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,




lil red hen said...

I love coming to your interesting little spot ~ so much to see and enjoy: beautiful flowers and lovely lapghans. And your trust in Jesus is so inspiring. God bless you dear.

Ellen D. said...

Wow! I can see why you are called the "FlowerLady"!! Your pictures from your garden are beautiful! So lush and colorful! You are such a busy lady and I love your crocheted blankets - what a special treat for someone in need. You certainly are a treasure! Thanks so much for sharing!

Morning's Minion said...

So much to love about this post: your wonderful flowers, the elegant stitchery heart--and of course your dear cat companion, Miss Tork. As to the living room in progress--it always has to be an upheaval before things are settled and finished--frustrating to live with, but keep telling yourself that the results will be worth the effort!

Ruth Hiebert said...

This being alone, is plain and simple no fun. Even as believers in Christ we still feel the loneliness and sometimes frustration. Some days I just wish for someone with skin on to hug away all the hurt, but that someone os no longer with me here on earth.
Sending hugs your way.

Stitchy Mc Floss said...

Oh such lovely flowers you have grown. I always enjoy seeing your beautiful flowers and plants. Take it easy, though...the heat is really awful this year. Your crochet work looks lovely. Now when someone gets one of your love gifts, they will not only be wrapped up in a warm hug from your heart, but also prayers. That is awesome. You are so loved by Him, He knows your heart, your needs. I send prayers your way that His love will surround you and comfort you. :) Never, ever give up. You are never alone, He is always there....He is but a prayer away. ((hugs))

Debbie - Mountain Mama said...

Wow, Lorraine, what lovely flowers! Glad your kitty is ok, what a great idea to make those beds. Your bedroom looks so cozy!!

Pam's English Garden said...

I am so happy to see that you feel up to blogging here again, Lorraine. I admire your persistence. Love your bed and bedroom -- what a beautiful sanctuary. No wonder Miss Tork sleeps well there. Your garden is lush and beautiful even though you weren't able to do as much as you wanted this year. I envy your citrus fruits. Blessings, P. x

Cheryl said...

It is so nice to hear from you, Lorraine! It seems like many of my blog friends have had difficult summers, but it is so comforting to know that if we are His, He is lovingly caring for us all the while.

I was delighted to read that Miss Tork is feeling better! It was an illustration to me how much our Father cares. If He sees the sparrow fall, and He gives you inspiration for things you can do to help Miss Tork, then surely He is watching over us.

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

You have the most amazing gardens. You certainly keep yourself busy. I have recently taken a lot from the house and carted it to Good Will. It went to a good cause and eased some anxiety the clutter causes. You have great faith that will carry you through the rough spots.
xx, Carol

Debbie Harris said...

So much enjoyment here in this post, your gorgeous flower gardens, that beautiful heart for the dance instructor, those awesome prayer shawls and your darling cat.
I always enjoy reading about your happenings and appreciate your transparency.
My mom is going through the same kind of saddness since my dad went to glory. She had a doctors apt for her heart follow up today and the doctor believes she is still greiving after two years. My heart was effected as I sat there listening to her share her heart with the doctor. I've heard it from her, but hearing her share it with the doctor was different. :(
I think you you often, dear Lorraine, and pray for you as God puts you on my heart. ♡

Much Love to you~

His Sparrow said...

Heart smiled when I opened in box and saw that you had posted again! Love it!
And love you too!

Rebecca said...

It ISN'T always easy, is it?
Sometimes we have to take a pause, step back, re-arrange ourselves, and re-examine the truths about the Heavenly Father. He and His Truth don't change, but our circumstances & emotions it takes a juggling to pass through the valleys of life.

Your bedroom has such a calm appearance....glad you (and Kitty) have a bit of a sanctuary while you re-do your living room. It is going to be SO worth it!

I enjoyed seeing "my" caravan in the photos. Good to read about your place & day again, Rainy. ♥

Dewena said...

So glad to see this post, sweet Lorraine, sad that you went through this troubling time. Your verses at the end of the post are inspirational, don't know why I sometimes forget these in the midst of worries and let my own energy be robbed. Perhaps you went through this period so that you could be such a wonderful encourager to someone reading this post, your story told from the heart. I hope the tennis elbow improves quickly, I've never had it but both my husband and son struggle with bouts of it through the years and I have seen how much it hurts them. And so happy that Miss Tork improved without a vet visit and bill!

It's lovely seeing your gardens and flowers again, every time looking different to me. With them to care for and now all the work to be done getting ready for painting, I can see how you can feel overwhelmed. I do hope you will pace yourself and rest when you need to. Good luck on your new diet, it seems like many of us are once again tackling this problem.

The heart you made for a retiring dance instructor is absolutely lovely!

"Hugs and kisses" to you, Lorraine,

Jane said...

so sorry that you are going through a rough patch, Rainey. Hope that things will soon turn the corner. Glad Miss Tork is better. Sending you a hug!


gld said...

That hibiscus is really stunning. I understand what you mean about the things in boxes and how it can get to you. We still have things from MIL (furniture) in front of other pieces here and there. I told DH that we need to get really touch and just load up several pieces and donate them to a charity. I just walk through those bedrooms and try not to look at them.

The kitty looks so comfortable on her new bed. I am happy for you that she is well. I love your bedroom with all the rich colors.

M.K. said...

Oh, dear friend, I'm so sorry you're having a hard time. It sounds like the heat, the grief, the physical aches and pains, the shuffling and clutter of things in the house -- all of it is wearing you down. I hope soon you will revive, with the help of the Holy Spirit. There is much of beauty and love in the world, as you know, but that also means there is so much to lose. God transfers all that we love and lose, into his home where it waits for us. Your hibiscus is just gorgeous! May all be well soon.

daisy g said...

This too, shall pass. It is never easy going through these difficulties in our lives, but it certainly helps us appreciate when things are going right. Blessings to you. You'll get through it. Keep the faith.

Unknown said...

Rainey, I'm so sorry that you haven't been feeling very joyful. It's hard for so many reasons. I suffer from depression and it's one of those things that I've spent over 50 years trying to figure out. I like your thoughts on it! I'm so glad your kitty is doing well now. Your garden is lovely and I love all of the purple/lavender colors as well! Blessings!

crafty cat corner said...

Don't lose heart Lorraine. I understand a bit of how you feel. We too are getting older and its not fun at all. We just can't keep up with things like we used to do and get tired very easily. Aches and pains get us down and the world sometimes seems in such turmoil that it is distressing if you are a sensitive soul.
I for one love your sewing and looking at your flowers, I'm sure most others do also, so keep it up as we would miss you if you decided not to blog.
I try to look around at others who are not as fortunate as myself and then understand how lucky I am.
Wish I were nearer and then I could give you a big hug, as it is you'll have to do with a virtual one. lol

A Joyful Cottage said...

It's not fun to clean out and purge stuff, but when you're finished I believe you will feel so much better with your newly organized space, and it will give you a lift. Your BIL is a dear to make new bookcases for you. It sounds like you do have people around you who are willing to help. That is a blessing for a widow, I know. Your hibiscus is beautiful. I enjoyed the photos taken throughout the day. It's easy to see from your writings that your faith in Christ is real. Struggling with doubts and fears is normal. Just reading David's psalms we can see that. Take care of yourself, Lorraine. Hugs.

A Joyful Cottage said...

P.S. I had to come back and tell you how much I love you bed and the quilt that's on it. Beautiful!

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

I am glad to hear that you are ok! I had gotten worried not seeing any posts since July.

And now you posted a book, lol! :) Not sure what to comment on first so I'll just say that it is good to hear that you managed with God's help to climb out of the Slough of Despond (that we all go through from time to time ) and I am happy to see your beautiful photos once again and read how this or that has been working out for you.

No wonder you have some hand / arm troubles from time to time. Look at what you have all been doing! :) I find that if I am involved in yard work a lot that I cannot also do much hand applique or quilting at the same time...some days I must desist from both, give the hands a break and just read a book :)

That happy kitty has a good Mama :)

Melanie said...

I am so glad to see a post from you again. I'm glad you feel safe enough with us to be honest with what's going on in your life and how you're feeling. I was praying for you while you were away. Wow, you sure have been busy! Always something going on. I can only imagine how frustrating it is to try and do all the yard work and things around the house when you're by yourself. That hibiscus is amazing.

Bluebird49 said...

What a lovely post-Lorraine! It was chockful of honest feelings and beautiful photos. I see why you're the flower lady.
I have a neighbor who "raises" Monarch. They love milkweed, so she planted that in the back yard. It is amazing to see all the changes they go through.
I'm glad yoûr faithful friend, Tork!, is okay.
Your bedroom is lovely--and I admire you for getting rid of things. This house is bursting at the seams and my health failed all last year, and I can't stoop down, and walking is getting harder to walk. Carrying anything is hard with a walker! But I'm praying for better days.
It was good to see you at "Wandering...."

outlawgardener said...

Oh my, 'Hugs and Kisses' is very interesting in the way the flowers change color throughout the day. So much beauty in your garden and cottage.
I'm sorry that you're feeling down. Even with faith and trust in Jesus, life can be very awful at times. I'll hold you in my heart and prayers. That you continue to create comfort lapghans for others in the midst of your own difficulties is an inspiration.

Mount Dora Genealogy Group said...

Hi Lorraine, That was a powerful closing. One that is sometimes difficult to do, but one I truly believe. I'm so glad to see you back online. I have thought of you and prayed often that God would lift your heart. I have the same problem with my elbow in the spring when I'm clipping everything back. There is a band or cuff you can purchase at a drug store pharmacy. You put it on your arm below your elbow. You can adjust the tightness, too. It puts pressure on a pressure point that helps relieve the pain. I wear it when I clip and afterwards for a little while. It helps a lot. It won't get long now before the humidity lets up and it will be a joy to work in the garden again. Glad Miss Tork is better. Hugs to you!

Mount Dora Genealogy Group said...

Lorraine that last post was from me - susan at simply susan. I think I was signed in under the genealogy group I'm in.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog for years . . . and it's still feels cozy and warm ~ like your bedroom looks (love it).

I lurk quietly in the background not often leaving comments, but I wanted you to know that I missed you during your little hiatus (although it is much understood). Glad to have you back . . . and very glad to see Tork is feeling better. The love of a pet ~ or for a pet . . . so special.

Hugs my dear Rainey,


Marilyn @ MountainTopSpice said...

Loved all your pictures of the beautiful flowers! I can only imagine how sad and lonely it is without your husband, and trying to manage things on your own without him! Bless your heart! It was a treasure meeting you today, and you will be in my prayers that the Lord will restore joy and peace to your heart in the midst of your loneliness. Hugs!

Annie said...

I'm sorry to hear you've been feeling low...I haven't been doing much blogging this year...too busy with life but I thought I'd check in tonight. I must put a post on myself. I'm enjoying teaching history and driving my mobile library and even had a stint at principal at a school this term. Keep trusting your lord and loving your pussy cat.

RockWhisperer said...

Oh, Lorraine! I'm sorry I have not been very good about getting my blog reading done! And so sorry you've been having a hard time. I was given a tract once by a stranger, who must've seen the depression in my eyes. It was about life being a tapestry and how the dark threads were necessary to make the lighter colors more vibrant. It was just what I needed at the time.

Sometimes when cats start limping, they have a sticker between their paw-pads, it's always a good thing to gently inspect. Eventually they will get the sticker out during their grooming process but sometimes that's so painful to the mouth and tongue that they need a little help from us. Sometimes they can get a little cut on a paw-pad and that'll make them limp, too. Love the little bed. Looks like she does, too. You are a good cat-mama.

You will get thru this, just take it one step at a time. Break everything down into small tasks. You are on the right track. Hugs and Blessings, Ilene xoxoxo

Darcie said...

So glad to come over here and see a post from you! I understand the need to pull away from blogging while you are dealing with your own emotions...I'm a bit like that too! So glad your sweet kitty is okay...our animals bring us such comfort! I'm sorry for all your worry, but I know you know where your strength comes from! Keep trusting my friend! Love you!

Karen @ Beatrice Euphemie said...

Hello, dear, glad to hear that you are feeling a bit better. It is certainly understandable that your spirits can get low at times, worrying about life and how everything will work itself out. I wish I lived next door......You are making good progress on your living room and it will be such a nice accomplishment when you are done. Everything always takes twice as long as expected. Your gardens look so neat and tidy and lush, with so many wonderful little surprises, including the amazing butterflies! Your crochet is so sweet and you are such a dear for thinking of others and their comfort at difficult times. The little heart is so lovely and I'm sure it will always be a treasure to the lucky recipient. I hope your elbow starts to feel better and glad that your little kitty is better, too. Thinking of you, always xo Hugs

Terry said...

Hi Lorraine,

I was concerned about you because I had not received a blog post from you in my in-box in a while. So, I prayed for you. I am sorry that you are going through such a difficult time. I will continue to pray for you. I am happy that your little cat is doing well. I have a cat whom I love dearly. Her name is Dory. I have not blogged in a long time. I am a teacher and I plan to retire next June, and if not before then, I will return to my blog next summer. I do enjoy receiving your blog in my in-box.

With love and faith,

Terra said...

Oh Lorraine you have been weathering some storms and I am glad you are coming through ok. Your dear kitty looks so comfy sleeping on her memory foam bed. When your living room makeover is complete I know it will look gorgeous but the process is messy. I am having new flooring put in in part of my house so everything is crammed into other rooms at the moment. Take care dear friend.

Junkchiccottage said...

Glad you and your kitty are doing better. I loved scrolling through your beautiful pics in this post. So happy to see this post from you. Prayers my friend that each day you will find some joy even in the little things.

jerilanders said...

Dear lady, I understand your worries completely. Worry has been my companion many a time and most recently, concerning little Bryce, I've had a dreadful time of it. Just as you had done, I read my bible and uplifting literature, prayed, and tried to let go. It's not easy, but the worry and anguish have lessened. So I can empathize with your stress.
Glad Miss Tork has a comfy bed to rest her weary little bones, kitties deserve the best! I love the look of your bedroom, so warm and English looking.
I gave up on Etsy long ago, there is just tooo much there to compete with. Like you, I believe I will just close my page.

Rachelle LeCount said...

Dear Lady, Long time since I was in touch. I do very much understand the feelings you've described. Feeling overwhelmed and thinking 'what is the point' Missing your DH. All those things, I am familiar with.

I am wishing you well and pray for your safety as this storm heads your way.

I hope to catch up with you more soon.

Love - Rachelle

Cheshire said...

Hi Lorraine,
Need a little flower advice. I bought a hibiskiss, first kiss at HD. A bright yellow leaf on the plant each day for a week then 2 and then 3 each day. I returned the plant. A nurseryman told me these plants love to pick up problems for no reason at all. On the other hand you make it look easy, although, I know that your love probably shines thru it all. Anyway, I am just a guy who would like to give the first kiss a good home in the ground and then not get too involved. So do you think that the nurseryman was right or was my first kiss date fiasco just an unusual happening. Do you agree that hibiskiss is more finicky than regular hibiscus or should I give it another try? Thanks.