Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Moving along, one day at a time

Good afternoon Folks ~ Thanks again for all of your encouragement while I’ve been away from posting on my blog. To be frank, I got really depressed and discouraged, missing my husband, thinking about how to do all the things that need doing, take care of projects, what to do about my Etsy shop. I think things, reality, just caught up with me and I didn’t feel like writing posts for the sake of writing. I had many days of thinking, what is the use of doing anything. No energy, no motivation. Everything costs $, and it is a viscious cycle of trying to figure things out. I’m tired of it.

I am a believer in Jesus and know He works all things out, but I am also human with my doubts and faults, my fears and worries. He has seen me through these past few weeks and my gloom has been lifted. Each day is a gift and I want to ‘rejoice and be glad in each one’. Through rough times He draws us closer to Him. I’ve been reading several spiritually encouraging and uplifting books, plus reading my Bible and devotional books and emails.  All have been a blessing, a help in lifting me out of a down time.

The summer heat and humidity has drained me of energy. I’ve also been dealing with ‘tennis elbow’, right arm in pain.  Too much using my right hand with hand clippers for trimming hedges etc., and too much crocheting of ‘comfort blankets’ for others.  Do, do, do, rush, rush, rush, worry, worry, worry. All not condusive to a peaceful mind or healthy body.

Then, one morning Miss Tork starts limping, not walking on her back left paw. She seemed fine, still ate, didn’t look sick. My bed is high and I figured she must have hurt her foot jumping from the bed, or maybe onto the bed. I googled, I prayed, I worried, prayed some more and thanked Jesus for taking care of both of us. Her limping lasted about 6 days and she’s now doing just fine. I did go out and buy 3 black plastic cement mixing tubs, 27”L x 20”W x 6”D. Two for beds, and one for a new litter box as the old litter box had high sides, these would make her life easier. I thought of cutting up a memory foam mattress topper that we’d bought back when DH was ill, and cut 4 pcs. each for the two beds. Oh my goodness, instant hit. She loves these. I have one in the bedroom and one in the living room.

Here she is on my bed, antique, that we found dumped by the side of the road in Spain, while living there when DH was in the US Navy early 70’s.


Two pics below are of her in her new bed with the 4 layers of memory foam. My mattress is a tempurpedic that we’ve had since 2000 I think. It is a wonderful thing to sleep on. Miss Tork and I both sleep in comfort.



I am so glad she is ok. She is such a dear little comfort to me.


Working on the living room is a slow going process. I have given a lot of books away, some I’m keeping of course, but I have to move them in order to be able to repair walls and paint in here. I’ve got some furniture to figure out what to do with, old record albums too. I went through a load of papers and catalogs that were DH’s from his stint in commodity trading, not of interest anymore to him and certainly not to me .

Below is how the living room looked a couple of days ago, before I took out empty boxes. It was all really getting to me, and getting the boxes out of there helped, plus putting some stuff away and elsewhere. I’ve some books going to the thrift store, more to the coffee shop library, and then some to the local library near me. I’ve got decor pieces to pack away until the living room is painted and set up with new book shelves and tv stand and new tv. It all takes time and energy, and help from my dear B-I-L when I am ready for him.




On the gardening front, I’ve lost a couple of things from neglect. That makes me sad. My electric lawn mower has been acting up, not always starting so that I think there is a loose wire. A friend is going to take the mower home where he can take the molded plastic top off and see what the deal is. He gave me a pair of long handled lopers for help with trimming shrubs, etc. I had to buy a new pair of my regular clippers as the old one were finally shot. Used them for years.

While trimming along the front hedge a few weeks back, I got stung by two different insects on the same day. The first one hurt for a short period of time, the second one lasted into the next day. Sheesh!

Below is a photo taken in early one morning with gray, rainy skies. I loved the colors.


Photos below taken this morning.

‘Secret jungle cottage garden’ looking northwest.


Looking east, excuse the hose.


Meyer Lemon ‘slowly’ turning yellow. I have three fruit on my little tree.


Mexican Key Lime ~ There are 4 of these on this little bush. This one is the largest. Our 48th anniversary is coming up in a couple of weeks, so I’ll use this for a margarita. Smile


Below is a series of the ‘Hugs-n-kisses’ hibiscus, bought soon after my dear husband left this planet. When I saw these blooms at HD, from across a couple of isles, I made a bee line to them and when I read the name, the little shrub just jumped right into my cart. Smile No two blooms are alike, some have more yellow in them, some more purple, I love them all.  Photos below are all of the same bloom at different times during today.



taken a couple of hours later.




Later still


Last one for the day.


Pink hibiscus earlier this morning and a little while ago.



Popcorn cassia, when you brush by these leaves they smell like popcorn, hense the name. The Cassia butterflies use this to lay their eggs on and then the ‘cats’ eat the leaves. The bloom is just starting to open on this one.




Spicy Jatropha


Skipper butterfly



Zebra longwings on hamelia paten flowers, favorties of theirs. Sorry the picture is so dark. The background was very bright. I did lighten the photo a bit so you could at least see the butterflies.


I’ve been on a diet where you diet for three days, eat normal for 4 days.  I’ll let you know how it goes. Below are two of the meals, one breakfast and one lunch. You get to have black coffee no sweetener and/or tea, no sweetener. I’m always glad when I can have both sweetened again on non-diet days. I only drink coffee in the mornings. Tea I drink occasionally sweetened with honey, sugar or agave.  Depending on what I feel like. I drink water all day long. Three different meals each of the three diet days. The diet can be found online.

Breakfast one day.


Lunch one day. This was my lunch today. Tomorrow I get to eat normal again. Yay!



I am still crocheting ‘comfort’ lapghans, but at a slower pace and not hours on end, to give my poor arm a rest. I’ve been creating these since losing my DH. A friend had given me a little flannel comfort/prayer blanket after my DH left and it was a comfort. I read about them online and decided to start making shawls and or small lapghans. (I don’t know how many of these I’ve made.) Some have been for widows, some for people going through cancer treatments, some dealing with depression. I pray while I crochet. I enjoy doing this. I’m working on two different ones right now. These below were all made this year, plus 2-3 more that I don’t have pics of. The granny square works up pretty fast. well, in a week if I hustle and don’t do anything else.






I also had an order for a heart for a dance instructor who was retiring. Will be delivering that to the lady who ordered it this week. We are having lunch together.


As far as my Etsy shop goes, I don’t know if I will reopen it or not. Filing paperwork for a fictitious name and a sales tax # is daunting. For now, I’m not going to worry about this. This whole little venture was to supplement my income. I have been stressed about income since I lost my job of 17 years 2 years after losing DH. As a believer in Jesus, I am not to worry about anything, sometimes easier said than done. When my husband was ill his last 4 months, he called out to me from bed when I got home from work one afternoon and said, The verse of the day is “Cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” This has come to mind over and over in the last 4 years and 8 months.

This morning during my devotional time I read the following bits.

“Even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you.”  God~The Bible

From ‘Jesus Always’ ~ “When tests & challenges come at you from all sides, consider it a joyful opportunity.  Don’t waste energy regretting the way things are. Instead of being overwhelmed by all the difficulties, grasp My hand with confident trust.”

So, with that ,I will close this long post.

Love & hugs & thank yous,



Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Treasure Principle

Hello Friends ~ First of all, thank you all for your encouraging comments & emails and for your prayers.  I will write another post on life here at Plum Cottage, soon. Today’s post is a book review for Blogging for Books.

The little book is called:

‘The Treasure Principle ~ Unlocking the Secret of Joyful Giving’ by Randy Alcorn.


It is about the joy of giving. From my own experience, I have seen where I can become so absorbed in what I am going through, that I don’t always give with a cheerful heart, or give at all. There is something very rewarding when we give to others, whether it be our time, our talents, ourselves, our money.

Here are some quotes from this little book.

“God’s riches are infinite. When you serve Him and others, you store up treasures in Heaven.”

“The money God entrusts to us is eternal investment capital.”

“God is the owner of everything, including books and stereos, houses and cars, clothes and jewelry, electronics and toys.”

”Whenever we think like owners, it’s a red flag. We should be thinking like stewards, investment managers, always looking for the best place to invest the Owner’s money.”

“Our giving is a reflexive response to God’s grace in our lives. When God’s grace touches us, we give joyfully.”

“Giving is therapy, not just for the receiver, but also for the giver.”

“Giving brings freedom. It breaks us out of the orbit around our possessions.”

“Givings brings us far more than it takes. It infuses our lives with gladness and gratitude. It interjects an eternal dimension into the most ordinary day.”

“The Lord Jesus himself said: “There is more happiness in giving than receiving.”    (Acts 20:35)


This book has touched my heart, to be a more cheerful giver, to God and to others. The above quotes are just a sampling of what is in this book.

As you who follow my blog know, I have been purging books and other things. It feels good to give to others in need, to a small coffee shop that has a little library where people can bring a book, take a book. I am feeling freer, lighter. My faith in God is growing. He is my strength when I am weak. I am learning contentment in many ways. Living by faith is an ongoing journey. He is always with us.

I chose this book as it was something I needed to read at this time in my life. I was given my copy for free in exchange for an honest review, by Blogging for Books.

The book is encouraging and inspiring. May I become a better giver, full of joy and peace.