Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Thank you from my heart

Dear Folks ~ Have I ever been surprised and blessed because of a ‘little birdie’ who flew around blogland saying I needed some cheering up this December. Oh my goodness, the kindness of others has brought on some ‘happy tears’, smiles and a heart filled with thanksgiving. Ladies I don’t know and some I do know, have most definitely cheered my heart. Sweet cards and notes of encouragement, gift cards, money and baked goods. I am humbled and blown away at the same time.

For some reason this 6th December since my dear husband went to be with Jesus has been rough. Partly, I think it has to do with I’m getting older, and having to deal with everything here at Plum Cottage by myself, that the two of us always handled as a team, a team that worked wonderfully well together. I have to admit that last evening, after a nice Christmas day of laughter and great food with friends, I laid in bed talking to Jesus. Admitting to him how I felt like ‘screaming’ (this is not how I am normally, but those are the feelings that came out last night), I was loudly screaming in my heart and mind because I am not as strong as I’d like to be and I miss my husband. I talked with Jesus about these true feelings and asked for strength and patience as I live each day that I am blessed with.  I am human and I do sometimes get ‘down’, and that’s when I cry out to Jesus to be my strength. I want to be of good courage and not afraid, to keep focused on Him, to do what I can with the physical strength and mental know how that I have.

I have so much to be thankful for, a little house that is paid for, my van is paid for, I’ve food to eat, a comfortable bed, clean water, electricity, my 4 feline girls, gardens full of flowers and weeds. Birds, bees and butterflies that grace my gardens with their presence. On my husband’s birthday I saw a hummingbird two different times sipping nectar from two different flower types. To me that was a little happy blessing. Also, I’m thankful that I’m still able to get out and physically do things. I did lose my job that I’d had for 17 years, (3 years after losing my husband, as my boss sold the business and moved across the state) and I’ve not found other work yet, part-time, to supplement my ss check, but, this is  all part of God’s plan for my life. He knows my needs and desires. He blesses me in many ways, and right now at this time, He has blessed me with kindness from others.

I am so looking forward to 2019. I look forward to clearing up the property here at Plum Cottage, to make this little place more of a sanctuary, to living even more simply that I already do and to keep trusting in Jesus to take care of me.

Life is an adventure. We can choose which way we want to live it, joyfully and peacefully or gloomily and not at peace. We learn and we grow through life’s experiences. As I am typing this, another little song came to mind. Here are the words:

They that wait upon the Lord,
Shall renew their strength,
They shall mount up with wings as eagles
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
Teach me Lord, teach me Lord, to wait.



Thank you all who have visited here since I started this blog in 2008. Your words of encouragement, your comments, prayers, all that you are and share, has been a blessing in my life. May we have many more years together.


May we all be blessed and may we bless others in 2019.


Monday, December 17, 2018

It’s Christmasy at Plum Cottage

Hello Friends ~ It is a beautiful Sunday morning here in s.e. FL. Going to have chilly weather again tonight, 50’s. Yesterday it lightly rained off and on all day into the evening hours. Gloomy, but this is a new day and we are blessed with sunshine, gentle breezes and a big blue sky.

Pinched nerve pain is no more. I am so thankful for that. I’ve had this before, and other times the pain was worse and it lasted longer.

Early Friday morning I received a text from a friend. She had gotten ‘free’ tickets to see ‘Hello Dolly’ and asked if I wanted to go with she and her husband. I said yes, not knowing what the story line was, only remembering a couple of lines to the song.  Even though the story was about a widow, I only teared up once and that was with the song about falling in love.  The performance was FANTASTIC! The singing, the dancing, costumes, orchestra, the comedy, all amazing. I laughed, clapped, sang along, and left with a smile on my face and joy in my heart. It was so good to get out with friends, a change of scenery, stepping outside of my comfort zone.

Yesterday morning I went to another session of Grief Share and was blessed by my time with others. Sharing, tears, laughter, a good time together. We have two more sessions, then we will all meet somewhere, to be determined, for lunch together. The next set of sessions will start up in January, maybe and I’m planning on going again, to be able to share the comfort and healing that I’ve been blessed by Jesus with these past 6 years.

I thank you all for your kind comments on my last post.

I have to say that I’m glad the 9th is past. That is the hardest part of December for me, even though for my dear husband it was the best day of his life. Thursday will be his 71st birthday and I’m planning on making a special meal to celebrate the day he was born.

Here is a hazelnut chocolate ball by Ferroro Rocher. I could hardly believe what I saw when I unwrapped it and am always thankful when hearts show up for me.


I came across a cute little you-tube video called ‘The Wind in the Willows’ from 1983 that some of you might enjoy..


It’s now Monday. Was 56 and felt like 52 this morning. The sun is shining in a big blue sky right now.

I will close with pics below and will be taking a break until after Christmas.


Now for some Plum Cottage Christmas.

















When Jesus became a baby,

he lost nothing of his God-ness.

He was truly God and truly man,

in one person.

Even as he slept soundly as human,

he was holding the universe together as God.

(Taken from this article on Desiring God.)


In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:1


And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us

John 1:14a


God was manifest in the flesh

1 Timothy 3:16 b



Merry Christmas to all.

May you feel the Love, Peace & Joy of God

surrounding you this holiday season.


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Atta-girl and never too old

Hello Folks ~ It is a beautiful sunshiny day here in s.e. FL. Big blue sky, breezy and 60 degrees. Early this morning it got down to 47 and the real feel 39. That’s cold for us. Inside it was 70. Yesterday it seemed very warm inside Plum Cottage, and was nice and cooler outside, BUT I purposely did not open windows for fresh air, knowing it was going to get cold. Didn’t need to let the warm air out.  I had a you tube video of Christmas music and a picture of a roaring fire with the sound of fire crackling, on the tv, and was nice and comfy in my little abode. So far, with these couple of cold fronts I’ve not had to use the radiant heat heater.

I've been dealing with a pinched nerve in my left hip area since I woke up yesterday morning. It's a little better today. I'm just taking it easy again today.

The weather was so wonderful earlier this morning, that I was overflowing with thankfulness and decided to sing a little song for you.  

I used my phone to make the video, but, didn't have it in landscape mode, and there is no way you can rotate it once you've uploaded the video to you tube. I googled that option for quite awhile, older info said you could, then after trying to do it and find this or that to fix the problem,  I found out that you-tube had done away with the program that did that. I then saw where I could download an app to my phone, 'google photos' that would rotate the video for me. I've not downloaded anything to my phone, others have done it for me. I got brave and did it and was thrilled when it worked, turning the video horizontally. I couldn't quite trim off the ending, was having too much trouble so left it as is. I could hear DH's atta-girl for me accomplishing this little thing. To me it's a sort of big thing. Then I uploaded it and it is right. YAY! But, my Open Live Writer program will not post videos for some reason. Maybe I need to see if there is an updated version. I am doing this post in Blogger and hope it gets posted. I am never too old to learn new things, I just need to be 'brave'.

In spite of all that I've been through in my life, especially since my dear husband went to be with Jesus 6 years ago, I have much to be thankful for. I have tried to find this song online but haven't had success so far. I went to a Christian boarding school when I was in the 10th grade and lived in a house of high school girls with our house parents and a college age monitor, we would sing this in our devotional time each evening. This song stuck in my head and heart and has been a blessing to me through the years. My voice isn't what it once was, but I sing anyway, with joy in my heart.

I am standing in my driveway at the rear of the property. The wind is blowing, and the chilly air was very refreshing. I just stood in place instead of moving the camera around.

I've sung this song twice now with my 'Grief Share' family. The first time we were talking about being thankful to God even through our losses and I told them I wanted to sing this song, even though I was very nervous. I sang with joy in my heart, tears streaming and a smile on my face. The next week I was asked to sing it again. After I sang it I told them next time they would all sing with me.  I highly recommend Grief Share for anyone who is suffering the loss of someone in their lives.

That's it for now. I just had to share this with you. Christmas can be so rough for many, many people for all kinds of reasons. Let's spread cheer, love, peace, forgiveness, & encouragement with others. Jesus loves us all, He wants us to love Him and love others.

Happy Christmas holidays ~ FlowerLady

4 Roses Bourbon, Book of History and Anniversary Rose

Hello Friends ~ back in the middle of summer, I was contacted because of my love for roses (I assume), by the 4 Roses Bourbon Company. They would send me a book of their history, a bottle of their 4 Roses bourbon and from J&P  Live Roses Nursery, I would receive the rose they had developed for the 130th anniversary of the 4 Roses Distillary.  I wrote back accepting their offer, excited to do this.

I am so looking forward to adding this rose to my collection of roses.

From the website: “The blooms of this rose are exquisitely formed, fade-proof, and emit a lovely damask fragrance. Once they open, the blooms are 3- to 4-inches wide and comprised of 20 to 25 deep red petals. These blooms arrive in early summer and keep on going in waves all season long, especially if promptly deadheaded. It's a vigorous and easy-to-grow rose, heat tolerant, and resistant to rust and powdery mildew, meaning it's a good choice for warmer climates.” Photo from website.


I received the nice bottle of bourbon and the very informative and interesting book on the history of this company, nice photos. I read the book in one sitting. The 4 Roses name has a romantic history behind it.


I had my first sampling of this bourbon a couple of weeks ago. I am novice and do not drink a lot. I have wine with dinner, an occasional margarita when I feel like celebrating something, and on rare occasions with the right food I will have a beer with lunch. I googled bourbon and how to drink it. Some drink it straight, some dilute it. I tried a sip straight first, a bit strong for FlowerLady, I then added a tad of water as suggested, didn’t have sparkling water. That was much mellower and was nice to sip.



It will be good to have in my eggnog Christmas morning, a sometimes tradition for DH and I, started by my Cuban BIL when DH’s family were all together for Christmas when we were younger.

It would also be good as a ‘hot toddy’ when one is sick with a cold or the flu, with honey and lemon and ginger tea.

I pray that those who do drink will do so responsibly. In moderation.


That’s it for now. May you all have lovely Christmas holidays and please stop to think on what this season is really all about. God, come in the flesh, His name, Jesus. Creator and Savior of the world. To Him be glory now and forever.


FlowerLady Lorraine

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The Garlic Vine Blooms & ‘baby it’s cold outside’

Good Wednesday morning from Plum Cottage. Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is almost here. Had a lovely Thanksgiving with friends and their pets. Food scrumptious and a goodie bag for home.

This morning our lowest temp was 48 and real feel was 42. Brrr! The thermometer in the bedroom said 70 so it was comfortable in here. The sun is brightly shining now at 9:49 a.m. in a great big blue sky. Monday it had been 84 and real feel was 92. Quite the difference, but oh how welcome the cooler temps are. It feels more like the holiday season should feel. The scullery window this morning, cold outside, comfortable inside.



Monday I started decorating for Christmas. Going slow and enjoying the process. The lights are on the two small trees and it was a joy to turn on the lights when I got up yesterday morning. There is something about the lights that make me feel happy and content. This morning I’ve started decorating the main tree, etc. I shed a few tears hanging one ornament that I had made for us, and now my heart feels a tad heavy.


Holidays are rough especially the month of December. On the 9th, my dear husband left this earth, immediately was with his Creator/Savior and he was immediately well and at peace. I am thankful for that. On the 20th is his 71st bday and I will miss making him a special meal. Then we have Christmas. I will be glad when January is here.

There is a church Christmas party coming up but I have decided not to go. Being around lots of couples is just hard to take especially at this time of year. In the Grief Share meeting about Surviving Holidays they said it is ‘ok’ to say ‘no’ to events. There is already enough going on this month to keep me busy. I’ve already been to 2 potluck dinners and then Thanksgiving in the last two weeks. I need solitude and quiet times to be able to deal with life. Some of you may be thinking, but she already lives in solitude and has quiet times. Yes, I do, but going out, shopping, social events all wear me out, always have. I’m more of a home body and so was DH. It’s nice to be with people for short periods of time. Winking smile It always feels good to pull into the driveway and be home sweet home.

Ok, I think I need to go outside for some brisk, fresh air, to enjoy God’s beautiful creation, boost my spirits back up. Some beauty like this below, the wonderful garlic vine. This vine blooms at least twice a year, maybe three times. It is called garlic vine because when you brush up against the leaves you get hit with a gentle scent of garlic. The blooms fade out to almost white and are gone in a few days.










Ok, that’s it for now. There are more blooms to show from the past week or so that I will share in another post.

Happy Christmas holidays ~ Enjoy each day you are blessed with ~ FlowerLady

Friday, November 9, 2018

November Blooms & living room bookcases

Hello Folks ~ Can you believe it is almost Thanksgiving, and then Christmas is right around the corner? This year really has zipped by.

This week I changed out my bedspread from spring/summer to fall/winter.  Miss Tork doesn’t care what the season is, she enjoys the bed anytime of year.


Also put on a favorite sheet set that I got at a small flea market for $8. I save these for this time of year also. I was thrilled when I saw these. They are queen or king size and my bed is a double, but they work for me. I love the floral design.



As I start to work on this post, I listened to some lovely instrumental Christmas music. Really early for me with the music, but I felt like it.

Christmas Songs

I emptied containers of books into the new-to-me bookcases and added bits & pieces of decorative  ‘objects d’art’ from around the cottage.


The bunch of grapes are made of alabaster. While we were living in Spain, when DH was in the US Navy, 70-73, a Navy friend of his went to Italy and DH asked his friend to get these for me. The stem is a real grape stem. The brass oil holders were bought at a flea market while we were there.

Books on next shelf are most of my ‘first’ cookbooks. The little pumpkin I crocheted this year from a pattern I found online.


The clock doesn’t work, and is set to the time when God called DH home.

More cookbooks.

Bottom shelf has bookends that are DH’s initials that I bought at our flea market many, many years ago, 50 cents each. They might be made of walnut. They are resting on sweet, wonderful books by Jerri Landers. I love these. She is an exceptional artist in many mediums. You can visit her blog here, Hopalong Hollow Gazette.


On this shelf is an old ‘white or pot’ metal statue we bought at our local flea market a long, long time ago. The jug we bought in Spain in an area of the country where they are famous for making all sorts of things using the red clay and painting technique.

Next is a piece of coral. Then in the background is an old icon of Mary and Baby Jesus. The ‘Bible’ is made out of marble. The lettering is etched into the marble. on the side it says, ‘Learn of Me’.


This shelf is filled with natural ways of healing, aromatherapy, herbs. The brass mortar & pestle were bought in Spain.


Some of our rock collection. The two heart shaped rocks DH bought for me from a garden center that had different bins of rocks. He asked the lady if he could pick out two rocks shaped like hearts and only buy them instead of by the pound or however they were being sold. She said yes, and he looked through them and picked out these two.

I bought David and Venus at our local flea market for $6. They are some sort of composition material.


Gardening books.


Now for some blooms from Plum Cottage Gardens



‘Blue Lips’


‘Mexican Petunia’






‘Wild Petunia’




A ‘carpet’ rose.





‘International Herald Tribune’




‘Louis Philippe’ or ‘Florida Cracker Rose’











‘Pink Muhly’ grass



‘Hibiscus tree’ bloom


‘Hibiscus tree’ leaves’


Let your hearts be filled with thanksgiving. Let us give thanks to our Creator God, Jesus, for all that He has done for us out of His GREAT LOVE for us. Let us trust in Him, believe in Him. He is the Savior of the world.

Happy November