Sunday, November 27, 2016

To be absent…


Good morning Folks ~ I hope all of you who celebrated Thanksgiving this past week had a wonderful time and made some lovely memories.

I had dinner out with my dear husband’s brother and his wife.  They are very dear to me and we had a nice visit and a delicious dinner. They are in the process of selling their home, it goes on the market today, and we ‘hope and pray’ it sells soon. They will be moving closer to B-I-L’s work and to me. That will be nicer for all of us.

In the midst of Thanksgiving, it has been a sorrowful time for me and others in my family. My two sisters and I lost our mother this past Tuesday night around midnight, just a week after my birth father left this life. But as a believer in Jesus/God, we have peace in knowing they are with Him. The Bible says that ‘to be absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord’. No better place to be. It’s just rough on those left behind, with missing our loved ones.

After my dear BIL and SIL left me here in my little cottage and headed for their home, I started feeling depressed and missing my dear husband something awful. Holidays are sometimes hard to get through. Friday after I went out and did a bit of grocery shopping, early, I was feeling so down and tired that I crawled back into bed. The tears came and I just let them flow, then slept for about 1 1/2 hours. It was good healing therapy. I’ve not done much of anything for the past couple of days, did some hand watering of potted plants, cleaned out ‘science projects’ from the fridge and washed containers, and watched ‘Hallmark’ Christmas movies.

Today is a new day and I want to be thankful and happy in it. This widowhood journey has it’s ups and downs. Some of you have written that I am strong, well let me tell you that my strength comes from God, somedays it is all I can do to put one foot in front of the other, I have no energy, I have no ambition, I want to crawl into a hole. Somedays I feel really positive and good. No matter which way I am feeling, He is with me every step of the way and bottles all of my tears. I am oh so thankful for His love, strength, peace and joy. He is the ‘Light’ in my darkest times. He gives me flowers, breezes, butterflies, birdsong, family & friendships to enjoy each and every day.

I thank you all for your words of encouragement, your prayers, your love, they are priceless to me.

I have a wonderful flowering vine that blooms a few times in a year and it has been in bloom the past week or so and it has blessed my heart. The vine is called ‘Garlic Vine’ because of the scent coming from the leaves. The flowers, to me, do not have a scent.

Here are some photos. The older the flowers are, the paler they become until they are almost white with a hint of color left. I want this to eventually cover the shed’s roof.









Here are a couple of other blooms giving me joy right now, bougainvillea and shrimp plant.




Vanda orchids


A miniature rose called ‘Picnic’.



This beautiful rose, in scent and color, is either ‘Don Juan’ or ‘Mr. Lincoln’.


Well, that’s it from ‘Plum Cottage for now. No matter what your circumstances, if you are feeling ‘down and out’ call on God. He is waiting for you to call on Him, He desires to be your friend as well as Saviour.  He loves you deeply. When things are going great, thank Him.

Love, hugs and many thanks to all of you from ~ FlowerLady

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Prayers Please

Hi Folks, this is just a short note asking prayer for my family. I found out about a week ago that my birth father was having kidney failure, then got word yesterday morning that he  passed away Tuesday night.

My Mom recently has had congestive heart failure and a mini stroke within the past couple of months, and just had another stroke in the past 24 hours and is back in the hospital where tests are being done. She can’t talk, is on oxygen, and doesn’t know her husband. She is 85. I saw her twice in the past year and I am thankful for that. She told me she loved me and that I was her baby, even though I am her first born. It still did my heart good to hear she loves me, as we’ve not had the best of relationships.

My folks have been divorced for 56 years,  and even though I’ve not had much contact with my birth father, the possibility of losing them both around the same time, is almost too much to bear. I love them both. I have heard that even though couples who were once married,  have been divorced for a long time, the can sometimes still die around the same time.  That seems amazing to me. There must be still some sort of connection.

This all comes as the 4th anniversary of my dear husband’s homegoing, draws near, 4 years on the 9th of next month. Needless to say, it is a very emotional time for me.  I keep relying on Jesus/God to be my strength as I go through more grieving. He is with me always and has promised to never leave or forsake me. He bottles all of my tears.

Please keep my Mom, my two sisters and myself in prayer and also my birth dad’s family as they grieve with losing him. I have three half-siblings and three step-siblings, that I’ve never met. I am now in contact with two step-sisters, and their Mom also.

Thank you all for all of your support, your love, and prayers through the years.



Monday, November 7, 2016

What a gorgeous day!

Good late afternoon Folks ~ Hope you all had a nice weekend. 

This morning I ‘was’ thinking of going to the local botanical garden, but changed my mind because of cloudy weather with possible rain, so worked in my own gardens. It turned out to be a wonderful day, no rain, a nice breeze all day, cooler temps, no sweating. Perfect. This is the kind of weather we wait for each year, this is the time our gardens really do well down here in s.e. FL.

I worked outside around 2-3 hours. Am happy with what I did today working the patio area outside the window of my ‘creative & computer’ space.  The other morning there was a little hummingbird flitting right by the window at the blooms of ‘whirling butterflies’, Guara.  Mine has pink blossoms. I want to make this a happy space for butterflies and hummers.

Now that the weather is so much nicer and my feet are so much better, I have ‘energy’ and look forward to getting a lot done.  The other day I worked on clearing paths in the main garden. I am making forward progress, but there is still a LOT to be done.

Below is the main garden path, with the back section behind statuary, not done yet.

Before in Sept.

(it was much worse before I tackled it the other day.)




This is the garden path that I can see from my bedroom, looking west.


There are paths at the top of the photo below, going left & right, they just are weed filled. That’s what happens when you don’t take care of something for 5-6 months.


Here is a sunrise the other morning. The colors were beautiful, even with the wires.


Now for some flowers around the property.

The first is an unknown that I picked up last Wednesday at a lady’s house who sells plants she grows. I’ve bought from her quite a few times, when I had my job, because she was on my way to work. I happend onto her street the other day after having lunch with a friend. The lady who sells plants has a very think European accent, so I don’t really know what this plant is. It can be used as a ground cover also.



This is buddleia. I also have this in a pale yellow.




Ruddy Rose or X Ruttyruspolia
Family: Acanthaceae


Thryallis.  I love this happy little flower. It has a sweet scent too.


This is Spicy Jatropha.


Crusty bits and pieces of fossils, shells and rocks from the gravel driveway, plus an old silver plated fork.


More crusty bits, old coral and rocks.


A ‘carpet rose’, I think.


The other day after lunch and before buying the plant, I stopped at a shopping center across the street from where I’d had lunch with my friend. There was a book store in this plaza that my dear husband and I used to go to on occasion. This little shop is so cram-packed you can hardly turn around. It is unique, it is esoteric, books galore on all kinds of subjects, gardening, family, cooking, religions, rocks, crystals, incense, essential oils, CD’s, notecards, wind chimes, statuary, jewelry and much more.

The owner, Tomash, European, had called and left a message on the machine right after my dear husband left this planet, and I never called him back. He had wanted to know how we were doing as he’d not seen us in awhile. He and my husband used to get into some good discussions.  Anyway, when I saw him, I told him about my husband being gone almost 4 years now, and he gave me his condolences. I then started looking around and was overwhelmed with feelings and almost lost it, as in started bawling, but I didn’t. I didn’t know if I’d find something to buy or not, he is not cheap at all.  Things are not on sale. Smile I then spied a box of audio ‘Narnia’ cassettes, and asked him if he had the books. He said he thought he did, and found it. It is unabridged, the whole set of books in one volume. The stories in sequence as to how C.S. Lewis wrote them. 776 pages. $19.95, so I bought it.  I’ve wanted to read this collection for years. The book is FAT and HEAVY. I’ve almost read 200 pages, and I love it. DH would have enjoyed this also.


As I was getting ready to leave, my eyes started filling with tears, just too emotional being in that little funky store. ‘Rainbow Bridge Books’. I did much better after I was out of there.

Now on to a happy note from this afternoon. I was out hand watering potted plants and was given a real wonderful treat.

The first photo you can see one of the old dead canes from my wonderful little rose ‘Kathleen’, that I lost this summer. I was bummed out as it was one of my favorites and I had had it for many, many years. I was thinking to myself that I’ve got to plant something else in this terra cotta pot, when lo and behold, what did I see but new growth.  I could hardly believe it. I’ve been watering this pot, even though I thought the plant dead. Obviously it wasn’t and I was blessed by God with a revived ‘Kathleen’.  The pot is full of weeds and some orchids that have spread to it and other stuff as well.


Here’s what I saw,


then, as I was moving aside weeds to see more, I spied two more shoots. I was thrilled and thanked God again for this gift to me.


I look forward to these new shoots blooming for me, and for the little cutting that rooted for me to bloom too. Here’s a photo from this old plant.


Ok, that’s it for now from Plum Cottage. Enjoy your week, count your blessings. Let others know you love them and care for them.  Encourage and pray for others.


Thursday, November 3, 2016

The 9th Teacup and Mug Exchange


Good morning Friends ~ Today I want to share with you a sweet exerience I had by joining Stephanie and 191 other ladies for this event that Stephanie has put together and graciously oversees, joining women’s hearts in friendship. This is a lot of work, but a labor of love.  This was my first time participating and I am thankful I did for I gained two new friends.

To see what other ladies recieved in the exchange click on the photo below to take you to Stephanie’s sweet blog and post about this lovely exchange.


I chose to be in a mug exchange, since that is what I use for my coffee or tea.

I was given Lynda’s name to send a pkg. to. I learned a little about her through email and also through her blog. Her favorite colors are fall colors. I made two tiny counted cross-stitched pieces as this is her favorite needlework to do. I then applied them to a heart and did some beadwork, etc.  I also sent a bookmark I had made with silk ribbon embroidery, she’s a librarian.

You can see and read about her pkg. on her blog, “A Cozy Little Place for Stitching”.

Then I received my pkg. from Anne of ‘Stuff & Nonsense’.

Oh my goodness, what a delight her box of sweet goodies was. This came right around the time of Hurricane Matthew, so was a real blessing at that time. This was the wonderful little box that was inside the cardboard shipping box, inside were the goodies. Isn’t this beautiful?


Oh my, what sweet surprises awaited me inside the. A lovely mug covered in roses,  two kinds of delicious teas, a sweet little bird that sits on the lip of a flowerpot, and oh my gosh a wonderfully scented bar of luxurious soap, plus a lovely journal shown further down in the photos.


This soap scent is ‘Fleur de Cotton’. I love scented soaps, and have been so disappointed with them. Well, I was NOT disappointed with this. The soap is also very luxurious. My little bathroom is scented with this lovely fragrance at all times. I googled this soap, and you can read about this company here. Needless to say, on visiting the site, I found other scents I want to try. Winking smile


I did not want the little bird pot-sitter to get lost in my tropical jungle, so I set it on a lovely glass that is in my scullery window, where I see it every day and can think of my new friend Anne, found through this exchange. It goes well in this window with other little birds in my collection.



Also I was given this lovely journal, which spoke to my heart, with the encouraging words on the front and back covers and also with thoughts and scripture on the inside pages. I look forward to using this journal in 2017. I am writing in a journal now that is filled with thankfulness, thoughts, prayers, and scripture verses that have spoken to me this year. It is my journal to Jesus/God. I have another journal that is more of things happening around here, etc.






Thank you dear Anne for this lovely exchange. It truly blessed my heart, and I look forward to a growing friendship. I already feel close to you from our emails exhanged.

Dear Stephanie ~ Thank you for your time and effort of putting these exchanges together each time. I can’t even imagine trying to do something like this. You have a real gift and ministry in doing this.


That’s it for now. It’s time for some breakfast, then to get a move on for this glorious new day that I have been blessed with.

Have a great day yourselves ~ FlowerLady

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

More thoughts, a little project and flowers


Hello Friends ~ Thank you for your comments.

After reading your comments, I wanted to write some more thoughts on my last post, on the part about dealing with sorrow.

We all have sorrow in our lives, at sometime or other. Whether it be losing a loved one through death, divorce, misunderstandings, loss of a job, home, etc. Or we are in sorrow for hurtful/hateful things said and done, by us, or to us.

We as humans can't help but be sorrowful over events in our lives. The thing is, we aren't to stay sorrowful, that doesn't do us or anyone else any good.

I agree, sorrow can draw us closer to God, it gives us more empathy for others, etc. But if we 'dwell' on our sorrows, instead of moving forward in our lives, we will be missing out on a lot of blessings, and more lessons God has in store for us. Dwelling in sorrow, leads to dispair, instead of growing in goodness and grace.

I don't have my act together, I'm not perfect, I am being perfected. This piece just spoke to my heart and I wanted to share it in hopes that it would help others also. To encourage and inspire.

I have made forward progress in the last 4 years. The other morning when I walked into the grocery store my heart lurched on hearing an instrumental song by Carlos Santana. Someone my dear husband was inspired by and enjoyed playing his electric guitar to with CD's and tapes by Santana. I didn't want to get 'down' in my spirits, and somehow the music just faded into the background, as I did my shopping, and eventually turned into something else. I have cried before in stores from hearing music that meant something to us.

I have ‘sorrow’ for the loss of the 'love of my life'. That just can't be helped. We met when we were 17 & 18 and got married 3 years later. But, I can't let my loss defeat me. I have more living to do, and with God's grace and strength I want to live each day gracefully and gratefully.


Now onto some living going on here at Plum Cottage.

I have not had use of my weed whacker since getting ready for hurricane Matthew. I had hurriedly restrung it and didn't do it right, so that the thing just stopped. When I checked it out, I couldn't even find the top end of the string. So, I set it aside, until yesterday morning.

I got it out, grabbed a straight slot screwdrive and a pair of pliers, my glasses, said a prayer and sat down in the little screened porch off kitchen and started to work on it. I had to unstring the string from the bottom, then slowly started restringing by following the obvious arrow and making sure my string was neatly going the way the arrow pointed.  I then strung it through the hole put the whacker back together, plugged it in and voila, it worked and kept on working. YAY!

That was a little triumphant project for me, and I said a prayer of thanksgiving more than once. Now the brick border shows by the caravan


and I ‘started’ on the main garden’s main path.


The first two photos below are of Ruby Hibiscus blooms.  This plant is about 10’ tall. It has given me ‘volunteers’ also. The second photo was up over my head and I had to lift my arm up high to point and shoot and hoped it came out ok.



This is a bloom from ‘Confederate Rose’. There are other colors of this plant. I just have the yellow variety. This also volunteers.


This is ‘Thunbergia erecta’. I also have this in white.


Here are a couple of roses.

The first is ‘Picnic’ and the second is an unknown, with a sweet scent.



Ok, that’s it for now. Enjoy each day.



"There is music in the meadows, in the air --
Autumn is here;
Skies are gray, but hearts are mellow,
Leaves are crimson, brown, and yellow;
Pines are soughing, birches stir,
And the Gipsy trail is fresh beneath the fir.

There is rhythm in the woods, and in the fields,
Nature yields:
And the harvest voices crying,
Blend with Autumn zephyrs sighing;
Tone and color, frost and fire,
Wings the nocturne Nature plays upon her lyre."
William Stanley Braithwaite, Lyric of Autumn


"Even if something is left undone,

everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn."
 Elizabeth Lawrence