Friday, June 17, 2016

‘Be Still’


Hello Friends ~ Here it is another Friday already. Time keeps zipping right along.

Thank you all for your kind and encouraging comments dealing with my Etsy shop. I’ve only had 25 sales since 2008. Part of that time I had nothing in it as I was dealing with grieving the loss of my dear husband.

For any of you who have an Etsy shop or who are thinking about it, I suggest you do read about collecting taxes, etc. Things have changed and we do have to do what is required if we want to be in this online, retail business.

Here is some info I saved from Etsy:

Reporting obligations
a. For U.S. Registered Sellers, Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) regulations require that U.S. third-party settlement organizations and payment processors, including Etsy, file Form 1099-K to report unadjusted annual gross sales information for sellers that meet both of the following thresholds in a calendar year (reporting):

1.     More than $20,000 in gross sales, and

2.     More than 200 transactions.

As a result of these regulations, Registered Sellers who approach 150 (one hundred and fifty) transactions in a calendar year, regardless of sales volume and aggregated across his or her Shops, will be required by Etsy to provide taxpayer-identification information and will be notified via email and through other communication channels available on Etsy.

Realizing that I must collect sales tax here in the state of FL, even though sales are online, this is what I found out about getting a sales tax #.

Business name, physical address, contact information, and mailing address
Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN); see instructions for item 8 if you do not have an FEIN
Bank routing number and account information if enrolling to file and pay tax electronically
Name, Social Security Number* (SSN), driver license number, address, and contact information of owner/sole proprietor, officers,
partners, managing members, and/or trustees
Dates when business activities began or will begin
Description of business activities
Employment information (date of hire, number of employees, payroll amounts, payroll agent’s PTIN, if applicable)

I read somewhere in my searching that in order to get a sales tax permit here in FL I will have to get a business license.

So, for right now, I am totally taking a break from Etsy. My whole life changed when I lost my dear husband 3 1/2 years ago, and changed even more when I lost my job of 17 years, a year ago. I have stressed about ways to supplement my s.s. income, then started stressing about selling on Etsy. Not good for my health, mentally or physically.

Different writings have been coming my way lately about ‘being still’, living in the moments I am blessed with each day, and relying on Jesus/God to take care of me in each and every situation. That is what I want to do right now.

Earlier this morning, I sat in a chair on the little stoop of the shed out back. The breezes were gentle and nice, and it’s not as hot and humid as it has been the past couple of days. While sitting there my eyes welled up with tears, & my heart was full as I looked around at the views, saw butterflies and dragonflies, heard birdsong, and the gentle notes of the wind chime beside me. I am filled with gratitude even though I miss my dear husband terribly. The ache and the missing don’t go away, ever.

Here are some photos from the past few days.

The driveway is becoming overgrown again with neighbors overhanging trees. DH used to take care of all of this with a ladder and his sawsall. Grass needed mowing.

06-14-driveway (1)

Grass mown and some limbs trimmed at the back so I can turn around with the van.

I trimmed the tree limbs Tues. morning, mowed Wed. morning.


After weedwacking.



Taken this morning as I was ‘being still’.




‘Palo Verde’ tree. Very lacy and airy with sweet yellow flowers, and wicked thorns on the trunk.


I was ready to come inside after that little time of ‘being still’ and saw a harmless black snake. After seeing this one, I saw another one slithering across the driveway. Even though they are harmless, I still jump and make a little noise when I see them.



Front entry patio shaded in the morning. Driveway on other side of gate. 5 lane road to the right, into property on the left.


Today I decided to  ‘be still’ and stay indoors and rest, with my right foot up and ice on it to bring swelling down on my right inside ankle area.

Well, it’s time to make some lunch.

Have a great weekend and count your blessings and take the time to

‘be still’.


Be Still by Steven Curtis Chapman

Monday, June 13, 2016

My Etsy shop


Hi Folks ~ I have deactivated items in my Etsy shop, while I do more research on permits, taxes etc. As of yet, I do not have a business license because I wanted to see if this little adventure would fly or not.  As I’ve been reading, you need a license, etc. to sell anything on Etsy, so, I’m taking a break.  It doesn’t mean I won’t still be creating, just that I won’t be selling on Etsy until further notice.

Thank you to those who have bought.

I ask that you keep me in your prayers as to dealing with finances. I std. my little shop to help supplement our income when the economy tanked.  Now that I’m a widow and lost my job last year, (which I’d had for 17 years, and lost because the business was sold), what I have made, or would make on Etsy was to supplement my small ss. check. If this little shop is  meant to be, it will be, if not, then God will provide some other way to take care of me.

I don’t want to be stressed over this issue, so that’s why I’m deactivating items. Maybe it’s an easy thing, getting licenses, etc., but I wouldn’t bet on it. DH and I were in retail for years and it can be a pain in the you-know-what.  If anyone has any help or info, as to selling from your home on Etsy, please let me know.  I am timid and don’t have my ‘front man’ to ask questions, etc. of beaureaucrats.

For now I’ll do research, putter in my gardens and try to ‘relax’.

Thanks again for all of your support.



Sunday, June 12, 2016

Rain & projects


Hi Folks ~ Here it is early Sunday evening. No rain so far today, but we’ve had quite a bit off and on over the last  3-4 days, turning Plum Cottage gardens into more of a jungle than it already was.

Last week I accomplished some small projects that made me shed a few tears of relief, joy and thankfulness. My main rake handle had broken off at the connection to the rake head. I filed down the handle and rescrewed it to the rake head. Yay # 1. Then I took a new tree saw blade and attached it to my pole cutter. Yay # 2. I then proceeded to cut some limbs from a small tree out by front patio. Yay # 3.

The rubber tree was about 6-8 ft. taller than shown in picture below. The taller growth to the right has wonderful scented blooms at a certain time of year. I can’t remember the name of it right now.  There’s still more trimming to do of vines, etc. in and around this area. I had to quit that morning after a couple of hours because my right heel was really hurting and I was limping. Hopefully this week I can do more tree trimming along the driveway, of limbs from the neighbors trees that are hanging into my space and starting to hang down.


I also did another little project with the rain barrel that same day. During a heavy down pour I had noticed that the gutter to barrel was gushing water up and over the end of gutter, instead of going down the spout into the barrel.  I got up on my nice ladder and proceded to unclog the down spout, then I replaced the screening on the top and put the cover back on. Yay # 4.

These may not seem like big deals to you but to me they are big. Being a widow has definitely changed my lifestyle. I now have to figure out how to do things myself, as much as I can do myself, and then go for it. I was happy with my small accomplishments and look forward to doing more.

Here are some more jungle pictures.

This first one is looking west. You can see the speed limit sign just above the hedge. The sidewalk and 5 lane road are there on south side of property. The tall grassy plant is my lemon grass.  Some of the seed stalks are about 8’ tall. There is a path between the blue bottles and the white arbor.


This is a veiw looking west of the main garden.


This is the main entry into cottage, the screened porch off the kitchen. Queen Crepe Myrtle in full bloom. When the flowers are spent, I’ll prune them off and more blooms will come. Smile


Here’s a view of the secret butterfly garden area.


Speaking of butterflies. I ‘missed’ seeing the butterfly come out of the chrysallis. I was sitting here in my space and started hearing a racket to my right. Low and behold it was the butterfly ready to fly out of its’ enclosure. I grabbed my camera and then headed outside to let it go. Sorry for the blurry picture. The butterfly was a Polydamas Swallowtail. As soon as I got the lid open, it raced off, up, up and away.


During the rainy times, I worked on another needlework piece. This was a belated hostess and combined housewarming gift. The background color is turquoise, not that blue that the camera picked up. The couple has  some sea decor and the color of at least one of their walls is turquoise. I crocheted the fish, starfish, sand dollar and the little conch shell. There are seed and bugle beads, abalone shell bits, sea shells, fresh water pearls,  & bits of coral. It was a fun project. This was about 4”wide by 6-7” high.


It is the start of a new week and I hope it is good for all.

I will close with a poem I wrote.


Oh how I love to watch the butterflies,
Flitting about on wings
powered by the sun's warm rays.

From flower to flower
by the hour
they sip the sweet nectar that sustains them in their flight.

God says,
Take heed my child, as you watch these 'flying flowers'.
See how they gently, unfearingly go about their way?

They are in my care,
as you are,
even more than they.

Written the morning of 16 June 2008

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

A couple of drops of rain from Colin

Hi Folks ~ Well, Colin was predicted to give us a good dumping of rain, but for us on the coast of south PB county s.e. FL, I got a couple of drops. I know because I heard them hit my window, and saw them. I’m glad I went out and hand watered yesterday morning as things were looking pretty dry, especially from the wind we’ve had for 2-3 days now. T-storms are predicted the next few afternoons, but time will tell. 

Thank you for asking how things were going for me down here. I do appreciate it.

I’ve basically been hybernating indoors as the summer heat and humidity have settled in.  We had nice cool weather for longer than usual this year and I am thankful for that. If I do any gardening, I have to be out between 7-8 and finished around 10, no later than 11.

The last few days I started, worked on and finished another bead and thread embroidered heart. I also crocheted the edging.




Below is the love seat in the living room.

Before – ok for fall winter.


After ~ much better for spring summer. The floral is a long rectangular tablecloth I think.  It is draped over a queen size spread. I need to paint the living room walls, after I do some spackling and cut the wire for a phone jack that is hanging down the wall. I love this lighter look for the hot, humid summer.  The mirror and the little table in front of sofa were curbside finds that my DH picked up. I miss those sweet surprises he used to bring home. Always a treat!


I took away 2 bears from the collection on back of sofa, keeping special ones.

The small sweet one with a flower bedecked hat is from a teddy bear swap years ago. The one next to her is one DH bought me in Switzerland, the one with the ‘give thanks’ pillow is DH’s from when he was a boy. The dark brown one is one DH gave me for Christmas many years ago, it’s an antique. The little one it its lap is a tiny jointed bear. The black one is crocheted by me many years ago, with colorful skirt and hat, and one rhinestone earring. The two pillows were made for me by two online friends  in the Country Life forum, where the teddy bear swap was also. The crocheted afghan is the one in the first picture that was running down the middle of the sofa, bought for $3 I think at a thrift store last year.


Here are a couple of photos in my little cottage bedroom.  It is a work in progress, (as is the whole cottage). I do what I can when I can.

You can see how well the newly acquired sheets and pillow cases from the Salvation Army thrift store go together with my birthday bedspread. I love floral bedding, duh, and keep looking for them on a limited budget. The pillow cases are white with little yellow rosebuds and green leaves. I like the reverse side of my bedspread/quilt just as much at the front.


Faux beadboard paneling will be going up on the walls, lace curtains will go on back window to hide the blinds. When these homemade drapes close at night they really block out the street lights.

The footboad we found roadside along with the headboard, when we were living in Spain. It is a double in size.

The portrait of lady is my DH’s mothers grandmother. I want to hang her in a different spot with other lady paintings grouped around her.

I am looking forward to tweaking this bedroom and will show more photos later. DH painted the oil painting of solitary pine in the mountains.


Now for some outside images.

Below is the ‘Queen Crepe’ we bought several years back for our anniversary.


These blooms are so much larger than a normal crepe myrtle. I look forward to this blooming each spring and all through the summer.


Zebra longwing, our state butterfly. This flowering ‘hamelia paten’ bush draws butterflies of all types like a magnet. Hummers have visited also.


"Just living is not enough," said the butterfly. 
"One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower."

Hans Christian Andersen 

Enjoy your week, wherever you are and count your blessings both great and small.


Thursday, June 2, 2016

Eye glasses and thrift store finds ;-)

Hi Folks ~ I want to thank all of you for your encouragement to get back the the optical center with my glasses.  Come to find out, the wrong # had been put into the computer than what was on the written prescription by the dr. They apologized, and I should have new glasses within the next couple of weeks. They are doing one pair at a time, so I still have my new sunglasses. Guess they want to make sure they get it right before doing these.

Yesterday I got a few groceries, then headed out to Good Will since it was Sr. Citizen’s day. I needed some colorful tops. I don’t always find any when I go there, but this time I found 5. AND one of them was a ‘Tommy Bahama’.  If you remember from a past post I mentioned how I’d seen new ones at Dillards and was shocked at the price of $118 each.

Here they are in photo below. The ‘TB’ shirt is second from the left in blues and creams with palms and hibiscus. These cost me $2.33 each.  The first shirt on the left was bought at Salvation Army, along with the ball of crochet thread, 49 cents, and the purse in mint conditon, Laura Scott, $5. I didn’t know the purse brand but looked it up when I got home and it’s around $40 online. I needed a larger one and this should be just fine.


Today after going to the optical center I stopped at the Salvation Army thrift again as it’s on my way home. I found a set of Woolrich 100% floral patterned cotton sheets, $11.  I saw a twin flat sheet for $20 online on Ebay. Also got a set of different floral patterned pillow cases, 99 cents each.

Here is the sheet pattern. This was hanging on the clothesline. The bed is now made up with fresh smelling new sheets and pillow cases. I’m ready to get horizontal to read before sleep.


As to butterfly gardening, I’m not just starting out.  We’ve had butterflies here for years, I’m just gathering potted butterfly plants into the ‘secret garden’, so that I can enjoy them all the more when looking out the window. I sure look forward to learning more from this young lady I mentioned in earlier post.

Summer is here. Hot and humid, we need rain. Hurricane season is to be more active so they say. UGH!  That’s not good news.

Yesterday my feet were killing me, and were hurting when I went to bed. They felt better when I got up this morning and weren’t bad all day, even now, they don’t feel too bad. Healing takes time and I’m thankful for good days.


Happy Summer ~ FlowerLady

"It is the month of June,
The month of leaves and roses
When pleasant sights salute the eyes,
And pleasant scents the noses."
N.P. Willis

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

A New Day, A New Month

Good morning Friends ~ June 1st ~ Wow, summer is here, it is the start of ‘dreaded’ hurricane season too.

Thank you all for your comments, tips and encouragement on my last post.  Much appreciated.

I am very disappointed in my new glasses. They are progressive lenses, which I had before, but I can barely read with them, certainly not in bed at night before sleep.  When I first put them on at the optical center, I couldn’t believe it. The distance part brought everything in the center too up close and personal and made me feel ill right away, and the reading was almost like a double image.  The young lady said to give the glasses a couple of weeks, so that’s what I’m doing, but I am NOT a happy camper at all. Buying these cost me more than what I get in my small monthly ss check. Needless to say, I’ve been discouraged and depressed over this issue.  I’ll be going back to them next week to tell them my not so good news for them.

As to my painful heels, some days are better than others. But all in all, I think they are better.  Healing takes time.

I work in my gardens between 1-2 hours each morning, or as long as my feet let me. I’ve made the secret garden into more of a butterfly garden than it was. I’ve seen as many as 4 different kinds in there and others around the property. Sunday morning after the church service, one young lady came up to me carrying a plastic container and asked me if I was interested in butterflies. I said yes, and she gave me the container with a chrysallis of a Polydamas Swallowtail hanging from the inside lid.

I have it sitting in here in my space. It should emerge from the chrysallis in about 2 weeks. The instructions on the side of container said to let the new butterfly rest in container for about 15 hours, then say a prayer and release it in your gardens.



A little while later I found out that she is the one starting a small group about butterfly gardening and that she works at ‘Butterfly World’ and is very knowledgeable about butterflies. She said she has 40 varieties in her own gardens.

I look forward to visiting her gardens, learning more and being inspired.  I’ll keep you posted on what I learn when this small group starts up. This is all exciting to me, especially just after starting to make my secret garden into more of a butterfly garden.



Below is another favorite scented flower. This is ‘Grand Duke’ jasmine.  It is heavenly.



This is a sweet iris that always makes me smile when it blooms.


Here are 4 different flowers growing happily together. Frangipani, Spicy Jatropha, trumpet vine, and Miss Joachim vanda orchid.


Whirling Butterflies - Guara


Orange Jessamine - Murraya paniculata


Pink Hibiscus


Roses = Barnhouse, International Herald Tribune, Kathleen, Mozart, and an unknown red.






Well, it’s time to get up and get going. I’ve got to rake up some trimmings from yesterday, and get the sprinkler going as it is one of my three days to use the sprinkler.

I am reading a fiction book, ‘The Amythest Heart’. A quote I read last night really touched my heart being a widow. The main character in the story is a widow, and her granddaughter had asked her if she ever got over losing her husband. Her reply was this:

“When love is real, you don’t ‘get over’ it at all.

It stays with you forever,

expanding your heart


enabling you to love others more deeply. 

Love is a gift, a grace.”

Love & hugs from Plum Cottage gardens ~ FlowerLady