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


Jane said...

You keep on teasing us with your pictures of flowers, Rainey! At least the sun is shining here today but the temps are at below zero. Your caravan does indeed look like a gypsy caravan among the flowers. Love your comforter set, looks like it will be perfect for Plum cottage. Sort of has that Bohemian look to it. There's so many things you can do with day old bread: French toast, bread pudding, croutons, plain toast, make your own bread crumbs, etc. We rarely have any leftover bread though, the guys love it around here. As soon as it's baked it's gone! Have a nice day, and don't overdo it!


Sallysmom said...

Lorraine, you are such an inspiration. There are just no words to truly describe it. Keep on girl with all you do.

Sue Silva said...

I want your flowers, Rainey!

Tracy Lee said...

Your flowers are so lovely, Lorraine! I am very fond of paisley, too. Hope you have a wonderful birthday and enjoy your quilt. :)

denimflyz said...

Dearest Lorraine, I am back. D Bought me a new laptop that I can see words and letters much better. Your flowers colors just pop on this screen. LOVE it.
Take care, its very cold here today, I have been hibernating too, trying to get things done, since I sold my parents home. Quieting down a lot here. Such a relief
Hugs to you, my friend.

Ruth Hiebert said...

I love that quilt and pillow shams. It is gorgeous and just the kind of pattern I would chose. Have a great weekend.

Nancy J said...

Lovely quilt, perfect for Plum Cottage, and NZ Manuka, I must find some here, we have several bushes in the garden, but I pass them by, never really looking at the flowers. Yes, Manuka honey has great healing properties, hope you can try some.

Rebecca said...

I can't wait to see your bed in its new "dress"!

And how fun to see the caravan--you KNOW how much I love it :)

I enjoy seeing all the blossoms and blooms. Our winter has seemed SOOOOOO long for some reason...

I've always enjoyed seeing references to "joie de vivre" What I DON'T know is how to pronounce it :) HowEVER it sounds, I wish it for you today ♥

L. D. said...

The bread is a fun bonus. I am amazed as to how hot the tip of Florida is today. Areas north and west are not so warm. You flowers are always so great to see.

Annie said...

What a lovely morning chat I've had with you. I love the quilt cover coming to you. So much beauty to be seen in your garden. Joy and happiness to you.

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

There is always something beautiful blooming in your garden, Lorraine!
I do love your gift for yourself!

Maryann said...

I do love your flowers, you must really enjoy working in your garden. I'm always on the lookout for natural remedies so I'll be interested on how the honey work. Hope you have a lovely weekend

Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

What a beautiful birthday present you picked out. Love the colors. Nice to see some flowers at your place. Everyone else seems to be buried in snow.

Judy said...

I can hardly wait to get out in the garden and sweat!!! It will be at least another 2 months before that happens here in Michigan.

Stephanie said...

There is something healing and calming about being outside working among the flowers, isn't there... Your pictures are so beautiful, my dear - thank you for sharing with us.

Love and hugs to you!

KathyB. said...

As I was reading this post it dawned ( pun intended ) on me you're up and starting your day about the time I am going to bed !

Your caravan always makes me smile and your flowers are soooooooo beautiful. I enjoy seeing how creative you are with your home, gardens, and needle-art, and see that it is all done with great love.

Rose ~ from Oz said...

Gorgeous photos as always Lorraine and seeing as I've been missing in blogland lately it was a pleasure to catch up with you and your lovely news post.
The quilt, Lorraine, is divine!

gld said...

I love the quilt. Be warned it is very heavy! I ordered it and had to return it because it was the wrong size. I still love it and it will look wonderful in your cottage.

I am happy to hear that you are retuning to your outside chores and enjoying it more. There is something very healing about gardening.

Susan said...

Hi Lorraine,

You are the type of person who always seems to find the joy in life, even during difficult times. Your little caravan is adorable and those pics of the sky - lovely! We are getting rain today and I am grateful for that. I do hope our sunshine returns soon as it has been a week of cloudy overcast skies. Have a nice weekend!

Kit said...

Glad you got to work outside so much. Your place is looking great. I love the look of your new linens. So pretty. Have a wonderful weekend! Kit

Julene said...

When life changes it does take time to recapture life and joy. It's ok to take time. You work at living very nicely and it shows in your surrounding! So pretty! I am wondering where you live...Florida? I'll go look at your profile. :) Oregon has had the most amazing weather, escaping anything too harsh this year. Noticing the little things like a clear blue sky makes a day bright!!

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

your caravan looks amazing - a beautiful setting for creative gardening. The Manuka Myrtle is very pretty, like our tea tree flowers. I hope you find the Manuka honey helpful, it has amazing properties.

Anonymous said...

Reading your posts reminds me of a great magazine sometimes. . . filled with all kinds of interesting, pretty things. :-) I absolutely love that bed spread set.

We are on day two of rain, but thankfully no cold temps ~ not that I can garden anyway. Both kids have officially moved out and my house is truly upside down. So much work to be done patching, painting, replacing things and rearranging rooms. All in good time though.

I hope you have a wonderful week, Rainey. Love and Hugs.

M.K. said...

Thanks for sharing your beautiful spring blooms with us! We don't have much blooming -- just some winter camellias, and the daffodils are thinking about opening, but they're scared, and I don't blame them :) The bread is a wonderful find!