Saturday, May 6, 2017



Hello Folks ~ The merry month of May is moving right along. It is a beautiful day in sunny south FL, big blue sky and breezy. It was in the 60’s this morning when I got up. For FL that is great weather this late in the year.  We were already having days of hot, humid weather, then this blessing given after stormy weather yesterday.

The sky was black yesterday morning as I headed out to the appliance store to pick up my new a.c. unit.  The old one croaked Thurs. morning around 3:30 a.m. My dear brother-in-law couldn’t make it here until today.  It took us 2 1/2 hours to take out old and put in new.  He and my SIL just moved 30 minutes closer to me last weekend, they were an hour away. So, they are still unpacking, etc. Bless his heart for coming down here this morning.

Here he is cutting out a section of 2x6, that had to be cut down using the table saw, then screwed back down, in order to make space for the new unit. Larger than the last.


Old- LG


New – Friedrich – ‘Chill’ Series. Still need to trim it out, but at least the a.c. is in and working just fine.


I had spent most of the day Thursday Googling air-conditioners. We had had two Friedrich units in the past and they were GREAT. They have a reputation of being ‘the Cadillac of air-conditioners. Well made, and quiet. Looking at all of the air-conditioners out there, I wanted another Friedrich. They are more $ but worth it.

My little cottage is only 675 sq. ft. I got the one with 15,000 BTU’s and let me tell you it is fine and dandy for this place. The one I had before was only 12,000 BTU’s. I set the thermostat to 71, like I had had my old unit set at, and after BIL left, I laid down for a short nap, when I woke up I was COLD. I didn’t even have the ceiling fan on, like normal, had a sheet and light quilt bedspread covering me. I turned the temp up to 76 and still may have to go up a couple of degrees. This is truly amazing to me and so far I’m a happy camper.

As for my ‘part-time’ work, it is temporary. I’m not doing fancy embellishment on these costumes. I have hot glued feathers & pom-poms, sewed ribbon lacing down on a male dancer costume, and laced ribbon down the front of 16-19 sweet tutu’s. Little red ribbon roses were already glued down by the company that made these. These are also in blue and green.


I am very thankful for this work, and I am enjoying getting to know the director/owner of this studio as we work on these costumes together. The other day she was cutting tutu skirts to shorten them. YIKES! What a job! Layers of tulle to be pinned, marked, then cut. She had a method and it went well.

Now, critters from the gardens.

The first is a non-native lizard. They can get pretty big and they can move fast when they want to. He caught my eye when I was talking on the phone with my SIL. I told her to hang on a minute because I had to take a picture. I zoomed in on him/her.


This caterpillar freaked me out as I was deadheading my penta bush and then I saw it. YIKES. It is either a moth or a swallowtail butterfly. I need to find out from Jessica, my friend who works at Butterfly World.



This is a Ruddy Daggerwing sipping nectar from a buddleia bush. These yellow flowers smell like honey.


Skipper butterfly.



A few days ago when I first saw this glob below, it was much smaller, I thought it was some kind of lizard poop. But as time went on, this thing kept getting larger. There are two of these on my baby key lime tree. UGLY! But, I looked in my FL butterfly book, and they are Palamedes Swallowtail caterpillars. Jessica had given me a pupa of this butterfly to watch it ‘hatch’, and I when it did, I let it go into my gardens. Now I am rewarded with babies. Smile



Here is our state butterfly. I have LOTS of these flitting about. ‘Zebra Longwings’. These flowering blooms are part of my ‘secret garden’ hedge. The purple flowers are golden dewdrop, and they smell like jelly beans to me. The red are pentas, a real butterfly magnet.


This is my sweet Miss Tork. She was laying on a pile of clean laundry that needed to be folded and put away. I love the coloring of her belly hair, and look at her sweet little front paws. She is such a sweetie pie.


Yesterday morning she was sleeping in this chair, minus the laundry, and I was sitting in my chair. There was some rain going on when all of a sudden a HUGE clap of thunder sounded like it hit the driveway, which made us both LEAP out of our chairs. It wasn’t funny at the time, but seeing it in my mind cracks me up. We were just minding our own business and were jolted into fear & flight mode.

Now for some flowers.

Frangipani blooms. I have three trees of this color growing in my main garden. They were given to me as cuttings from a friend over 25 years ago.


This is ‘Grand Duke’ jasmine. My favorite jasmine. I don’t even remember where I got this. The scent is absolutely heavenly.


Amaryllis blooming in a small garden bed.


These are a pot of amaryllis blooms, no dirt, I just had pulled them out of another pot and threw them here. They are tough.



Key Lime flowers and a baby key lime.


A Meyer Lemon, I have three lemons on my small tree.


Blooms in my ‘secret garden’ hedge.




Remember my ‘Kathleen’ rose bush I thought had croaked, but it came back to life. Well, here are the first blooms from it.



This is ‘Miss Atwood’. I just lover her coloring. Well, actually, I love everything about her.


That’s it for now. I hope you all are enjoying your weekends.

Thanks for stopping by, taking the time to read and leaving your kind comments. You have helped me on my widow’s journey, more than words can say.

Happy Spring.



Nancy J said...

The words of a true writer, as I am transported into your life and your garden. Lovely flowers, hardy bulbs, ( I had some Naked Ladies or Amaryllis Belladonna that did the same, no dirt, no nourishment and they flowered). Then the roses, the tutus!!! How short can they go? And then the new A.C. unit,it looks great. Have a wonderful weekend there in Florida, down here grey skies, not too cold, but not warm enough, the fire is lit, and I am so thankful for a woodshed almost full of dry wood. XXX

Morning's Minion said...

Strolling through your garden world via photos is a soothing experience--all the beauty and none of the maintenance in hot and humid weather!
I hope your new A/C lowers your electric costs as well as keeping you and Miss Tork comfortable. How good that your BIL and SIL live near enough to help you.

CIELO said...

Oh how many creepy, lovely creatures in your garden... that green one with the big eyes it is certainly creepy... he looks unreal... more like a toy. But how lovely every creature, dwellers of the gardens are... enjoy your portion of Nature with all your heart!


susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

I always enjoy seeing all of the flora and fauna in your garden. Always something new and amazing.

Sally said...

Hi Lorraine,
I love the hedge to your secret garden! You have so many different plants blooming....wonderful. Also, you always say your space is small but, you have a huge variety of plants. A tropical oasis!
I was surprised to see the Skipper that looks just like the ones we have her in MA. Your reaction to the caterpillars is pretty much universal! There are some really ugly ones that become beautiful butterflies.
Here's to a joyous weekend!

Susan said...

Hi Lorraine, The weather was fantastic today. Probably our last cool weather for quite some time. I enjoyed seeing all the beautiful flowers and wildlife in your garden. You have a wonderful haven for them. Enjoy the nice weather!

Ruth Hiebert said...

So many things of interest in this post. The butterfly babies are fascinating and that caterpillar looks almost scary. Of course the flowers are beautiful as ever. Thanks for taking the time to share all these things.

Terra Hangen said...

I like those odd critters that are living in your garden and finding sanctuary there. Your new A/C must be a delight to have and how kind of your brother in law to install it, in the midst of his move.

Deb said...

Lovely pictures. So glad your brother-in-law is close at hand to help you out. A.C. is a must in places like Arizona and Florida! So glad you have a bit of part-time work to keep you busy and bring in some extra $$. Always nice! Have a good Sunday.

Sandra said...

Oh my goodness, that caterpillar scared me and I actually thought it was a photoshopped picture like someone had drawn the eyes on LOL And the other one you thought was lizard poop, I thought it was a snake from it's head. Scary but how amazing? I can't wrap my mind around the things that God has created :)

I'm so glad your brother in law came by to help you, I'm sure you'll be much happier with that air conditioning especially in the coming summer months.

Hope you're having a wonderful day :)

A Joyful Cottage said...

I'm glad you have your brother-in-law nearby to help you out with projects like this. It looks like he did a great job with the installation. Is there anything more feminine than tutus? I don't think so. So pretty. Your caterpillar and butterfly photos are amazing. I enjoyed learning about your native "friends". Looking at the lizard I was struck by its coloring that blends so perfectly into the leave of the plant -- God's work is awesome. Your blooms are incredible. Your garden is always a delight for the eyes. Hugs, Nancy

Celestina Marie said...

Strolling your garden is a delight. You truly have beautiful blooms. So interesting are the critters in your garden. The big eye caterpillar is a bit creepy however. Glad you got your AC in and it's comfortable. So nice to have family near by to help out!! I have a window AC too for my art room and wow does it help. Wishing you a beautiful Sunday and week ahead. xo

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

Your garden posts are always "SOMETHING" : )

those critter photos...amazing :) It is hard to believe sometimes that one thing ( a catepillar ) can become another...a message to us all

BeachGypsy said...

So glad your BIL was able to help you with that air conditioner---you will definetly be needing that very very soon. I love visiting your beautiful and peaceful gardens...very pretty flower pictures! Cute little tutus--i can almost see all the sweet little ballerinas leaping and dancing around on a stage! Hope you had a real nice weekend! Ours was busy but also had relaxing time and the weather so so so lovely and cool!! And, nice breezes. The heat will return in a few days so this was a real nice respite

Rebecca said...

What a full & colorful life you live--including the paintings above the new A.C.! (Yes, I get fixated on the photos of your interior.)

Too cool up here to even THINK about air conditioning! Glad you're prepared and that you have such fine help.

The critters, they be beautifully ugly!

So good to browse through your photos, Lorraine. Have a blessed week ♥

20 North Ora said...

So glad you got your AC fixed before it got any warmer! Those tutus are a real pain to sew on, aren't they? Your flower pics are gorgeous and the critters are really interesting.

Have a great week.


Debbie - Mountain Mama said...

Lorraine, you take the BEST photos of your critters, oh my gosh!! I'd love to see some more of your garden from a distance, as well, to see how all those colors brighten up your landscape. Glad your family is closer to you now!

My Grama's Soul said...

Oh life has expanded so much since the passing of your beloved partner. I love coming here and seeing what you are up to.



M.K. said...

I know what you mean about kitty cat paws. They are SO sweet, you want to kiss them. I can't have a cat because i'm so allergic, but oh! I wish I could! They are so decorative and fun to look at. I have to settle for my Pomeranian, haha :) Your garden is just burgeoning with blooms. 675 square feet! That's amazing! I think we would all be better off in housing better suited to the space we really need. Two people lumbering around in 2500 squ. feet is just too much, IMO. We are also happy in our little house :)

Rue said...

Those bugs are CREEPY, Rainey! That one with the big eyes... yikes! LOL

I love coming to visit you, my friend. You always have so much going on. I'm glad you got new AC :)

love to you,

Deb Quartz said...

I just love looking at the flowers and critters in your garden, lets me know there is hope for mine.

Cheryl said...

It's so good that you got a new a/c unit before the intense summer heat. We have had to replace ours too. Not fun to have to spend the money, but it beats the sweltering heat and humidity.

Oh, Lorraine, I think if I ran across that lizard in the garden, I'd faint! You are a brave woman to keep gardening and tending to those beautiful flowers!

Karen said...

Rainey, so glad your BIL was able to help you with the AC unit. Here in Wisconsin, we didn't have air conditioning for decades until I wheedled Carl into buying a window unit. Of course, for you in Florida, AC is as vitally important as a furnace is for us here in the Snow Belt! Now that we have central air with the new geothermal furnace, it often gets cold in here in the summer too. But I sure do love the dry air when it's humid out.

You have so many fantastic flowers and garden visitors, what a gem of a garden you have! I'm happy you're enjoying your job; that is a blessing. It sounds very interesting, and you will add so much to the costumes. Always a pleasure to visit my friend. :-)

Cathy @ My 1929 Charmer said...

You do have some creepy, yet cute, creatures in your garden..The one caterpillar doesn't even look real....Lovely flowers and amazed how full your garden when mine is just blooming...So glad Bill was able to get your A/C in and it works so good.

sweetbay said...

The "eyes" on that caterpillar are amazing! Your roses are gorgeous. That's great that your BIL put in a new AC unit for you and that it works well.

Ilene Jones said...

A very interesting post. That's kind of a weird =looking caterpillar, I must say. Miss Tork, what a sweetie. Hugs

Melanie said...

I always smile when I read about how your BIL helps you out. Bless his heart for looking out for you and helping you with things. Good to hear you're happy with your new AC unit.

Interesting seeing those caterpillars, especially the one that you thought at first was lizard poop! Amazing that something so ugly can turn into something so beautiful. I can see why the butterflies would love your gardens.

GretchenJoanna said...

"Kathleen" grabs at my heart! Well, so do several other flowers, and the butterflies - and that caterpillar! My word. It would certainly startle me, and actually it did startle me even on the screen!

My friend had a Pipevine Swallowtail emerge from its chrysalis in her garden. They only eat the leaves of the California Pipevine plant, so we figure there must be one in her neighborhood somewhere. But she thought it would be nice to have one in her garden, too, so I bought us each one. I hope between that and my milkweed plants, I might attract more butterflies! But I don't expect them to be as numerous and exotic as your beauties.

Dewena said...

God bless the person who invented air conditioning!

That caterpillar is a cutie and I love the lizard. Having 3 sons and a daughter who was a tomboy taught me to appreciate these creatures in the garden. I did draw the line though at my eldest's love of snakes.

I remember the first time I had an herb garden and being devastated one morning when I discovered that all stalks of dill had been eaten to a nub. Discovering in the encyclopedia (no internet then) what those ugly caterpillars turned into made me feel much better about it.

I'm glad you had some cooler days there this week, we did too. But I see we get near the 90s this coming week. No holding off summer, is there?

Best to you, Lorraine,

Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

Glad your AC is good to go again. All those critter photos. Wow. Some are very interesting.

Kit said...

Oh how I loved all these great photos of the bugs and lizards! They really seem to love your space and you contribute so many great bugs to the world. Glad you got a new AC. :) Kit

Barbara Barth said...

Thinking of you on Mother's Day and came by to see the latest on your blog. As usual, your photos are awesome. Glad you are staying cool with your new A/C. Sending hugs!

outlawgardener said...

Happy spring to you! Lots of pretty blooms. Your garden must be a delight to the nose as well as to the eyes. Very sweet of your BIL to install your new AC unit. It's been cold here. We usually turn the furnace off in April but not this year. We've had lows in the upper 30's. No threat of frost but still pretty cold for this time of year.

Beatrice Euphemie said...

So glad you have some help with those difficult jobs - bless your brother-in-law, such a sweetheart! Now you can rest easy on those hot, humid nights. You have some amazing little visitors to your beautiful gardens. I think I might be a bit wary of the lizard, but he is quite a handsome fellow. The zebra butterfly is amazing, as are your gorgeous tropical flowers and roses. Love the pretty costume you have worked on - so glad that you have found something that you love to do. Your little kitty looks very content and happy. Those thunderclaps really do make a person jump! Haha! Sending hugs xo Karen

Jessica Jarrell said...

It sounds like you got a top notch air conditioner! We've been having trouble with our air conditioning here, it's driving me nuts. It's way too humid for this Oregon girl to not have air, ha ha. I was amazed at your wildlife pictures, that little lizard is too cute! I would have been freaked out by both caterpillars especially the one the spots that look like eyes. The tomato hornworms freak me out enough! Miss Tork reminds me of my parent's cat. Their's is gray and black striped with white paws, which I've always thought looked like little socks. I'm so jealous of your lemon and lime trees, man I would love to grow those in my yard!

Hope you're having a great week FlowerLady! :-)

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Lorraine, your flowers are just beautiful and the photos are so clear. Those bugs residing in your garden are something else. What big eyes they have! Very interesting and your state butterfly is gorgeous. I have never seen any like it. I'm glad you will be staying cool this summer. A very good investment..Have a wonderful weekend..Judy