Tuesday, January 27, 2015

It’s been cold down here :-)

Good morning Friends ~ Sunday morning was cold, it got down to 47 and felt like it was 41.  To you who live in the frigid north, I know this would feel warm, but not to us down here in tropical weather. Here’s the scullery window. I just checked the weather right now and it is 50 and feels like it is 44, so it is still cold.  It may get colder yet as the day starts to waken and grow lighter. The highs have been in the mid-high 60’s.  Yesterday it was very windy all day long, then it calmed down toward evening, this morning it is calm out.


Also on Sunday morning, I discovered a puddle of water on the floor.  I thought ‘oh no, where’s this coming from?’  I pulled the roll-out shelves from under the sink and mopped up the water, then looked for the leak.  Found it was the cold water pipe, and didn’t know if the pipe had sprung a leak with a split or what. I could feel water on the pipe.  I went out to the work shop and got this super sticky metal tape and started wrapping the pipe. Well, I could still feel water on the tape, and still had a 3” or so section at the top of pipe near the faucet connection, and realized by feeling around that at the connection is where the leak is. So, I covered that section with tape too, and it did slow the leak some.

The lower faucet is the one with the leak


I got the idea to wrap a towel around the pipe and put the end in a bowl and lo and behold, it worked. Look at the water collected.  The blue tank to the right is part of our water filtration system.


I called my dear brother-in-law Todd, and he’ll be here tonight after work. Bless his heart. I’ll have dinner ready in case he wants to eat here before heading home, as he lives an hour a way.  He’s going to try to leave work early.  I hope this will be an easy fix. I am so thankful for his help.

Monday morning I had a good ol’ fashioned sob fest, I just broke down and let it out. I’ve not done that in awhile but a couple of different things have been stressful lately and the leak, on top of missing my DH, just tripped the tears. Afterwards I felt better.  It is amazing what crying does. It’s like a pressure valve, if you know what I mean.

I just did a quick Google search for health benefits of crying and came up with this: Nine Surprising Benefits of Crying

So, today is a new day and I am thankful for it. God is my strength and gives me peace and joy in spite of what’s going on.

Flowers are booming and that’s always a good thing. They spread joy as well as their scents.

This is a nice geranium from my friends Nanci & John

01-20 geraniumsjpg

My first bloom of the year of Tahitian Gardenia.


This is a Brunfelsia manaca info can be found here. The scent is wonderful, as is the scent of the Tahitian Gardenia, both are heavenly. In this photo there is also a highly scented begonia too.


The next two photos are of hibiscus on the same plant.



This is plumbago.


This is my first bloom bud on a cutting of a red flowering passion vine. I got the cutting a couple of years ago.   Actually I got 6 cuttings but only two rooted.


This is the wonderful, easy to grow reed orchids.  They are in bloom all over the property right now.


This a section of a pot-metal urn that we are using as part of a ‘stop’ for the driveway gate. This almost makes the tears start again. But instead of crying, I am smiling, that also is good for my health. Check this out ~ Top 10 Reasons to Smile


Here is the little boy who overlooks things in the main garden. He’s been there so long that orchids roots are wrapping around him.  The yellow flowers are buddleia.  They smell like honey.


I love the patina on this old cement statue.



Last but not least, my latest needlework creation, still a work in progress, WIP.



This morning I have a request for prayer for an online friend of mine who is to have her first round of treatment for ovarian cancer today. She just found out she has this last week. If any of you would like to let her know you are praying for her or sending her positive thoughts here is the link to her blog. Simply Balisha

Thank you from me and I know she will be thankful too.

Life is so precious!

Thank you all for your love, support and encouragement.



Saturday, January 17, 2015

January is zipping right along

Good morning Folks ~ It’s hard to believe this month is half over already. I’ve had the a.c. on and off so far this month. Yesterday and today off, this morning at 6:40 a.m. EST, it is 53 and feels like it is 52.  It is nice and cozy here in the little cottage. DH did a great job of insulating the attic and walls which makes a huge difference in the temps in here, winter and summer. Winter down here has been very mild so far this year.

Thank you all for your comments, your words of encouragement.  They mean a lot! Each day is new, with things to do, things to learn, and much to be thankful for.

My dear B-I-L and I will be working on putting up some faux bead board paneling in the bedroom shortly and I am looking forward to learning how to use my new nailer and working with Todd. I’ve got to move everything away from the west wall, probably into .the liv. room.   It will be a wreck in here but worth it. I’ve got to get 5 sheets of the paneling, I think, to do that wall.  I’ve got a really nice decorative panel to hang too, that DH and I found 5 of curbside a few years back. Sold 4 and kept 1 for us. When DH was ill lying in bed, he said to me one day, that piece will look good hanging right there and he pointed to the space.  I will show pics after it’s up.

I’ve been inspired once again by the roses that Christina shares on her blog. Her latest post was on the wonderful rose gardens of Mottisfont Abby. As most of you know, I ‘love’ growing roses. Well, after that visit to Christina’s blog, I went online to Rose Petal’s Nursery, which is in northern FL to see what they had, and add some to my wish list, (they are $15.99 ea). Then I got the idea to see what the nursery near me, that sells gallon size plants for $5 each, might have. I’ve gotten roses from them before. Well, right in front of where I parked was a grouping of more expensive plants, larger ones, and there was a wonderful rose bush covered in blooms. The color was wonderful and when I smelled it, aaaahhhh! Just what you think you should smell when you sniff a rose. But, the catch, $25, not for me. So I asked the young lady in the lot of plants if they had any roses, and she pointed to them and I headed in that direction. Same roses, not as lush or big, but lots of buds, healthy looking and some buds were in bloom. I ended up getting two of those, and another unkn. smaller type, really pretty. A miniature of some sort I think. Unfortunately I don’t get names at this nursery.

This is a good sized bloom and I just love it, the color and the scent.


Here’s the miniature.


The other day I was walking on the west side of the main garden here and smelled a sweet scent, which smells like honey. I turned around and this was what met my eye. This is the ‘best’ buddleia for south FL. It is doing fantastic in my humble, cottage gardens, along with the weeds too. I’m slowly making my way around the gardens, hoping to get caught up by the time summer heat and humidity get here.


This is a new $5 azalea.  I love the color.


This is Cuban Buttercup, bought at the Mounts Botanical Gardens last year.


This is a pot of several bloomers given to me by my friends Nanci and John last year. It has a white dianthus, (I think that’s what it is), a white polka dot plant and the white vincas.


Below is one of my favorites, Blue Spiderwort. Some consider this a weed, I consider it a nice volunteer. If I comes up where I don’t want it I dig it up.

(I just heard the first birdsong of the morning, from our state bird, the Mockingbird.)


Here is a wonderful flowering plant that I don’t know the name of.  Bought it and two others from a yard sale last year.


Here’s another purple bloomer from same yard sale, there’s another one too, but I need to take a pic of it yet. The lady told me this one will self spread so I’m looking forward to that.


Looking at these flowers reminds me of a wonderful you tube video I stumbled across the other day.  It is called ‘God of Wonders’. Click on it to watch a larger version on you tube. It is almost 1 1/2 hours long.  It is beautiful and very interesting too. Our God is truly awesome, and creation is just a glimpse of that awesomeness. One day we will see Him in all of His splendor and glory.

Well, it is getting light out, and my stomach is telling me it is time to eat. I’ve been fixing good old fashioned oatmeal lately, with a sprinkling of ginger, cinnamon, allspice and coriander, plus a spoon of brown sugar and some craisins, topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt. Oh yea, I’ve been cooking it in Silk Coconut Milk too.  Delicious and it’s all healthy.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Later ~ FlowerLady

Saturday, January 3, 2015

A New Year here at Plum Cottage

Good morning Folks ~ I hope your holidays were happy ones and hope 2015 is a good year for all of you.

I found the rock below, in our driveway, right before Christmas.  The coloring caught my eye. When I picked it up I saw sparkles and to me it was a gift of love from God and Mark. We always picked up interesting rocks when we saw them.




Christmas Eve morning.


These goodies below were from my neighbors, who Mark used to do a lot of work for. I had half the shrimp Christmas Eve, the other half New Years Eve. I cut the smoked ham in half, put half in the freezer, other half in the crockpot with a topping of brown sugar and sherry Christmas day. Yummy!



I had my usual two cups of coffee Christmas morning, and while I opened my gifts I sipped on a little eggnog with a tad of sherry in it from a small ruby ware glass that had been my great grandmothers. The eggnog little tradition was started by my BIL Pepe, and his wife Fern, when we all gathered at DH’s family home for Christmas years ago. I enjoy it.

After I opened my nice gifts…


I got the urge to take down Christmas and that’s what I started doing after breakfast, and was done by 12:30. I was just so ready for the new year.  I got it back into the attic Sat. morning before I left for work. Smile I’ve never taken decos down that early.

New Year’s Eve was pretty quiet compared to other years, for that I was thankful. New Year’s Day I went to my dear friend’s house and had a lovely lunch and visit, then came home and took a nap.

Last night my brother-in-law and his dear wife took me out to eat at a funky little restaurant we had heard about but not tried. We had beer battered haddock which was delicious, fries and coleslaw. For desert, 7-Up cake. Yummy!

I had emailed my BIL the day before showing him tools I planned to get this year.  I asked his opinion about one of them, and when they showed up last night, he handed me a gift-wrapped box and he said this will answer one of your questions.  I exclaimed with delight when I saw what it was.  He said the one I had looked at used too small of nails for what I wanted to do. He said now we can both use our nail guns when he comes in a couple of weeks for us to put up more faux bead board paneling in the bedroom.  I am EXCITED! My sis-in-law just shook her head and smiled.  She thinks I’m nuts, but I ‘love’ tools.  I got that love of tools from being with my DH and working with him on projects for 43 years.  (We didn’t have one of these, didn’t need one. But I thought this would help make things a bit easier for me now that he’s not here.)  Yippee, now I have one. A great gift for 2015 and projects in mind. I’ve never used one before, but have seen women use them on you-tube videos and thought to myself, heck I can do that if it’s not too heavy.



I had read a dear blogging friend’s post on New Year’s Eve morning about Cardinals, and received a blessing the next morning, New Years Day. I didn’t ‘see’ one, but as I was walking around looking at flowers, one burst into song and just kept singing. I felt it was another gift to me this holiday season and I thanked God for it. DH and I always enjoyed their song. I didn’t hear any singing yesterday morning, so that makes it even more special to me.

I looked up a Cardinal’s song and came up with this little interesting you-tube video you all might enjoy.

‘Birding By Ear’

While taking a blogging break, I worked on some more needlework.  I took and an antique lace medallion and started beading it onto a piece of felt. I’ve done more since these photos so am almost done with the beading, not quite sure what I’m going to do with the piece yet.

Back side






I am really excited about this new year, even though there is a huge possibility that I am going to lose my job of 17 years, as my boss and friends next door are selling the building and retiring.

I do believe the ‘widow’s fog’ I’ve been in for the last two years, has lifted quite a bit and I am ready to do projects. I plan to fill my little Etsy shop with some of my creations, after this hiatus I’ve been on.

I wish all of you a wonderful 2015. May we all be open to new opportunities, lessons to learn, joy and beauty and growth in all areas of our lives.