Saturday, September 30, 2017

Forward Progress

Good afternoon Folks ~ Thank you all for your kind comments. It’s almost three weeks  since I came home after being away from it for 4 days due to Hurricane Irma. That first week or so was like walking in a fog, but, that has lifted and I’m feeling much better emotionally and physically.

Was able to get dairy, eggs, fresh veggies once again. Boy how they are appreciated after not being able to get them.

I’ve had help with trimming things and clean up. One thing I have to tell you about is an almost immediate answer to prayer.  What I mean is, one morning I was walking through the caravan’s arbor below,


and prayed something like, “Jesus you know I need help, more than I know it. Help me.”

I walked on toward the cottage, then picked up some branches and took them out to the growing pile by the curb. While I was out there, a young woman walked by, our eyes met, we said hi, and she walked on. Then she stopped, backed up and said “Hey.” I looked up and she came up to me and said “Do you need any help?” What?

She said she has a 15 year old son who could help me and it wouldn’t be for $, but because it was the thing to do. I said I’d have to pray about it, as I don’t know her.  She said that was fine, gave me her name, cell#, address. I also told her that I had prayed for help just a few minutes before and here she was offering help. It was amazing.

Well, I did pray about it and decided to take her up on her offer. She had told me her son is interested in getting into landscaping design. While sitting, thinking and praying, the garden design book I had gotten to write a book review for, stood out among my books. I thought, aha, I can give him this book.

He came Sat. morning. In fact, he, his Dad and Mom all walked here, quite a walk I must say. Then I learned more. She was ‘not’ a regular walker like I see going past here, in fact, she had never walked this way before. She had just felt like getting out that morning. After we connected with hello to each other, as she walked by, she felt like she should say something to me about help. Oh my goodness.

God is truly amazing. He heard FlowerLady’s heartfelt cry, and within minutes and literally steps, he answered. I am so thankful for an answer to prayer so quickly. In the overall scheme of life, this is a small matter, but it means a LOT to me.

I found out she is a registered minister in the state of NY. They have recently moved to FL. Her husband is a veteran with 4 tours of duty to Afghanistan behind him. They were kind to this widow, and their son who is somewhat shy, and I got along fine and worked together well.

I had been praying about the jasmine vine in the front hedgerow needing to be trimmed as it was about 10 ft. tall. I kept trimming the sides but can’t reach the top myself. Well, Hurricane Irma blew from the south on the back side of the storm and blew the hedge top over into the inside of the garden where it could be reached with a ladder. This young man worked on that for a full hour and it was not a small job. It was ‘hot’. I was beat and told him we’d done enough for one morning and for him to head on home. It was Saturday afterall, plus his family was moving from a 2 bdrm to a 3 bdrm apt. in his complex. Before he left, I gave him the book, thanking him for his work and said that I hope to work with him again, when it is cooler.

Jasmine below, after haircut. Still have more to do on the left, just didn’t get to that yet.


I still had to cut up and bag those trimmings, but Sunday was church and a quiet day. Tuesday I went to the grocery and got some things. Then late in the afternoon, one of the guys, Johnnie, who had been here putting up shutters on Plum Cottage wanted to come by as he’d just gotten off work, to take the shutters down. I texted back ok and he got here about 15 minutes later. (It is so wonderful to have light coming back into the cottage.)

We got started and just took the ones off the cottage, leaving the workshop boarded up at least until after hurricane season is over. We were starting to stack everything back where it had been stored when Vincent, the other guy pulled up. Vincent and I continued to restack, while Johnnie got the chain saw ready so that he could cut broken limbs of the tree near the house, that were touching the roof. He did a lot more than that, giving the tree a buzz cut except for a limb or two that couldn’t really be reached or done without falling on either the house roof or the porch roof. That will be done later.



Lots of sunlight in the area now, it’s a good thing summer is on the wane.


Humongous pile of limbs & brush, maybe 10’x10’. Who knows when it will be picked up. I’ve heard not for months. Yikes!


After we/they cut up and hauled out the limbs, the pile I had made which was large, was twice the size. We called it a day, it was nearly 7 p.m. and I told them they’d both be getting the promised peanut butter/chocoloate chip cookies I’d promised. (I had the ingredients, and had just gotten eggs that morning to make them. But they came before I got them made.)

This post was started the other day, it is now Saturday. A new day to be thankful for. We’ve had rain and more rain, which keeps things green and growing like crazy. I need to mow, weed-wack, and trim things. At least cooler weather will be coming.

I’ve been blessed by seeing a tiny finch-sized bird, black and orange, lots of butterflies and hearing birdsong galore. Scents from various flowers fill the air, the weather is a tad cooler, I baked delicious homemade peanut butter/chocolate chip cookies for Johnnie and Vincent, and enjoyed a few myself.

BSF Bible study group for ladies has started up again and it’s a joy to see ladies from the past two years. There are around 200 or so ladies in our area, from different denominations meeting together to study, and this time it is the book of Romans. This is my third session, the first was the book of Revelation, which was fantastic and last year was the wonderful book of John. We divide up into smaller groups of around 15, to go over lesson, and then meet for the lecture for the upcoming week.  I highly recommend this study. They have it also for men, and a children’s ministry. Check them out to see if there might be one in your area. You won’t be disappointed. Find a class near you.

I’m still working on living room. Hurricane Irma put a halt on that project for a bit. I’ve still leaning fencing to fix. All in good time, a little at a time.

This is a wonderful rose, ‘white Maman Cochet’. I spied two blooms on the climber and picked them to enjoy indoors, where I could take in the lovely scent.


I love the coloring of this rose in different lighting of the two days that I took these photos.







I am thankful to God for His beautiful creation. I am thankful for the gifts of each new day I am blessed with. Thankful for strength and energy to do what I need to do. Thankful for help from others. Thankful for prayers and encouraging words.

Have a wonderful weekend whatever you may do, wherever you are.

God loves you.


Saturday, September 16, 2017

Surviving ~ thankfully

Good morning Folks ~ It is Saturday morning 11:41 a.m. EST. I went outside at 7:45 to beat the heat so that I could mow. I came in at 9:30 for water and to rest a bit. Even at that time it was in the 80’s but real feel temp was low 90’s. I didn’t finish mowing a small bit because it was sprinkling when I headed back out, so I put the lawnmower away for the day. I am just doing a little at a time and not stressing over what needs to be done.  It is a whole different story being by myself than being with my DH and working together as a ‘team’.

I have hibernated since Tues. morning after getting home around 8:30. Just haven’t felt like going out at all. Plus the light at the big intersection near me was still out and I didn’t feel like dealing with traffic. I was only going to go out to the grocery store, but have found out that there isn’t much to be had. No fresh veggies, no dairy, maybe a few eggs. All of the trucks are going to the west coast and south of us to the areas that were hardest hit by Irma.

I’ve been drinking my coffee black, sweetened but black. I have cereal but no milk. I’ve some canned goods, food in the freezer, I can make bread in my bread machine. I have rice and pasta too. I’ve been eating peanut butter and crackers, canned veggies, with hot dogs and hamburger from the freezer.

I am so thankful for air-conditioning, clean water, a toilet that flushes, my comfortable bed, a roof over my head, a full tank of gas, compliments of my in-laws. My feline girls are all fine. Flowers are still blooming, butterflies are flitting, birds are singing. I have much to be thankful for.

I did find an unwelcome little snake while doing some clean up the other morning. He was about 6-8 inches long. I was concerned when I looked at his markings. Ran for my camera and after I took a blurry photo, I got the flat edged shovel and chopped him to bits. I sent a pic to my bro in law Todd, and he confirmed my suspicion, a rattle snake. I’ve never seen one here before, but we both figured he got blown in by the storm, either wind or water. I’ve not seen any more and hope I don’t either. Sheesh! A baby diamondback rattler. He kept striking at me. The usual snakes slither off in the opposite direction as fast as they can go, but not this little guy. I was so nervous I didn’t get a good picture, but you can see the diamonds on his back.


This morning during one of my mini breaks while mowing, I saw this sweet little beauty. She is one of my very favorite roses, with a delicate scent. ‘Kathleen’. As I was standing there enjoying her beauty, I thought “this is why I garden”. Yes, it is a lot of work, some harder work than others, but so worth it for as long as I can do it.


I’ve had a bit of lunch, now I’m going to take a nap. Talking with my sis in law, Sue, yesterday I was saying how I felt and she said she was feeling the same way and that she had heard some ‘call ins’ on some show about how people are thankful they are safe, that they have food, a.c., etc. but they felt awful. The dr. or whoever was taking the calls said it is because we’re all going through a bit of traumatic stress syndrome.  Freaking out and preparing as best we could for a possible cat. 5 hurricane, not knowing where it was going to make landfall, took a toll on us all.

So, thank you again for your kind thoughts, comments, and prayers. They help more than you realize.

Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

Friday, September 15, 2017

Before, during & after Irma

Good morning folks ~ It is a new day and I am rejoicing in it. Your comments have been such a blessing to me. Thank you all so much.

Yesterday morning it didn’t feel bad when I started out temperaturewise, but after 1 1/2 hours I couldn’t be outside any longer and came in to the a.c. It was 83 but felt like it was 96. Today I hope to do some more, a little at a time. I will show pics of debris, etc. in another post. This post is from my stay with my dear bro & sis in-law Todd & Sue.

The way the storm was predicted, we were NOT going to stay at their place but stay where Todd works which is built of concrete and hurricane rated. As we watched the news before the power went out, storm surges for where we were was to be 6-10 ft. and they are on a little inlet, off the intra-coastal waterway. At first it was mandatory evacuation, so we were planning to leave, then as Irma kept moving west, then northwest, it was dropped to voluntary, so we stayed where we were.

To me, their place was a calm shelter in this storm. They both had a calming influence on me. Sue said everything was going to be fine with Plum Cottage and my barn girls, and she was right.

Hurricane shutters did go up on the sliding glass doors. The other windows are hurricane rated to withstand winds of 150 mph. Todd did go out and take a center panel off the sliding glass doors, so that we could see out and see what was happening with the rising tide and let in some much needed light.

Saturday wasn’t too bad. Sunday we were getting the winds and rain. Once the storm got to the backside our winds really picked up and were pummeling my two corner bedroom windows, s.e. corner. (I read that some places, and I think we may have been one of the areas, got 90 mph gusts. Where I live 55 mph).Very scary, especially at bedtime. Here I was lying on a queen size bed, having a mini-freak out session. I decided to take my little devotional book (into the bathroom where it was quieter and definitely more cozy,) ‘Jesus Always’, reading from past days and came upon this one from 15th of April. (If you are not familiar with this series of devotionals, they are as if God is speaking directly to you. Very comforting. I got my first one from a friend two months after my DH went to be with God.)

“I want you to rely confidently on Me-not only as Savior, but as the God-Friend who is taking care of you. Relax in my loving Presence & confide in Me. Tell Me all your hopes & fears. Cast all your anxiety on Me because I care for you.”

I underlined ‘rely confidently’. Here is the definition for confidently ~ in a way that expresses little or no doubt about something. As it says in the Bible, “I believe, help thou my unbelief.”

I decided to rely confidently on Jesus, my God and Savior to take care of me. It was so scary though, that I put pillows on the floor with the bed between me and the windows. That was uncomfortable to say the least for this 68 year old FlowerLady, and I thought this is crazy and it is NOT relying confidently on Jesus at all. So, I got back up onto the bed, buried myself under the covers and turned my back to the storm all the while saying this bit that I had just read over and over, thanking Jesus for taking care of me and fell asleep. I woke up close to midnight and could tell that the worst of the storm was over and fell back to sleep again.

Preparation and anxiety were very stressful to say the least. Irma was huge, her winds covering the whole state, surf surges on both sides of the state. We did not know what catagory of a storm it was going to be until it made landfall, starting out as a cat. 5 with 185 mph winds. The last we heard was that 7 million people had evacuated, video showed highways out of FL like parking lots with traffic inching along out of harms way.

The next morning you would not know that a storm had passed through by how ‘calm’ it all was. But, then you see downed limbs, and when we went out to where Todd worked to pick up my van and Sue’s car which had both been parked in the wharehouse, there were trees down all over, and of course no power so that there were no lights at intersections. When that happens, we are supposed to treat every intersection like a 4-way stop. Most people did this, some did not, but Jesus kept us safe.

Now for some photos.

As the tide comes in, and with storm surge as high as it got in the last of these first 3 photos.



We’re about 10-12 feet above, I think.


11th, morning after.









I was blessed with seeing this beautiful rainbow. I grabbed my camera & snapped the first photo, then headed outside in barefeet to walk down the sidewalk for a couple more shots.


This photo below looks like a painting to me.


These two boats stayed tied up and survived just fine.


We are not promised a stressfree or no problem life when we follow God, what we are promised is that He will never leave or forsake us. He is always with us. It is how we handle what life brings us. Do we draw closer to God for a more intimate, loving relationship with Him, or do we get angry, frustrated, more fearful etc.? I pray that I will always draw closer to Him, and stronger in faith.

That’s it for now. I wanted to get this post up while my feelings are still fresh. In the next post I will show how it looked when I got back to my little home sweet home, and clean up.

Love, hugs & prayers for all ~ Thankful FlowerLady

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Thank you

Words cannot express the feelings I have from all of your kind encouraging comments. My heart is filled with love and appreciation for all of you.

Today I did not do anything outside. I heeded your words about taking my time and not over working, especially in this heat. The real feel temperature for today was in the low 100’s and I was worn out physically, mentally, emotionally from watching and preparing for the hurricane and going through it. Plus worrying about Plum Cottage, my barn girls and the property. It was a day for easy work and resting.

After surviving disasters, one can feel burdened with so many different emotions. I came through pretty good, others lost life, property, etc. It makes me feel somewhat guilty for being able to ‘clean up’ and then go on about my life, while others have lost so much and have to start from scratch. My heart and prayers go out for them.

I went back to bed this morning, then took a nap after lunch and am ready for bed again and it’s just 6:30. I cleaned out the fridge, mopped up around the base of the fridge, folded up the transport cage for Miss Tork. I know she was glad to see that go back into it’s box.

My living room is a wreck from the remodeling project I’m working on, but at least my house is dry, intact and I have air-conditioning. Tomorrow is a new day and I hope to get outside early to do some more clean up, and to do some laundry. Today I did what I felt like doing inside and didn’t stress about outside.

Right now I’m listening to Soothing instrumental music on You-tube.

That’s it for tonight. Be thankful for your many blessings, large and small.



Tuesday, September 12, 2017

We survived!

Hi dear Friends ~ this will just be a quick note to let you know I arrived home this morning, took me about an hour to get here. Some traffic lights were out so I just had to watch and treat those intersections like a 4 way stop. I was so relieved to pull into my driveway.

Barn girls FINE! What a relief!  Some broken tree limbs barely brushing my cottage roof. They will stay there until help comes. Some fence damage, but not much. Lots of limbs and palm fronds and leaves all over. Everything got battered good. I’m so glad I didn’t stay here, I would have been freaking out.

An electric crew from Connecticut just hooked my power back up about 30 minutes or so ago. Bless their hearts. They were really nice. I don’t know how long PC was without power, possibly 48 hours maybe a little more. The fridge smells funky, so I need to clean that out.  I checked the chest freezer and things in there were still solid. I am thankful for that.

Ok, that’s it for now. Miss Tork and I are so glad to be back home. I am so thankful Plum Cottage and my barn girls survived the storm. It could have been so much worse. We weren’t able to see news about Naples and areas on the west coast of FL to see how they fared. It was really rough.

Thanks be to God for His protection for Plum Cottage.

Thank you all for your love, prayers and words of encouragement.

Time for some supper. Tomorrow will be more clean up of the property.

Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Good morning Folks,

I'm on my tablet. Feeder bands are giving us gusty winds of winter around 45 mph. Under a tornado watch.

I pray for my little place & my girls. I slept pretty good considering. Any time I feel fear I pray. My faith is being tested & strengthened. ;-)

Keep us in your prayers, thank you.


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Boarded up

Hi Folks ~ Thank you so much for your prayers and words of encouragement. I am exhausted this afternoon, almost 4 p.m. Worked for three hours with two nice guys from church putting up my plywood. It was HOT and very humid, and we were out there from around 10-1, right now it is 91 and feels like it is 104. It’s awful! We were sweating buckets. They did a thorough job with screwing it all down tight. I asked them their favorite cookie and both said peanut butter and I said with chocolate chips? They said yes, so they will both be getting a batch of these.  Before they left the three of us took hands and prayed, which was very nice.

After they left I cleaned up a bit to go to the grocery store for cat food and litter, and got some larger bottles of Fuji artisan water, the only water they had, 4 for $5. The store was packed with buyers but no water on the shelves. Although, I did see people going out with 5 gal. jugs. I wouldn’t have been able to handle those at any rate.  After hurricanes Francis, Jeanne and Wilma in 2004 and 2005 we still had water. With Wilma, we lost electricity for 13 days. Only God knows what will happen with this storm.

Continue to keep Florida and other areas in the path of this storm in your prayers. The last hurricane we had here was Wilma in Oct. 2005 and it was very scary. We’re praying that Irma will turn northward and stay out off land. Time will tell. I-75, I-95 and the turnpike are bumper to bumper with people leaving.

Here are three pics. My Dear Husband cut hearts into the plywood, to let in a little light and we could see out a little also. The two guys thought that was really a sweet thing to do, and I think so too. These plywood pieces have seen better days, but still doing the job.




Tomorrow would have been our 48th anniversary. I sure do miss my ‘one of a kind’ man.

Below is a picture of a watercolor I painted many, many years ago. Drawn free hand and I’m no portrait painter, but I love the quirkyness of the painting. I love the twinkle in my DH’s eyes. Painted from a photo. Painting was given to an eccentric wealthy artist who collected paintings from people for an art museum down south of here. He in turn let us pick out a couple of pieces of artwork in trade. DH painted a painting also, if I find the photo we took of it, I’ll post it later.

We were much younger then.


Ok, I’ve got more prep work to do, so that’s it for now.

Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

I will close with the following from Grace Gems.

"Cast your burden upon the Lord--and He will sustain you." Psalm 55:22

The promise is not that the Lord will remove the load we cast upon Him, nor that He will carry it for us--but that He will sustain us so that we may carry it.
He does not free us from the duty--but He strengthens us for it.
He does not deliver us from the conflict--but He enables us to overcome.
He does not withhold or withdraw the trial from us--but He helps us in trial to be submissive and victorious, and makes it a blessing to us.
He does not mitigate the hardness or severity of our circumstances, taking away the difficult elements, removing the thorns, making life easy for us--but He puts Divine grace into our hearts, so that we can live sweetly in all the hard, adverse circumstances.

"My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!" Philippians 4:13

Tuesday, September 5, 2017


Good afternoon Folks ~ It is Tuesday. After all of the coverage of Harvey, and seeing all of the devastation, which has been heartbreaking,  now FL is watching Irma, and then possibly another storm right behind.

I am trying to not ‘freak out’, and God keeps sending me verses about His care in different devotionals. All coming when I need the encouragement.

I miss my dear husband something awful. One day when I came home from work when he was sick and bedridden, he called out to me, “The verse of the day is, “Cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you.” That verse is found in 1 Peter 5:7. Wonderful, loving words of wisdom from my sweetie that I remember in times of stress.

This from Grace Gems was really good, from 3 Sept. was called “He Cares.”


The object of God's tender, perfect and ceaseless care!

(James Smith, "Divine Care!" 1865)

"Casting all your care upon Him--for He cares for you!" 1 Peter 5:7

Our cares must be cast upon our God, or they will prove a burden too heavy for us--they will depress, bewilder, and make us wretched! (My underlining.)

WHO is it that cares for us?

It is the Lord Almighty--the high and lofty one who inhabits eternity, whose name is holy!
It is He whom the angels obey, the seraphim adore, and all creation glorifies!
It is the Lord--who is so great, that we have no adequate conception of His greatness!
It is He who is so good--that it is impossible fully to set forth His goodness!
It is He who is so glorious--that no sinner can see His face and live!
It is He who created all things with His Word!
It is He who governs all things by His wisdom!
It is He who upholds all things by His power!
It is He whose resources are infinite!
It is He whose compassion is exquisite!
It is He whose patience is without limit!

But though He is so exalted, so happy, and so unspeakably great--He cares for you!

He cares for you--as base as you are.
He cares for you--as sinful as you are.
He cares for you--as depressed and discouraged as you are.

HE cares for YOU!

May I pass through the present world under the impression, "I am the object of God's tender, perfect and ceaseless care!"

"Cast your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall." Psalm 55:22


“Wait on the Lord, be of good courage and He shall strengthen your heart.”

Friends will be helping me board up Plum Cottage once again, and I’ve places to stay, either with family or friends. I have 4 feline girls to think about too.

Keep us 5 girls in your prayers and I’ll keep you posted.

Thank you ~ FlowerLady