Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Florida Living

Hi Folks ~ Wow, half the year is gone already, amazing! When I was a kid, time seemed to stand still, and now that I am a senior lady, time is zipping right along.

It is hot and humid here in s.e. FL.  We’ve had some really nasty thunderstorms, which is normal for summer weather. On Accu-weather the other day that had this following information about Florida.


Where You're Most Likely to be Struck by Lightening

The lightning hotspot of the country, Florida is struck by lightning more than 1.2 million times a year, according to the National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN) and since 1959 there have been 477 lightning deaths, which is more than double the number of deaths in any other state. Florida’s location between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico is believed to play a big role in the formation and severity of lightning storms.


When T-storms are in the area, I stay indoors, the computer and the a.c. get turned off. I hunker down. I do NOT like these storms.

Here are a couple of pictures from the other day when a storm was coming from the northwest. I am looking out the ‘scullery’ window here as this thing moves overhead.


Now I’m in my ‘space’ looking south as the clouds keep moving southward.  Soon after the rains fell.


At least I’m not having to water my gardens. Winking smile I need to mow again, and weeding needs doing, hedges need trimming.

I worked on a painting project over a couple of mornings, sweating buckets. In the shade it was nicer, but still the humidity was thick, so were the dang mosquitoes.

We ‘found’ curbside quite a few years ago, two nice plastic chairs. They have ‘aged’ and needed cleaning so the other morning I cleaned them, and used the lightest purple paint I had gotten in my sample colors for the house. This one only cost me 50 cents because the mixer had gone the wrong way when mixing the color. Way too light.



After coat of light paint. Which was too light for what I wanted the look to be.


So, I mixed up a couple of other ‘sample’ colors and this is the final coat.  I’m happy with it.  I also drilled three holes in each seat for water to drain out, and it worked.  Yippee!


I look forward to getting the wood siding on the caravan painted the house color, which I haven’t bought yet. This will be a project for cooler weather. I still have the back side of the chairs to paint.


The next photos are of the ‘Hugs-n-kisses’ hibiscus. The first photo was in the morning before the blooms opened.


The next couple were taken in the middle of the day.



These last two were late afternoon.  Isn’t that amazing how the colors change?



I love this plumeria.


These orchids are from my friends Nanci & John. They are beauties.




A Black Eastern Swallowtail in motion. He was flitting about the baby Meyer Lemon tree. It has 4 lemons on it. This is just outside the screened area off the back of the cottage. The wall in the background here is the east wall of workshop. The paint has faded, but is still in good condition, so I’m not going to worry about painting it any time soon.






I came across this little dead snake. He’s weird looking. Before bed that night I was wondering what kind of snake it was, and because of the diamonds on his back, I thought ‘Diamond back rattler’. Oh no!  That thought really freaked me out. I looked online this morning and he’s not that, but I don’t know what he is.  Look at the markings on his head. Someone thought he looked good enough to eat. When I went out to check the next morning, all traces of him were gone.


Now, here’s my Sweetie Petie, Miss Tork.  Someone told me that she’s a ‘classic’ tabby.  She’s my dear little comforting friend. Whenever I lay on the bed, whether it be for a nap. or for sleep at night, she jumps on the bed, lays on my chest facing me, rubs her head on my chin and then tucks her head under my chin. When she’s had enough of that little ‘bonding’ routine, she turns crosswise on my chest/stomach and lays that way until she’s ready to get down. She doesn’t sleep with me usually, and not all night, but she does come up in the middle of the night for little bonding moments then jumps back down.


I love her markings, and her coloring, plus those little white toes.


The other day on someone’s blog I was lead to another blog, you know how that is, and I read about ways to clear the air in your home. One of the ways was with sea salt. Here’s the blog post, Clear the air with Sea Salt. When I can, I’d like to get a ‘salt lamp’. But for now I put some sea salt, and drops from two kinds of essential oils, rosewood and coriander, in two little wine goblets. One is in the bedroom and the other is here in my creative space. I’m telling you, I’ve felt more energized and positive since doing this.

Here’s the heart I made for my dear widowed friend who lives in NC. It will be 4 years since she lost her dear husband next month. She misses him, but is moving forward with her faith in God. She found my blog soon after I became a widow and we’ve grown in this journey together. She loved the heart. It was created with love. Keep her in your prayers too.



I’m working on two hearts in purples right now.

I made a pincushion with a bee on it. The little stork sewing scissors were my late mother-in-laws. There is a freshwater pearl, seed beads, embroidery floss, and two mother-of-pearl buttons, poly stuffing.





I want to thank Rue of ‘An Old-Fashioned World’ for her lovely, and encouraging post this morning. In my Etsy shop I’ve had 125 visits today. WOW! Plus I’ve gained three new followers to my blog.

Well, I’ve ‘mused’ enough for today. That’s what happens, long posts, when you have no one but the cat to talk to. Smile

May you all have a lovely holiday weekend here in the US. May the rest of you around the world have a lovely weekend too.



susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

Your Hugs n Kisses hibiscus is beautiful with the way it changes color. What a sweet kitty you have.

Lightning strikes are so much worse here now than I ever remember them being. The trees in our next door neighbor's yard have been struck three times. One tree once, and one tree (the tree next to our yard) has been struck twice in the last 10 months. Now, anytime I hear thunder starting I go inside. We no longer even go near windows or talk on the landline phone if it is storming. AC is turned off and computer unplugged here, too.

Sea Cottage said...

Your home and gardens are so pretty. Your chairs turned out so perfect and definetly remind me of florida.

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

You have been a busy bee : ) Lovely flowers and lovely hand work! :)

Jean Campbell said...

Such a marvelous view out your scullery window, stormy or sunny.

I think your snake was a corn snake. Other creatures make quick use of all snake parts including the shed skins, for the protein.

janiceflorida said...

I just love your posts, always so interesting. The day to day happenings in a garden are amazing, I'm always wondering, what's going on out their at night.

Your 'Hugs-n-kisses' is just lovely, as is your plumeria. So many gardening 'friends' further south than me (I'm just a smidge south of Ocala) grow plumeria so well. It's a take in plant for us, and I already have too many of them now.

I do have a Meyer lemon tree, we like them so much more than the "sour' lemons from the store.

Have a great day, enjoy sitting in your nice "new' chairs.

Dewena said...

I can understand talking to Miss Tork, what a sweetie she must be and such great company. I do love the papery look of the hibiscus, and as always, your garden offers such a variety of areas. I get the feeling that I could wander for hours in it discovering something new around every turn. The chairs turned out beautifully!

It's almost pitch black here right now at almost 8:30 with storms and torrential rain. We have a daughter driving here this morning from FL and I'll be glad when they get here safe. You stay safe there in the storms, those lightening statistics are scary.

Rebecca said...

I so enjoyed my "visit" here today (you already know how much I love seeing the interior of your home AND the caravan). Your chairs turned out beautifully. I imagine sitting in one with you in the other, talking face-to-face...

We had a sunny, blue-skied day yesterday after a lengthy string of storm days. Now the sky is overcast again. I'm like you, unplugging appliances and computer when storms come.

His Sparrow said...

I just love this blog! Such a wonderful treat for the eyes!

L. D. said...

Your chairs do look great. It probably was good to have the second coat of paint on them. The flowers look so great. I have never seen a plumeria before. Our neighbors across the street have bought property in Florida. They didn't sell their house so they may be coming back to Iowa to cool off. Cats are God's blessing to humans. They can get difficult because we don't understand them, but they are always good pets.

Melanie said...

Living here in the Midwest, we get intense thunderstorms here, too. I don't blame you for not using the computer or AC. Remember not to take a shower or bath during that time either! I hear you about painting outside during the muggy's so hard with all the mosquitoes out there. Sometimes I just give up and have to come inside, whether painting or gardening. That hibiscus is so pretty. I've never seen one change colors like that. Love your beautiful handiwork on that heart.

Ruth Hiebert said...

Fascinating post. I love watching storm clouds.Those light purple chairs are simply gorgeous and the Hibiscus.WOW! I would have thought these were flowers from different plants.Beautiful images and interesting reading. Have a super weekend.

Consider It All Joy said...

Wow, I just don't know where to start. You are multi-talented Rainey! Love your hearts and that pin cushion is so pretty! You are a super photographer and your gardens are gorgeous! Like I said, you are a woman with Many talents! Have a wonderful Holiday weekend! Cindy

Leslie Kimel said...

The pin cushion is just perfect, especially with that little bee. I love its wings!

Lynn McIntosh said...

I think your snake is a juvie black racer. They are solid black as adults, but the immature ones are marked and different colors. Cornsnakes have different head markings, like a guitar shape. Also the eastern coachwhip is similar. If you look at the pupil shape it helps identify (round, vs elliptical). Elliptical (like a cat) would indicate viper, not so good, lol! But this looks like a juvenile black racer and I'm not 100% sure, but my brother is a herpetologist and has taught me to id FL snakes. But juvies are always difficult. Anyway, sorry about the blathering on, haha - I can see why you thought it was a more ominous snake. I love your orchid photos - so beautiful with the sun shining in from behind! Storms make me nervous too...the poor dogs build a fort in the couch cushions to try and hide! Me, too! :)

shirley said...

Havent been around for a while, and it was so nice to come back to such a lovely interesting post. Love all your flowers, and those chairs are great. I didnt know you could paint plastic chairs. What a good idea. You have lovely surroundings, and cope with all you have to do so well. I have a friend with a salt lamp, in fact she has two and she swears she does not get nearly as much dust and the air is clearer in her flat.

Beatrice Euphemie said...

Such lovely photos of your gardens and flowers! I have experienced those storms in Florida! My FIL lives there and when we were visiting, a lightning bolt hit right behind his chair when we were dining at a beach-side hotel. That is one way to clear a table fast! I love the photo of the gray clouds above the vibrant gardens. Your hearts and pincushions are just wonderful - so incredibly detailed. It's so nice that you found this special friend. Love your lavender chairs :) and your kitty is just darling. Hugs xo Karen

Sally said...

Hi - I'm here from judeself.blogspot (Judy). I see you live in SE FL whereas I live in NE FL, and like you we've had enough rain to last for a good long while. It was almost three weeks before I had a chance to even mow the lawn. I don't like lightening either; scares me and I turn everything off to be on the safe side! With today being the 4th, I know our little dog is going to be scared with the fireworks. In fact, people started even 2 days ago.

Love your flowers. The hibiscus is so beautiful. I remember my mom always knowing exactly where to plant them, but I haven't figured that out yet. My daughter had them also.

It's nice to meet you, and I'll be back to visit.


Anonymous said...

I just love our afternoon thunderstorms . . . even better late at night as they lull me to sleep. However, I am very respectful of lighting. No let me rephrase that . . . I am very fearful of lighting ~ after having been caught in one too many storms outside (once hiking in the woods). When you can see,hear, and smell it all at the same time, it is WAY to close.

You have some beautiful blooms in your garden. And pretty critters too. I saw what I thought might be a baby water moccasin (we have several lakes in our area and I've seen these nearby) in my veggie bed in a section that I let overgrow. I figured then that it was time to clean it up. Which I did. Armful after armful of cuttings. As I dropped the last one by the road where I was piling up my debris . . . out comes that darn little snake! I carried that little booger in my arms. Anyway, I got a really good look at him and he was just a simple little black racer (funny markings though which seems common for the young ones). So, anyway, he was allowed to stay. At least I got that section of my garden all nice and neat. :-) Although I did get stung by a big ole wasp. His fate, and his fellow housemates, wasn't quite as fortunate as the snakes. :-)

I hope you have a wonderful week Rainey.

Love and hugs,


Rue said...

Awww.... you're so sweet and you're so very welcome, my friend. I'm glad you got so many visits and I hope it helps with lots of sales in your shop :) Your new creations are lovely!

Miss Tork is adorable and her little white toes are so cute.

I'm going to try that salt thing. It's worth a try, right? ;)


Terra said...

Your cat is pretty. That is a lot of lightning strikes in Florida, I am glad you are keeping safe. Those plastic chairs are rejuvenated, I painted some plastic chairs and tables in blue/purple paint too.

Eggs In My Pocket said...

Hello. Love your beautiful photos on your post as always. Your Etsy shop is so lovely and I wish you much success! My grandmother was struck twice by lightening when she was young. She was always frightened when storm clouds would gather because of this. Have a wonderful week!

CelestinaMarie@SouthernDayDreams said...

Hi Lorraine, what a lovely post filled with such interest and daily activities. Love your flowers and the lightening is so good for the grass and blooms bringing them nitrogen. Love your sweet kitty and reading the story of her daily routine at bedtime. Not sure about the snake. Looks like a water moccasin. We have them here in Texas too and I am not a fan.
Love your adorable pin cushion. You are multi talented and so inspiring. Thank you for sharing.
Enjoyed my visit. Have a wonderful mid week.
Blessings, cm

Darcie said...

I had to smile when I came over here and read about your dear cat! Aren't we so thankful for all of our 4 legged friends that offer up comfort? As for the snake...YIKES! We can do without those, can't we? Happy July, my friend!

Val said...

'Just sending a hug your way. 'Hope your July is off to a good start. ♥

Ilene Jones said...

What a lovely little nest you made on that heart. You have so much artistic talent, it's good that you have that Etsy shop.

Miss Tork is a classic beauty. I see she's got her "mad ears" going in that second picture. LOL I'm always surprised when I meet people who say they don't like cats. I always wonder if they've ever really known one. They are so affectionate. Sam comes out in the garden with me and finds things to do. Sometimes she explores or stalks something, other times she naps. Always ready to come in when I am.