Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Scary weather!!

This post was started the morning of 23 January ~ Good morning Folks ~ I am thankful for this new day. It’s still dark, so I can’t check out my property, but my little Plum Cottage is still here, we did not lose electricity. I woke up at 2:22 a.m. this morning, heard thunder, so turned on the light and then turned off the a.c. It had been windy all day with winds from 18-20 mph. They had predicted showers for today, they did NOT say anything about the horrible, scary weather that blasted over here for about 40 minutes. I gathered matches, candles, an LED pen flashlight, then sat in the bathroom praying and reading a book on prayer. I had started this book the day before, and it seemed apropos to read more of this right while in the middle of a frightening storm. I’ve been ‘more afraid’ of storms since we had tornado warnings last January. Being by myself in this little wooden cottage makes it all seem worse too. Rain beating on house and awnings can be very loud, the buffeting wind is scary too.

I had turned off my computer around 6:30 so did not see anymore weather news and I’m glad I didn’t because I would have just worried, instead of sleeping good like I did til the storm woke me up.  I read a comment this morning that one of my commenters on my blog wrote mentioning she had seen the warnings for FL for tornadoes,  so I googled tornado activity for FL this month/year, and sure enough, some tornadoes touched down a little north of us and some south.

I ‘hate’ being afraid! It is a trait my two sisters and I inherited from our mother, God bless her. Whatever comes my way, God will see me through it, as He has in the past. Worrying does NOT help at all. If/when it is my time to go be with Him then I will be better off than I am right now and I’ll be with my DH again.  Until then, I do NOT want to live in fear.

I just heard the first bird chirps of this morning. They don’t worry, they live and they sing. It’s just starting to get light out.

It’s now 10:41, it’s windy, sun is shining, butterflies are flitting about. It’s cooler today than yesterday.


Well, it’s now Tuesday morning, 8:13 est. and a nice 58 degrees out, and it is ‘quiet’. It was still very windy all day yesterday, and that’s after the stormy weather had passed. Finally around sunset the winds started to calm. How NICE it was to sleep without winds and heavy rains buffeting Plum Cottage.

My prayers are going out for all of those who lost loved ones and/or all they had with this latest spate of tornado weather hitting several states. It is devastating to see photos, etc.

Today is a new day. I will go out in a bit to take a walk around. The sky is blue and the sun is shining.

I took some photos yesterday after the wee hour storm. No damages. For that I am thankful.

The front patio, which needs to be pressure washed.

Welcome to my cottage garden jungle.


Small gate off the driveway.


Living room and my space walls.


Living room east wall, my space wall in the background.


St. Francis with a ‘Louis Philippe’ rose.


This is the underneath side of the rose ‘Granada’.


Front side


I picked the rose and brought it in last night, oh so pretty with a wonderful rose scent. The pottery piece we bought in Spain when we lived there 70-73, while DH was in the US Navy. The little painting is done on wood and we bought it many, many years ago, probably at a yard sale or flea market.


This is a litte rose I bought last year called ‘Mozart’.


I will close with a couple of photos of a heart DH carved for me from a section of tree that blew down in one of the three hurricanes we had in 2004-2005. (It needs to be oiled again.)



That’s it from Plum Cottage.

Have a great week.


Monday, January 16, 2017

Impetus ~ that’s all it takes

Hi Folks ~ I hope you all had a good weekend. From reading blogs I’ve seen that a lot of you have snow, snow and more snow. Your temps of – degrees are mind boggling. I don’t see how you handle it. I’ve read about your staying warm and cozy, making soups and breads and working on indoor projects or crafts. Although one dear blogging friend had a catastrophe as frozen water pipes unthawed and burst causing her living room ceiling to fall to the floor, creating one big mess. Keep dear Sandra in your prayers as she deals with this and the chores and critters she takes care of on her farm, Thistle Cove Farm.

The temps did drop here a week ago Sunday, down to 42 and felt like it was 36. The only plants I did something about was putting most of the orchids in a sheltered area. Ferns got burned, but they’ll come back, never fear. They just look awful being all brown.

Thank you all so much for your encouraging words.  Being a widow has certainly changed my world. The past few weeks I’ve been having ‘down’ thoughts of what is my life about now. Nothing seems worth doing. I lost my job 2 years ago, and I don’t have my dear love here to share everything with like we did. He knew me inside and out, he loved me, he encouraged me, we were a team. As a believer in Jesus as my Savior, I am to do all things as to Him, not just for myself. That kind of puts a different slant on things. He is with me at all times, so, may I do all that I do with joy and thanksgiving for each new day I am blessed with. Each day is a gift and I can either squander it or make the best of it and move forward with graciousness. I choose the latter.

I’ve been watching you-tube videos, reading blogs and being inspired. Well, yesterday morning I was given a lovely gift from the ‘butterfly lady’ at church. She was doing some redecorating in her kitchen, and the piece she gave me she felt just belonged in Plum Cottage. I opened up her gift after I got home and I just kept smiling as tears filled my eyes. It is perfect and I love it. It was the ‘impetus’ I needed to make a change in my living room. ‘Impetus’ ~  the force that makes something happen.

Isn’t this beautiful?


My mind started thinking on how to change the ‘faux’ mantle and the wall above it, and I looked forward to getting up this morning to start working on the project.

Here is a ‘before’ photo this morning. There is a huge TV under the ‘faux’ mantle, an old top I pulled out of storage. I screwed a 1x1 inch strip to the wall at the level it needed to be to rest the back of piece on.  The front rests on the TV. I don’t watch it, and it’s too dang heavy and big for me to move it out, so I camouflaged it. Winking smile I did that project in October of 2013. I liked the look, but that was done in the throes of grief, now that I’m into my 5th year I needed a lighter, happier look.


I put on my accoustic Spanish guitar playlist on you-tube, lit a nicely scented candle and got to work. I shopped my little cottage for a new look with this space with my lovely gift front and center so to speak.

Below is the ‘after’ look.

The two pineneedle framed paintings were painted by my dear husband’s grandmother, Mama, and Papa, grandfather, made the pineneedle framework around them. Pineneedles collected from this property. Mama taught herself to paint in her 60-70’s I think . She also taught my dear husband, and I am thankful for the love and encouragement she gave to him as a young teen.



Two shell floral pieces, don’t remember where we got these, flea market or yard sale.


The two amber/pink vases were bought at a yard sale many, many years ago.

I’m not sure where we got the bronze deer. They used to have riders, which were sort of a lid, we only had one rider. I believe they were inscense burners.

I bought the pink Himalayan salt lamp last year. It has a dimmer switch which is great for setting different moods. They are supposed to have good health benefits.


Everytime I look at this display now, I smile and am thankful for so much.

Have you ever watched ‘The Secret Millionaire’ show? This will make you feel thankful for your blessings, no matter the size. I have been thinking about ‘how’ can I, living on my very limited income, help others and have felt burdened. Then I got an upliting piece in my email yesterday or this morning.

“We can make a difference and huge differences.

Every Christian woman has access to a tremendous source of power—PRAYER.”

We may not always see answers to our prayers, but we can know that God is working in every situation and hears our prayers. So, when you see or hear of a need, pray.


Before I end this post, here are some roses for you.







Pink ‘Drift’




Below is the latest heart that I am working on.



This is what I did with the little weaving I made from my ‘Weave-It’ loom.

A little pin-cushion.


I made another weaving and thought it was going to be just fine, but three sides came out with the nice scalloped edge, and the fourth was awful. I tried again, the same thing, so for now I’ve given up. I have a new blogging friend through this. She told me she also had the same problem with one side and has also given up. Maybe someone out there can help remedy the problem for us.

Ok, that’s it from Plum Cottage.

Have a nice week ~ FlowerLady

Saturday, January 7, 2017

COLD weather coming

Good Saturday morning Folks, well it’s that here in my part of the world. It is warm and humid right now, but that’s all about to change as rain is coming and that will bring the cold.  Tonight it is supposed to get down to 42 and feel like it is 36. Now, that will BE COLD here at Plum Cottage. At least I kept my radiant heat, portable heater down from the attic, it’s just hidden behind a chair in the living room. DH and I used to get this out of the attic together, one in the attic, handing it down to the one on the cottage floor. Last year a young man came and got the heater down for me and I decided to just leave it down from now on. We found this heater curbside over 35 years ago and it is fantastic.  It is quiet, and puts out the heat. (Of course, my cottage is tiny, around 675 sq. ft. with low ceilings.)

I’m thinking about some kind of homemade soup, just don’t know what and bread made in the bread machine.

There is going to be some bad weather for California with flooding, and then snow storms in the south. Be safe, dry and warm.

I took some photos of flowers and hope you will all enjoy them.

The first two are of azaleas.



This is Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.


And Ruby Hibiscus. These flowers always bring a smile when I see them. There are several volunteer plants giving me much enjoyment.


The other day it was 58 when I headed out to mow around 8 a.m. and it felt wonderful. I also trimmed some low hanging branches that were hanging over the driveway. I worked outside for about 2 1/2 hours, and my back was cramping up after that, so I quit. There is still weed wacking to do, but that is for another day.

These limbs are all from the neighbor’s trees. They grow fast and have to be trimmed a couple of times a year. My DH used to keep this all in check on our side, using a ladder and his saws-all. I would then cut things up smaller and haul it all out front to be picked up. I drive a Ford Econoline van, and the limbs were hanging down too close for comfort. I’ve talked with 2 different tree trimmers who were going to call me back, they both know what the job is as they have been here, and I’ve not heard a peep out of either one.

I bought a new Fiskar pole saw with a pruner and a tree saw attachment a year or so ago, both the pruner and the saw are pieces of poop. Flimsy and the rope on the pruner part disintegrated in no time. Sheesh! I like industrial type tools, ones that will LAST, not have to be replaced in a short period of time. I do have an older pole cutter/pruner that I love, but the blades need to be sharpened and it doesn’t have a tree saw blade to change out with.

So working with what I have, I got brave, got out my newish ladder that I just love,  and got out my hand tree saw and my hand pruners, prayed, climbed the ladder and began the job. (I now wear a little fanny pack that holds my smart phone in case something should happen to me while I’m out working. This was suggested by my sis-in-law Sue.)

Here’s the before. I only cut limbs I could reach.


Below I marked the branches in gold so that you can see what I cut. Smile


This is after, although it might be hard to tell what I did because of all that is still growing. The power company will come along eventually, as the limbs that are growing up straight are almost to the power lines. I think they did it last year. (I ‘love’ my ladder.)


Now for some more flowers.

A tiny orchid bloom.


Crepuscule blooms





I think this is ‘Homere’.


An unknown.


I believe this is a Drift rose in coral. I loved how the sunlight was hitting this.


This is the view from my window in my little creative space. Lots of butterflies visit the patio area because I have filled the space with butterfly attracting plants. Most of the red flowers you see here are Pentas. Different butterflies visit throughout the day. I also saw a hummingbird the other day sipping nectar from a flower not shown in this view. By the time I grabbed my camera it had zoomed off. The plant next to the window is Whirling Butterflies and is not in bloom at the moment. It’s like a fuschia color and I love the blooms dancing in the breeze.


In 2016 I had two blogging friends take up weaving on a loom. Their creations have inspired me to learn this craft myself. I only have two of these little weaving looms, larger one pictured below. The other is tinier than the one shown below and they are hard to work with. Plus I don’t like how the edges turned out. I had to go around and sew the loops together to keep it from coming apart. So obviously I did something wrong. But, I want to really learn to weave on a loom. I’m a beginner on a limited budget and want something well-made and not too large. So, any of you weavers out there please give me some suggestions, I would appreciate it.



Ok, that’s it for now.

Happy January ~ FlowerLady

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Cats & hearts

Hello Friends ~ Here it is Wednesday afternoon the 4th of January. I’m sipping on a cup of green tea, sweetened with local palmetto honey, served with an almond poppy seed muffin.  This little break is hitting the spot. The muffins are from a box mix bought at Aldi’s on special, so not something they carry all of the time. Delicious and light. I set this little vignette up just for the photo, muffin is now gone and the tea cup is now on it’s coaster on my desk by the keyboard.


The heart above is finished except for

sewing on a back and stuffing it into a little pillow.

Here it is close-up. Ribbon roses which started out as cream and I colored them with my alcohol markers for coloring silk ribbon. There are seed beads, bugle beeds and fresh water pearls. Plus the rose cameo in the center, and mother-of-pearl buttons. I crocheted the border using Perle cotton. French knots and chain stitch done with embroidery floss. It is approximately 7 1/2 inches wide by 6 1/4 inches high.



Now for my first new project of the year, painting the black metal hearts that are hanging outside on my front wall.

This photo below was taken right after the cottage was painted last March, so no plants set back up yet. My ‘creative space’ is in that little bumpout room, 6’x8’.



After ~ hearts painted aqua.



Now for some cats. These are Zebra longwing cats.


These cats are devouring a passion vine that I got at Butterfly World last year. There were LOTS of these cats in various stages of growth, but when I went out later, there were quite a bit fewer and I saw a lizard close by. Sad smile


This was a bloom in October. The vine looks pretty shabby right now, but there is new growth and there are flower buds on it as well. The cats don’t eat those, just the leaves.


The cats turn into our state butterfly pictured below sipping nectar from Hamelia paten blooms, a favorite of theirs.


Another cat featured in this post, is Miss Tork.


Yesterday I was reading a gardening, widow friend’s blog, Gladsome Lights, and she metioned a little book she was given for Christmas. It sounded like one I would love to read, so I went to Amazon and found a used, but in very good condition book for $2, plus $3.99 shipping, so I ordered it. Smile My first purchase of this year. I am looking forward to reading this and enjoying the woodcut prints inside.

Yesterday morning a light rain fell on my gardens, today a heavier one fell, neither lasting very long, but both better than nothing.

I need to mow, so hopefully will have some dry grass to do so before it grows too much higher.

Well, that’s it for now. Thank you all for your kind comments, they mean a lot.

Enjoy every moment you are blessed with, count your blessings, learn lessons from mistakes, love & forgive others.