Friday, February 27, 2015

Joie de vivre

Good morning Folks ~ Goodness, here it is the end of February already.  I know a lot of you are counting the days until the first day of spring to happen in your part of the US. After our week of chilly temps with two nights of ‘COLD’ for us, yesterday I was sweating as I worked outside. Spring comes early to s.e. FL. Hang in there, it will arrive for you all pretty soon.

Yesterday morning I looked out the window of my little creative space and the colors I saw made me think of the saying, ‘red sky in the morning, sailors take warning’, and I grabbed my camera and headed outdoors. We need rain and it is predicted.

The first view is part of what I see as I look out my window. The Carolina Honeysuckle is in full bloom here. Yesterday afternoon, from inside I could see a Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly and bees flitting from flower to flower. (Sorry about the power lines.) It was really breezy and the clouds were zipping right along from the southwest.


Now, I’m further back in the property and this was beautiful to see and with the breezes changed quickly. (As I am typing here at 6:53 a.m. EST, it just started to rain. Hurray. We got no rain yesterday.)


Here’s the Caravan, I’m looking east so the sun is coming up behind those trees.


I worked outside Wednesday morning for 2-3 hours, yesterday morning 2 hours and again in the afternoon for a couple of hours.  I am pleased with my forward progress. I’ve moved plants around, repotted some, put a hibiscus into the ground, trimmed, raked, and bagged. Last night I slept like a log from all of the physical labor.

One thing I’ve really noticed since my dear husband left this planet, is that I don’t work outside as much as I used to. I have more or less hibernated these past 22 months and 17 days. I’ve gone out when I had to for work, doing errands and getting together with other widows. My life has changed, some of the joy left when he left and it’s a huge adjustment that takes time getting used to, and I am slowly getting into new routines, finding joy in my life in spite of my great loss of his physical presence.

So, being outside these past couple of days has been wonderful.

I worked on the east side of the ‘caravan’, weeding the little patio there between it and my ‘solar clothes dryer’, better known as a clothesline. The trunk you see in the large pot is to a ficus tree.  I put it here to help give some shade come summer. The two little shrubs in the clay pots are Manuka Myrtle from New Zealand. I had this many, many years ago and am happy to have it in my gardens again. You can read about it here.


Here are the blooms.






While researching about this plant I found out about the healing properties of this honey, which has more anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties than regular honey. I have been dealing with rosacea, it has gotten worse from the stress of losing my dear husband and living alone. It calms down at times and then flares up. I am all for natural healing remedies and plan to use this for my skin and my digestive system. I found a good website here and plan to buy from them. Manuka Natural.

On my little walk-about the property, I saw these lovely Louis Philippe roses. This rose was my first rose I bought many, many, many years ago. This is not the first plant, but a cutting from it that is now years old, the first one croaked.  I need to make more cuttings, and you can learn how to do your own rose cuttings from Connie’s blog, Hartwood Roses.


My 66th bday is coming up on the first day of spring, and I found and ordered my present to myself online and it should arrive at my store Monday. I can hardly wait. DH would like this too. Roses, flowers and paisleys, (we both have loved paisleys since we were teens dating,) 100% cotton, over-sized, lightweight quilt and 2 shams. Smile Oh yea, it’s reversible too.

Here is the photo from online. I’m excited. It will look wonderful on our antique ‘found’ bed from Spain. I’ll show pics of it in my room later.


Well, it’s time for some breakfast. Speaking of eating, the other day when I was out doing errands, I decided to stop at the Salvation Army thrift store on the way home. I noticed they had a couple of carts filled with bread, but forgot about it as I walked around the store to see if I could glean any goodies.  I didn’t find anything, saved some money, but as I passed the bread at the door, I took a couple as they are ‘free’. When I got into the van I laughed right out loud because it reminded me of my dear DH coming home with free bread from there on days he would be out doing errands and stopping by there. It’s usually on Wednesdays but not always, and Wednesday happen to be Sr. Citizens day too.

The baguettes were $4.99, and the whole grain bread was $6.99. Past expiration date, but still good. I read about softening the baguettes online, good tips there. Then I decided to use some of it for ‘French Toast’ yesterday morning. You have to let the slices sit a bit in the milk/egg mixture to soak it up. This was delicious!!!!

I used the whole grain bread for tuna salad sandwich yesterday for lunch and for sloppy Joes last night for supper.



God does indeed sometimes literally supply us with our daily bread.


Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Ps. 103:2

Bless the LORD, O my soul.

O LORD my God, thou art very great;

thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Ps. 104:1

He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle,

and herb for the service of man:

that he may bring forth food out of the earth;

And wine that maketh glad the heart of man,

and oil to make his face to shine,

and bread which strengtheneth man's heart. Psa 104: 14-15


Here’s to Joie de vivre


Joie de vivre (joy of living) is a French phrase often used in English to express a cheerful enjoyment of life; an exultation of spirit.

It can be a joy of conversation, joy of eating, joy of anything one might do… And joie de vivre may be seen as a joy of everything, a comprehensive joy, a philosophy of life

Taken from wikipedia

Have a great weekend ~ FlowerLady

Friday, February 20, 2015

38 and feels like it is 30


Good morning Folks ~ I hope you all in the colder parts of the country are keeping warm and are snug and cozy in your homes. It’s chilly in my little cottage, but I slept warmly last night, and it’s warmer in here than outside. At 7:02 a.m. EST, it is 38 degrees F and feels like it is 30. I’ve not even cracked the door to see how cold it feels outside. When it warms up a bit, I’ll go out to see how things survived, visit the barn girls, and check out the plants in my wash house.

Late yesterday afternoon I read a post by Meem’s blog, ‘Hoe & Shovel’ and decided to put some tender plants into my little wash house/storage shed. I brought some herbs into the house too. Meem’s is another Florida gardener, who inspires me with her lovely gardens. Do give her a visit.

I went out to take pics of the plant stuffed space, but my batteries needed charging, so I came back inside and did other things while they charged back up. I was washing dishes when I looked out the window and there were these lovely peachy/rose/purply tinted clouds which made me want to see how the batteries were doing, and they were charged, so I bundled up warmly and headed out with camera in hand.


Below is the plant stuffed wash house, with the antique art student oil painting of a nude lady, holding a rose on her lap, with a potted leafy plant beside her. This painting is 24 x 36 inch in size and she adds some color and life to the space. We bought her many, many years ago when we had our antique shop.  I didn’t want to sell her. This little shed is 6’x8’, has my washer, some storage, a desk, and gardening stuff.

I hope the plants survived in there. Orchids, ferns, begonias, a geranium and a couple other things.


I then walked around the cottage and took a few more pics.

This is looking into the scullery/kitchen area into the lit living room.


This is the east living room window. After my DH left this planet, I moved this stained glass window from the west bedroom window. The living room window looks out onto the driveway and for peace of mind, I wanted the window blocked, and this is perfect, anytime of day. I like it with morning light shining in, and then it looks nice with the house dark and street lights outside, a nice glow. There’s a hanging stained glass lamp on the inside.


Then, heading on around to front patio and getting a glimpse of inside.  We do love arches. We were influenced by them from living in Spain for three years as newlyweds, while DH was in the US Navy. He made all of the arches and I love them.


This photo below is part of my main garden, taken Valentine’s day morning. DH bought me the metal gazing ball many years ago for my birthday.


During Christmas a needle working blog friend of mine, Lisa, had a give away of one of her wonderful pincushions. She gave away 3-4, one a week, and I happened to be one of the winners. In the rush of the holidays, I forgot to post about it. Thank you Lisa.

Here’s Lisa’s post about this Advent pincushion.






Another needle working blogging friend Jillayne, was making little hearts with a word on the back for those who would like to have one. You can read about them and check out her lovely work on her blog A Fine Seam.

I received my sweet, little heart yesterday. This is what I wrote on her blog for what I would like.

“My word of choice is FOREVER, because love is forever.
Burnished brown with a bit of lace. Dear husband had brown hair and eyes.”

Thank you Jillayne.



Both of these ladies do exquisite needlework. There are several others out there who inspire me too, here are three more. Suz at Suztats,  Suzy at SuziQu’s Threadworks and Susan at Plays With Needles. There are many more needle workers out there, these are just the ones that I can remember at the moment, whose works are influencing me. I have much to learn in working with needles, threads, laces, beads and buttons. Each and every day there are opportunities to learn something new.

That’s it for now.

Hope everyone has a pleasant day no matter what the weather.



It is only when we silence the blaring sounds

of our daily existence

that we can finally hear the whispers

of truth

that life reveals to us,

as it stands knocking on the doorsteps

of our hearts.

K.T. Jong

Thursday, February 19, 2015


Good morning Folks ~ Well, we are having our coldest spell in years. At 7:20 EST, here in s.e. FL it is 44 degrees F and feels like it is 36. Tomorrow morning we have a ‘freeze warning’ from 1-9 a.m. I put older orchids in hanging baskets in the little wash house, grouped herbs and other plants into a corner somewhat protected from winds, and brought new orchids inside here. The one I was waiting for buds to open finally has sweet blooms. It’s the one in the middle in photo below.


Here they are grouped inside.


Today I plan to make a quick run to the PO to pick up a pkg. and then to the grocery to get a few things there and back home. These places are close, and I am thankful for that.

My radiant heat heater is still in the attic. I need help to get it down, (and once it’s down, I’m not putting it back up there, I’ll store it elsewhere.) But, it’s somewhat cozy in here and this little cold spell won’t last long. Sunday it’s supposed to be 78. Smile

I repotted some plants the other day into bigger pots, moved some around. Did some rearranging inside the cottage to make things work better for me. Still more to do in that area, all in good time.

I’ve been working on a needlework heart that’s a special order and have been enjoying that. I sit here listening to soothing music as I stitch and it reminds me of my dear husband and his love and encouragement.

Here are photos of part of my work area. Good grief! I really need to straighten up again so I can find things. I no sooner clean it up and the next project has is wrecked again. Part of the creative process. You can see several WIP’s, works in progress also.




Last night for supper I made a new recipe, a curried ham dish, and it was pretty good, served over jasmine rice. What’s nice is I have left-overs!

I hope you all are staying safe and warm in the wintery areas.  Hang in there, spring isn’t too far away.

Thank you all for your kind comments and your encouragement.  Much appreciated, more than words can say.

I will close this post with a saying from the book ‘Wabi Sabi ~ The Art of Everyday Life’ by Diane Durston.


The best things in life are nearest:

Breath in your nostrils,

light in your eyes,

flowers at your feet,

duties at your hand,

the path of right just before you.

Then do not grasp at the stars,

but do life’s plain,

common work as it comes,

certain that daily duties and daily bread

are the sweetest things in life.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Have a good day ~ FlowerLady

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine’s Day

My dear husband gave me a little book he picked up in a little thrift store many years ago. When he gave it to me, he had marked a page with a little drawn heart by the title, which was “Do I Love You?” It is beautiful, it made me cry. He had just been away for days, doing an antique show with a friend. We had missed each other as we had spent few days apart since getting married.

Well, Thursday morning I saw the book in the little book shelf by my chair, and pulled it out to see what I might glean here in this week of Valentine’s Day celebrations. Oh my, this was just like getting a Valentine’s Day card from my husband. It was a special gift to me. It is also from me to him. The piece is called “Because I Have You”. I’ll only post the first and last stanzas.

“Because I Have You”

Days may lose all their brightness and die with the sun,
And the night may be lonely and cold,
But will all of the darkness when daylight is done
There is still a bright light to behold;
It's the light that is shining deep down in your eyes,
Burning flame, ever living and true,
And no matter the shadows I may realize,
I'll be happy because I have you.

Life may lose all its splendor, and age take its toll,
Any my being may wither and fade,
But a light will keep burning deep down in my soul,
Guiding light that your loving has made;
Years may come with their burden of sorrow and tears,
Still I'll smile 'til my living is through,
And although I may dread the great weight of the years,
I'll be happy because I have you."

From the book ‘Dream River ~ An Anthology ~ by Bud Rainey 1941

(As some of you may know, my nickname is Rainey and I’m sure that is what caught my husband’s eye when he saw the book. Then inside the worn covers, he found a jewel for me, and I found this one above now. God works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform. To find it right before Valentine’s Day is a sign of God’s love for me, in that He let me read this now, as if it was from a card my dear husband had picked out. I feel blessed and very loved.)


Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you.

Love & hugs


Thursday, February 12, 2015

For Balisha

Good morning Friends ~ This post is for Balisha, who I requested prayer for a few posts back. She posted her last post yesterday. She has decided against chemo after going through one treatment, and is in Hospice care in her own home right now.  Please keep her, her husband Joe and their family in your prayers.  If you would like to post on her blog, you can visit here, Simply Balisha.

I have followed Balisha for a few years now, and she has been a source of love and encouragement and gifts too as we came to know each other better. She is a loving, giving and creative person with a huge love of family, friends and all that life has to give.

I broke down sobbing reading her post, for her, her family and memories of my own loss 2 years and 2 months ago. But, I will see her again in the next life. Where she is going, there is no pain, no sorrow, no death, only joy unspeakable, peace and love.

You are greatly loved dear Balisha and you will be missed but not forgotten.


Here is a photo of a painting done by Danny Hahlbohm. His works are beautiful and touch my heart. This one is a favorite, it is called ‘Resting in His Arms’.

We read in the Bible in Deu_33:27 ~

The eternal God is thy refuge,

and underneath are the everlasting arms


No matter what we are going through in this life, Jesus is there for us. He is carrying us through every situation. He loves us deeply, more than we can ever imagine.

During the wee hours of this morning I awoke and an old hymn that I’ve not thought about in a long time, popped into my mind.  It was this ~

‘Take your burdens to the Lord

and leave them there,

If you trust and never doubt,

He will surely bring you out,

Take your burdens to the Lord

and leave them there.”


I will close with this rendition of this old song on you tube.

Take your burden to the LORD and Leave It There

song by Charles A. Tindley


Life is precious. Be thankful for each and every day.

Love each other, forgive one another too.

Encourage & uplift.

Bless others and tell your loved ones that you love them.


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Beautiful Orchids ~ colorful eye-candy

Good evening Folks ~ What a nice day we’ve had here in s.e. FL, even though it was partly cloudy and we had a few sprinkles this morning.

My friend, Ramona, and I had a date to go to the Mounts Botanical Orchid and Herb sale this morning. We both bought orchids and herbs. Oh my gosh,the orchids were amazing. Next time, I will take more pictures.  I would have to say after roses, these are my next favorite flowers. We didn’t walk around the gardens today because it started to lightly rain, so we decided to leave. We spent a couple of hours there as it was, looking, deciding, then watching a little demonstration about making herb butter and cooking with herbs.

I found out that they do have a morning Herbal Society meeting the second Tuesday each month, so I plan to check that out.  I think I would really enjoy that.

Ok, I’ll start with the orchids that caught my eye, but not my pocket-book. One lady even said to me, we take credit cards, and I told her I only brought a certain amount of $, left the credit card at home. Safer that way. I spent all the $ I took. A Valentine’s gift to myself.

~ The most highly coveted of ornamental plants,

the delicate, exotic and graceful orchid

represents love, luxury, beauty and strength. ~


These first photos are most of the tables set up inside, there were a couple more behind me that I forgot to take a picture of. There were a few more outside too in their little covered spaces.




I have to say that the majority of these were definitely out of my price range. This is a hobby more for the wealthy. But, I am thrilled with what I bought, and they are good orchids for novices like me. Exotics were the most expensive, of course.

OK, here are some of the beauties that caught my eye.  Some took my breath away. Some are scented. I didn’t get names of them.

Click on photos for larger view.





I think these are the blooms of one of the orchids I bought.  I bought a smaller pot and the plant has unopened blooms.  They are scented.




This one really grabs me.  I love it.  I think the price tag for this one was around $30. The colors are amazing.



Here is another beauty, a lady slipper I think.



Next are the little sweeties that I bought. I bought 6 orchids for $40.


This orchid is

Phalaenopsis 'Sunflower', scented.




Here we have the one that I showed a picture of above, purple and white blooms. 

It is

Scented Dendrobium Nobile

You can read about it here.


These next three were 3 for $10.  They are vandas. Babies or ‘seedlings’ as the tag said in the display




The next is my favorite orchid that I bought. It was the most expensive, $12, but I asked her if she would take $8, as it was all I had left. I had already bought two others from her, the yellow and the purple, @ $10 ea. She kindly accepted my offer.  She had a great sense of humor and said “I suppose you’re going to want the name of this one too for your $8.” I laughed and said “Of course.”  I had asked her the names of the other two already. Smile There was only one of these in this tray in my price range, it most definitely stood out and grabbed my attention.

This is an ‘Izumu’ dendrobium



Well, that’s it from Plum Cottage.

I think I’ll watch the rest of part one of Louis L’Amours ~ ‘The Sacketts’. DH and I loved watching westerns. I watch movies on You-tube for free on my computer. I don’t have cable. I have heard of that wireless Roku box that you hook up to your computer and TV, so that I could watch  on a larger screen.  But, I haven’t done that yet, as it scares me.  DH was the computer geek here in our home. I’m just little ol’ FlowerLady.

I’ll close with these two you-tube videos.

I found these two musicians recently and their music really touches me, heart and soul.  I’ve always loved violin music and the guitar in this reminds me of my husband playing his guitar. He talked about, more than once in his life, playing in the big ‘jam session’ in heaven. I look forward to hearing him then.  He will be soaring.

Guitar and Violin Cover by



Happy Valentine’s Week


~ Love is Eternal ~