Friday, April 8, 2016

Out of my comfort zone

Well, today I had an adventure. I drove north a little over 30 miles and took the turnpike. I am used to driving between 35-55 miles an hour, mostly the 35-45 mph. I’ve not been on the turnpike since DH and I went to NC 10 years ago. I am a ‘home body’ so going on this little trek was a huge deal to timid me.

First I had to get a ticket, then I stopped to take a picture. Then I had to make sure I was heading north, then freaked out because I had to ‘merge’ into the speeding traffic. Someone was nice enough to slow down as I stepped on the gas and let this little aging ‘flowerlady’ into the stream. Sheesh!


As I was driving along, gripping the steering wheel with all my might, I was looking for a speed limit sign. When I saw one, I gasped and said “70 mph”. I then pushed harder on my gas pedal and finally made it up to 60, then 65, and finally 70, and even a little over, eased back down when I realized my foot had gotten heavier on the pedal. I was comfortable around 65, well, as comfortable as I can be racing along like that.

I went to see my BIL so that we could do my taxes. His workplace is halfway between where we both live. He could do multiple returns on his tax program, so I wouldn’t have to buy a program this year. It didn’t take long to do my taxes, and then we went to lunch at Park Ave. BBQ. Nice lunch and visiting, talking about projects he’s going to help me with here at home.

I am so glad to have the taxes behind me, now I can get on with my little life here at ‘Plum Cottage’.

This past Tuesday, one of the men from my church, called me and said, he  could change out my toilet that afternoon, if I was available. The one I had, had had a bolt in the tank rust and break off, tank wobbly, and a slow leak, plus it didn’t flush well at all, and the seat was low. I had been Googling toilets, came up with one that I liked, and HD had 5 of them last week.  They didn’t have any that day. The man checked his HD and the website said there were 3 of them. We headed off in his car, having a nice chat on the way. We go to the toilet section, and could not find any, and neither could the help. I started looking for an alternative.  He told me he had 2 American Standard Cadet 3’s in his home and was very satisfied with them. The price was $50 cheaper than the one I had looked at, and I decided to go with it. It even came with the quiet closing lid, and was ‘comfort height’.

Back home, out came the old, in went the new and I ‘love’ it.  It is a cutie-patootie and just right for this cottage. It uses 1.28 gal of water to flush, flushes fast and I laugh everytime the lid closes quietly and the flush happens. I am  so thankful for my new toilet.


Yesterday I went to HD to get some caulking for around the base of toilet which doesn’t quite cover the old cut out in the lino floor. I also checked out ooops paint to see if they had anything I might use for a new paint job in the little room. –0- So, I went to the paint colors, went back and forth with colors. A light peach is on the walls now, which I like but it needed to be freshened up. The color I chose has a little more ‘red’ in it, so that it is a pinkish color called Cherubic, I think.

I had tried a peach color of paint that we had that was an old can, paint still good, but smelled a little off, and the color was way to garish. I hope this color will be nice once the whole space is painted.  If not, I’ll tweak the color a bit. Smile I need to clean the walls first, then paint, that I plan to do next week.

You can see the three colors in the photo above to the right of the toilet.

Before Ted left Tuesday, he fixed my lock plate on kitchen/entry door, so that I can use it again. YAY. I am so thankful for help from my church family. I’ve never had to have help before, DH and I did everything ourselves. I always appreciated and thanked him for all that he did around here, and now that he’s gone, I appreciate all of his hard work all the more.

(Speaking of DH, I had two different dreams the other night, where he ‘showed’ me three sweet words, in two different ways. He did not say anything, just showed me the words, I Love You. Needless to say, I woke up feeling happy. I miss him more than words can express, but we will be reunited again one day.)

Dear BIL will be cutting some baseboard for the walls of bathroom.  We’re also going to put more faux beadboard paneling up in the bedroom and do some other trim work in there. It all takes time, and he works a full-time job and his commute to work is a couple of hours at least each day.  I am very thankful for all that he has done for me and continues to do. I know my DH is thankful too.


Now for some flowers.

Hibiscus with a Spanish Needle bloom in the back ground. SN’s are a ‘weed’, but a great butterfly attractor.  DH did NOT like them at all as their seed heads stick to your clothing, and they spread like crazy and are hard to pull up, once they get established. I have a mini field of them, plus they come up all over. I pull up a LOT of them, getting them when they are young they are easier to pull up.


I love the colors of this frangipani.  Bought last spring/summer.


There are buds on my two normal gardenia bushes, and buds also on my ‘Tahitian’ gardenia. Roses have buds too. I have new growth on an angel trumpet that I got as a cutting. Got six of them, but only two have rooted and are growing.  I think they are yellow varieties.

Let’s see, remember Miss Rosie.  Well she left us something we’d rather she hadn’t. Fleas. I should have thought about that before bringing her in here, but alas, hind sight is 20/20. I’ve been dusting the place with diatemacious earth, vacuuming, combing Miss Tork for fleas, which did help but she was still being attacked. I ordered some Advantage II and it came yesterday afternoon. I opened a tube and put it on her. At first she was going nuts as the fleas seemed to be attacking in ernest. But, this morning she was calmer, and today she has slept on my bed and hardly scratched at all.  Bless her little heart. She has her appetite back, is more relaxed and we are both so thankful.

Here she is below. I woke her up by coming into the room. She’s my little sweetie pie and I am thankful for her.


Tonight we both should get a good sleep. She from fleas not hassling her and me being worn out from my adventure, and didn’t get to take my nap today. Winking smile

Hope you all have a nice weekend. I will post more bathroom pics when the job is done, hopefully in the next week or so.

Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady


If you count all your assets,

you always show a profit.

Robert Quillen



Consider It All Joy said...

If you are not used to being on the freeway, then I'm sure that was quite the adventure for you! So happy that you got the taxes done and that trip out of the way! I can't imagine how nice it would be to have help around the house. I have to do everything myself and some days it seems Way more than I can do. Somehow, God helps! Love your sweet flowers but not the fleas! Blessings, Cindy xo

Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

So much happening. Remember, that the speed limit is what to stay under not a requirement. Ha!
A water efficient toilet. Perfect. Our city gives people rebates for putting those in.
Glad you're getting the fleas under control. Yikes!
Always love your beautiful flowers.
Have a beautiful weekend!

Ruth Hiebert said...

Good to hear that your little travel adventure went well.Keep on pushing yourself,it is good for you.At least I find it is good for me to push myself out of my comfort zone.Have a great weekend.

Jessica Jarrell said...

Poor little Rosie. Fleas are the worst! My mother-in-law's dog is allergic to fleas and really suffers when he gets attacked. He loses energy, his appetite, he attacks his fur until he has hot spots... I really feel for the poor little pets when they have those. Evil fleas!

It's so funny how driving changes over the years. When I was young and thought I was invincible, I did some things driving that make me cringe. SO reckless. As I got older, I slowed waaaay down. Now, living in Kentucky where there is absolutely NO traffic, I get scared driving in Oregon with what feels like a million people. Ha ha. Never thought that would happen!

I love the new toilet, super-cute. There's just something about one of those being new, it's just the best :) Have a great weekend FlowerLady! :-)

Morning's Minion said...

I was never at ease with 'city driving' although back in the day, most of what qualified as 'city' was rather small. In WY I drove miles in open spaces with only the occasional group of antelope on the road. NO, in Kentucky, its all about winding back roads. I doubt I could handle a trip into the 'city' on my own.
Glad you have someone to help with the upkeep/improvements on your cottage--it never ends.

Mountain Mama said...

Sounds like you've had quite the busy time of it lately, Lorraine! Good for you, getting out there and pushing yourself past your comfort zone - you're a strong woman and keeping your independence is priceless!

Janice Taylor said...

For sure, anytime we travel out of our everyday route, it can be a little overwhelming. As you did so well on your trip, it should be a confidence booster.
I have to agree with DH on the Spanish Needle plant...I detest it. When I was growing up, my Mom would make us kids sit on the front steps and pick all the stickers off our socks before we could come inside every evening. I can't blame her for that- they don't come off in the wash. Oh well, childhood memories. _Janice

Ilene Jones said...

That Advantage is good stuff, I used to use it on the dog and I never had to treat the cat as long as he was here. Right after we had to have him put down, I had to treat the cat for fleas for the first time. I think the rabbits bring them into the yard.

I think that was A God Thing about your new toilet!

Debbie Harris said...

Sounds like you had quite the day on your adventure, and you made it there and home safely, yea for you!
Those freeways can be fast and furious when you're not use to them. I try and use the frontage roads here when I can due to my balance disorder. When automobiles pass met on the left it can throw me off.
Isn't it amazing how relieved we feel once those dreaded taxes are done.
Love your toilet! We have one of those slow closing quiet lids and love it. We've wondered why we hadn't gotten one years ago. :-)
Happy painting next week.
As always, your flowers are gorgeous.
Blessings, Debbie

Rose ~ from Oz said...

Oh I do love catching up with you Lorraine and all the goings-on at Plum Cottage.... and beyond! The motorway no less! My heart was thumping as I read... and of course one must have a just the right loo! :) xxxx

crafty cat corner said...

SWeetie Pie has such a lovely gentle face and I like the quilt.

Sallysmom said...

So glad to hear that you are doing more that is not in your comfort zone. The Lord is with you all the way as I am sure you know. And your DH is watching over as well and I know would be so proud. Way to go, Lorraine!

Gretchen Joanna said...

Did I read that correctly? You got a ticket -- do you mean a traffic ticket? ... before you even got on the turnpike? If so, you are amazingly cool about it! <3

Julie said...

Looks like you got the perfect toilet! Yay! Your walls will be gorgeous when done in bathroom! Your whole place is just looking so good! Your BIL, and church family are the best! Love your flower photos. I know your hubby is looking down smiling really big!

Betsy Adams said...

I am so proud of you --and all that you have accomplished since your hubby died... He would be SO proud of you. Your cottage is looking better and better... Love the new 'potty'.....

We thought we were going to have to buy a new water heater today --when the hot water was cold. Hubby check out the water heater in our basement ---and all he had to do was to push the re-set button. Who knew??

Glad you got your taxes done ---and was able to make that 'scary' trip...

Love the hibiscus.

Eggs In My Pocket said...

Oh, I could feel your stress as you described your driving adventure.......I am the same way in heavy traffic. Sounds like you had one wearing out day, but a productive one. I love the photo of your cat on the bed! Your flowers are always so lovely!

gld said...

We had a bout with fleas a few years ago and it took the exterminator three trips before they were gone.

I hope you have yours under control now.

Loved the 'exotic' flower pictures.

I admire your bravery in that drive to get your taxes done.

gld said...

I like that new toilet. I am writing the name down; I need one that is much taller in the extra bathroom.

Cathy @ My 1929 Charmer said...

Freeways can be quite scary..stay in the right lane and let them beep all they want! Be so proud of yourself! I am so happy your church is so supportive in helping you. Thanks to your BIl for your taxes! Have a blessed day!

A Joyful Cottage said...

Very nice post, Rainey. I like all the different things you wrote about. Isn't it amazing how such a simple thing like a new toilet can make us happy? We have a comfort height, too, and it is so nice. Your kitty is so sweet. Glad she's getting relief from the fleas. It's nice to have taxes out of the way. Your flowers are always so beautiful. Have a great week. Hugs, Nancy

Melanie said...

I drive on the expressway all the time - it's the only way to get to my mom's, sister's and cousin's houses, plus one of my doctor's offices and some stores I go to. And admittedly, I have quite the lead foot, so I'm used to driving fast. Here in the Chicago area, if you ever drove under the speed limit or even at the speed limit, you'd be run over.

You are very blessed to have such loving people in your life (BIL, church family) to help you out when you need it. My mom is a widow and has a church family, but never asks anyone for help. She says she doesn't want to "bother" anyone because everyone's so busy. It's a small church - maybe 60ish members. Do you have any suggestions for her; i.e., how to ask for help? I could pass any words of wisdom down to her.

Leslie Kimel said...

I used to be so scared to drive on the interstates when we first moved to Atlanta, but then I got a job that forced me to use them and it became second nature. But I remember how scared I was the first few times. The fear was terrible!

Miss Tork looks so cozy and comfortable on your bed. She has such a sweet face. Did you make that adorable pillow next to her?

Maryann said...

I love hearing about all your "adventures". So glad you have church family to help you.

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness for flea meds! I remember decades ago where there was only those flea baths which did not help at all! I am going to pay more attention to your gardening as one of my sons (and his wife) just moved to lake mary, FL.

You are like me! I remember the first time I was "brave enough" to get on I-95 and drive to the next city here in Delaware. After a state trooper going up behind me and flashing his lights (as a warning) I learned to pick up speed and not drive below the limit..ha... Even now, I am only brave enough to travel about an hour out of our area by myself. (And as for 95, I ended up driving my kids to school on it for 27 years). As I am getting older I always imagine how it will be when my husband passes away (assuming men seem to go first). I find death very mysterious for us poor people on earth. Something you can only understand by clinging to your faith.

Thank God you have good help available from good people!!! Andrea

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

I congratulate you for finding your way on that freeway. Busy roads are not something I like to do. Your flowers are beautiful and such a pretty photo of the hibiscus..Happy Wednesday..Judy

Kate R said...

Oh goodness you really did have an adventure but good for you for being brave and not giving up! I'm not a fan of busy roads or the freeway so I sympathize with you. Well done! Love the flowers - especially that beautiful Frangipani !
Have a good rest of the week.
- Kate xx

Rebecca said...

We have a bathroom adventure ahead of us, too. Desperately need new flooring and had hoped for some new fixtures, etc. However, a $12,000-$15,000 estimate has caused us to adjust our sights a wee bit! Sigh.

Definitely sounds like you are making good, steady progress on your house projects - all the while surrounded by the beauty of your flowers... ♥

M.K. said...

You've been busy since I last checked in, FL! Driving on these fast freeways is quite nervous. I'm a country gal and I don't like those fast trucks lumbering past. My m-i-l doesn't do interstates AT ALL, even on long trips. I don't blame her.
We have battled fleas in the past and have tried it all! Finally we broke down and simply get our flea treatment from the vet, which works perfectly. In the end, I don't think it costs me more than all the other stuff I was buying. But since your kitty stays inside, once she's flea-free, you should all be fine. Fleas are the WORST.
So glad you have help from family and church friends. What a comfort that is! I'm so thankful for my dear hubby and all he does. I know you miss yours, but am glad you have such comfort knowing he loves you STILL and you'll be together again :)

Deb said...

I'm not a fan of freeway driving myself. My husband gets on the freeway even for short trips - but not me. I will go the long way around to avoid the freeway. I love your flower photos as usual. What a great little toilet. We need to replace ours too. I love all the fun "home improvement" projects you have going. Enjoy the week ahead!

Valerie CottageMakingMommy said...

So glad your kitty is better. It's fun to venture on a road trip sometimes. I bet your bedroom and bathroom are going to be gorgeous.

~ Dixie said...

Racing down the highway...good for you! I must admit I do not like to merge because everyone else is flying so fast. Looks like a great new toilet.
Lovely flower pics.

Darcie said...

I've had one adventures with the Turnpikes out east and I've yet to recover. ;-) Good for you for giving it a go though...very brave of you! Smiling about your new toilet...sometimes it is the little things, huh? I guess I don't know what the quiet lids are like...sounds interesting.

Loved the dream you shared with us. It's always so amazing to me the way God allows us to feel comfort from those that have left us. Your dreams was like a gift from Him and a gift from your husband! <3

Anonymous said...

Lorraine, I could identify with you driving on the turnpike. Good for you! I am always nervous just knowing which exit to get on after getting my ticket, and yes, trying to merge with all of the rest of the traffic. My husband did most all of the things are our house as well, but I didn't watch or help! Now I am clueless. I've learned why he didn't pick up the phone and just call someone.. Ouch! It hurts the pocketbook to do so! You are very fortunate to have help like that. Like the others wrote, you did great going out of your comfort zone. It seems if widows don't, we will miss out on alot of "living". God bless you..He is right by your side holding your right hand.

Julie said...

Miss Rosie----you are as cute as a button!!!