had never been and they loved it. We had a ‘great’ time and I felt love instead of feeling lonely for the evening. I did shed tears yesterday, but that’s to be expected when one loses someone they love dearly. Forty-three years is a long time and not having your best friend anymore is a new experience that you must learn to live with, hopefully gracefully and move forward, being thankful for each new day.

Some may get tired of my writing about my loss, but it is how I am dealing with my deep grief. The missing him will never go away, it will just not be so raw as time goes by. Each day almost brings some new experiences and I was thrilled with my latest project and can hear him saying ‘at-a-girl’.

That’s it for now. It is chilly this morning, but feels wonderful.  We will take days like this for as long as we are given them.  Summer’s heat and humidity will be here all too soon.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Lots of flowers, etc.


It is a gray morning here, drippy, with more rain predicted, but I’m not complaining because we need it. More is expected tomorrow too, and I was planning on going to a local botanical garden, I’ll just have to wait and see what the weather is like then.

Here are some blooms from my own little tropical cottage gardens.

Clock vine


Blue butterfly bush ~ clerodendron




Tex-Mex geraniums


Climbing Maman cochet



Old blush


A progression of a few days with an unknown rose that has a deep lovely rose scent.  Just wonderful.







Climbing Maman cochet roses this morning.




A sunset that made me gasp in delight the other evening.



Some freebies from a friend the other day.


I’ve already started stripping the beads from the wires.



I took some of the free ribbon and an already made bow to redo the old wreath in the kitchen’s screened porch, our main entry.



This is new growth after I pruned the ‘Love’ rose. I was thrilled I didn’t kill it.


I found this on the patio. We were always looking for hearts.


Two hearts separated, but not forever.


You may not be with me so that you I can see
But your love is ever and forever with me
And although for now we are apart
My love for you is ever growing in my heart


May you my dear husband

enjoy your first day of spring

in Heaven

with the Creator of the Universe.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

More chilly temps, more flowers, more beaded edgings

Good morning folks ~ I let Miss Tork out earlier and got shocked by the chilly temps.  I just checked and it’s 53 and feels like it is 46. Brrr.  I’m not complaining though, as this weather is great and summer with it’s heat and humidity will be here all to soon.

Yesterday morning I went to the P.O. to mail some things, then headed to the Goodwill Thrift store as it was Sr. citizens day and we seniors get 25% off. I needed some new shirts to wear to work, and I needed some new pants for working around here and possibly for work also. Well, I ended up finding 4 pair of capri pants, and 4 shirts, plus a book on ‘Cottage Gardening’. With the sr. discount and other discounts I ended getting the nine items for about $1.85 each.  I really like my shirts and my dear husband would like them too, and what a deal.

I’ve made 2 more beaded edgings.  They are such a joy to make. Size 30 fine crochet thread and a size 11 hook.


Since I bought two more orchids for my upcoming bday,  I decided to take pictures of other orchids in bloom right now as well as these. You can read about other bday flowers here.

This is a reed orchid. Very, very easy to grow, it spreads and needs hardly any care at all. It grows all over in my gardens. I’ve had this many, many years and don’t have a clue as to where I got it.


This is a Vanda ‘Miss Joaquim’, you can read about it here. I don’t know where I got this orchid either. Probably the flea market many, many years ago. It also spreads easily and grows really well. These are probably 10 feet tall.



This orchid is from my friend Nanci. We don’t know what kind it is.


This is from my husband’s sister and her husband.


This is an unknown I bought for $5.


The next two are my bday orchids to myself, they were also $5 each. No names came with these.




I need to get going for the day. 

Love and hugs to all of you. May your life be filled with love, joy, peace.



“Flowers seem intended for the solace of ordinary humanity.” 
John Ruskin

"Flowers construct the most charming geometries: circles like the sun, ovals, cones, curlicues and a variety of triangular eccentricities, which when viewed with the eye of a magnifying glass seem a Lilliputian frieze of psychedelic silhouettes."
Duane Michals

"Where flowers bloom so does hope."
Lady Bird Johnson

For, lo, the winter is past,
the rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the earth;
the time of the singing of birds is come...
Song of Solomon 2:11-12a