Monday, September 10, 2018

More thankfulness

Good Monday morning Folks ~ well, it’s that for me here in s.e. FL. It’s a little after 6 a.m. and I’ve been up since around 4. Just couldn’t fall back to sleep.

Last week was a week of unexpected things. First off, I went out Tuesday to go visit an elderly widow friend and my van was ‘dead’. I called my mechanic and he was able to come out later, used his tool to assess the problem, a dead battery, not the starter, which was a blessing. I am thankful I was home sweet home when this happened and not out somewhere. I was able to pay for it and van is up and running again.

Friday I got a text from my dear BIL, Todd, saying he could come the next morning to do baseboard in the living room. I texted back that it sounded good to me. He got here around 8:45 a.m. I thought he was going to do the west wall only, but he was ready to do the south and hallway also, jobs that hubby and I didn’t get finished before he left this planet. So, while he set up his saw in the driveway, I moved furniture away from the south wall, I had already cleared the west wall.



We were standing next to the south wall when I asked him if we could take the large oval mirror off the wall and I could paint behind it and we could hang it up before he left, then I could finish painting the wall later this week. He suggested we do it right then. I could roll and he would cut in. I started crying, relief and joy at the unexpected offer. I thanked him as we hugged and told him it was mine and DH’s 49th anniversary and this was a wonderful way to celebrate the day. He was glad and also said he doesn’t remember anyone else’s anniversary but his own. He said women were good at things like that. My second thing to be thankful for.

The painting and baseboard was done in a little over 2 hours. He had been able to fit the media stand they were giving me into his vehicle along with his tools. (When they moved they no longer wanted this or two matching bookcases, I said I’d like to have them since they were giving them away.) So, the next project was to set up the media stand and he said “Let’s hook up your TV and stereo equipment.” That all took longer than the painting and wallboard. I do need another ‘new’ cable or two to get my surround sound totally hooked up, but at least it’s partially giving me sound, just not the full realm of it. Getting this project done was another reason for thankfulness.

I love this stand and it holds my equipment nicely. I decided against setting up the VCR. I won’t watch those old movies, etc. so more decluttering, which feels GREAT.

This TV was bought and given to me by friends last year, which is what caused my room remodel. (I am thankful for their gift.)  I can hardly wait for the two matching bookcases to be on either side of this set up, with a mantle between over the TV.  I had told Todd I wanted a mantle over the TV, and he asked “What for?” I answered, “Stuff” and started laughing. He asked what I was laughing about and he said ‘my question’? I said yes. I said my women friends online would know the ‘why’. The doors in this media stand have beveled glass which makes it nice and I just love the color of this piece. DH and I have always loved the dark wood tones and I still do.


I just love the ‘bleached linen’ paint by Behr from Home Depot. To me it most definitely has a ‘hint of joy in the color. To Todd, it looked like a shade of white, which it is, but it’s not pure white by any means. The other two samples I had tried were in the blue range and seemed dull to me, when I had originally thought one of those would be my choice. Painting large samples on the wall and living with that for a few days helped make the right choice for me.

The color isn’t this dark on the wall, but you can see the difference between it’s color and the wall on the left/east, which I hope to paint this week and a little bit on the north wall to finish this room off. What a joy that will be!!! Another reason to be thankful.


Here is Miss Tork. She found a spot to rest amidst the chaos of the day. She was hiding until Todd left. The portable compressor and the air gun for the baseboard were too much for her. As soon as all was quiet again out she came. I am thankful for my dear little companion.


It’s starting to get light out, my stomach is telling me it’s time for some breakfast. After breakfast I want to get a whole chicken (minus the breasts which I’ll use for another recipe) in the crockpot. Laundry needs to be done also if it’s going to be a clear day. Then I want to caulk the baseboard, and paint it after caulking has dried.

Oh yea, another thing to be thankful for was I finally got to use my new electric lawnmower and it worked just great. It’s cute and I love the green color. I do have to clean the underbody after every use which is kind of a pain, but I did read that you can wipe it down with  vegetable oil to keep grass from sticking. Smile

This view is looking north, I’m standing at the gate.


This is looking south. Gates need cleaning after all of the rain we’ve had.


This is the little patch of front lawn.


Below I’m standing in the back turn around area looking south.


This is looking toward where I was standing for picture above. You can see some high grass back at the end. I was pooped and needed to make sure there weren’t any pinecones or other debris from when the tree trimmers had been here so I quit. PLUS, bees have made a hive inside of the tail end of the fish hanging on the fence. Don’t know what I’m going to do about that.


This is where I park.


This is looking southwest, all in all, it takes about an hour for me to mow my property.


Ok, that’s it for now. Time for breakfast and then to commence with projects for the day.

Thank you all for your love, prayers and encouragement. It means a lot to me.

I am always thankful


“Love is Forever”.



Monday, September 3, 2018

A wet Labor Day

Good morning Folks ~ For those in the US I hope you are enjoying this holiday.  Down here in s.e. FL we are having rain and more rain from Tropical Storm Gordon. At least it’s not a hurricane, although I did read ‘possible tornadoes’. This is the peak of hurricane season, I pray that we are spared this year.


A rainy day view out of the south living room window.

(Stained glass window made for me by Karen and Carl of ‘Quarry Gardens’ blog, after I lost my DH. Two hearts joined as one,  with a rose which is a symbol of love.


This morning before waking up I dreamed I was going to get to use my new electric lawn mower for the first time. HA! It was delivered via UPS last Wednesday and I’ve not been able to try it out because of wet grass. The grass will get even higher as rain is expected over the next few days.

This is my new lawn mower still in the box. I did get the handle in upright position and locked into place, then wheeled it to the shed, but that’s it so far. I haven’t even read the instruction booklet. Here is the Amazon link about it.


Last week a friend stopped by on her way home from work to drop off a beautiful orchid a client had given to her. She said she would kill it, and thought of giving it to me. It is sitting here in my space. It came with a plastic shot glass and a card saying to water it with a shot of water once a week. Hopefully I can keep it alive.


Saturday morning it was raining and I knew I wasn’t going to be mowing so I got the urge to do some more painting of living room walls. I am a ‘porcrastinator’ and being a widow and doing things for myself, sometimes by myself isn’t much of a motivation to get things done.

But, after my friend, Mary, was here delivering the orchid and we sat and chatted for awhile in my messy abode that is in the midst of remodeling work, I felt like painting more. I made forward progress on the north wall, still a 4’ section of wall to do, but I have to move a bookcase out of the way first. Hopefully, I’ll do that this week.

After painting, I decided, since the west wall was now finished except for the baseboard, to set up a temporary ‘look’ for that wall, to make it look ‘pretty’ in here. I moved the handmade piece of furniture from beside the loveseat to that wall, moved a painting from another wall to this one, moved some smalls around and am enjoying and being more motivated by the new look.  This won’t be how it ‘will be’, but at least it’s not the bare wall staring at me.

I really love the Behr ‘Bleached Linen’ paint color. I said before that it has a ‘hint of joy’ in it and it most certainly does, at least to me.


Dear Husband and I set up at a local flea market for around 15 years, over 25 years ago and the painting is one of my finds at this market. It was upside down leaning against the seller’s car. I asked how much and they said $2. I didn’t hesitate, didn’t quibble, just paid and hurriedly left the spot with prize in hand. Smile

The clock has no guts, I’m thinking of putting a battery operated movement in it. I set the hands at the time of when my DH was welcomed by Jesus to the next part of his life. All is well. (Found these paintings online in 2014 and just love what they represent.)

This represents my ‘knight’ in blue jeans and a t-shirt, his clothing of choice.


Jesus welcoming Him to be with Him.



The two bronze deer pictured below, we bought most likely at this same market, but I don’t know. One of DH’s finds.

The children’s blocks were another find of my husbands, and I picked out these letters after he left this planet. The alphabet is not complete by any means so I was blessed to have found all of these for this special word.


We bought this handmade piece of furniture from DH’s brother, when we had our antique shop for 8 years, for $25, what he paid for it. We decided to not sell it but keep it and it is one of my favorite pieces here at Plum Cottage.  I recently bought some Pledge oil spray and polished this down with it and it now glows.


I decided this look needed a bit of light, so added the pink himalayan salt lamp. Nice ambience especially on a gloomy day.


Like I said, this look is only temporary. It will be changed to two matching bookcases, with a tv/media stand in the center, with a faux mantle shelf in between two bookcases over the tv.

While doing this little arrangement I went through more books and weeded some out, still more weeding to do, but at least I made a start.

I want to thank you all for your kind comments about my gardens. You say such wonderful things about them. What you don’t see is all that I see. I take selective shots showing only the best. Winking smile I’ve much weeding, trimming, and now mowing to do yet. Not to mention ‘junk’ to be cleared from the property that I will never use.

Your kind words encourage me to keep working here. Gardening is good therapy for body, soul and spirit. Yesterday or the day before I unearthed from a stack of books a beautiful one sent to me by a blogging friend, Gina, in a care package right after I lost my husband. The book is “Sancturay ~ Gardening for the Soul”. I found a link for it on Amazon.

This book not only has beautiful photos but is wonderful reading material. I highly recommend it. Going through it again, inspired me to continue puttering in my gardens, doing what I can and enjoying it all. It’s the process/journey, more than the destination/finished garden look.

Leslie from ‘Spruce Pine Cottage’ has this latest post, ‘Habitat for the Soul’, which I think you will enjoy.

Now for some ‘selective’ garden photos from Plum Cottage gardens.


‘Barnhouse’ roses


‘Prosperity’ roses




Night blooming jasmine


4 O’clock blooms





Vine covered back shed


I received a devotional the other morning and in it was the verse about Jesus praying for Peter. I looked up the scripture reference and Jesus told Peter he was pleading for him that Peter’s faith should not fail. This was before Peter’s 3 time denial of knowing Jesus. But, Peter did repent after that, and became a great light of God’s love for the world.

Since Jesus prayed for Peter, it stands to reason, that He prays for us all to stand strong in our faith in Him. It’s not always easy, but He has promised to never leave or forsake us, and will be with us every step of our journey. When we believe in Jesus, the Creator of the universe comes to live within us. To think He prays on our behalf is wonderful. We go through and hopefully grow through struggles in our lives, to bring us closer to Him.

I looked up this scripture in my ‘Inspire’ Journaling Bible and added the following to the page where this verse is found, which is in Luke 22:32.


I will close with the following photo of a cross stitch needlework I did while we were newlyweds living in Spain while DH was in the US Navy. This was for my late MIL and I received it after she and my late FIL’s estate was settled.


Have a wonderful week.


Friday, August 24, 2018

A burden lifted

Well Folks, it was quite the morning yesterday. The crew showed up at 9:13, and were done at 11:27. They worked hard and fast, no dilly-dallying and I talked to one of the men afterwards and found out they had already done one job before coming here and had two more to do in the afternoon. They cleaned everything up!!!

I don’t see how they can do this work day in and day out, especially in the heat. They were all soaked when they left here.

I did feel bad about losing the palm, but it was way too close to the house, roots were spreading over the patio stones, going under the patio stones, and moving along the foundation of patio and house. The fronds at times hit the power lines, not good, sending sparks here and there. It is a relief to not have this worry on my anymore. No more falling fronds.

I can enjoy the neighbor’s palm to the east, who have one of these. It is a one story apt. complex next door, maybe 8 apts. For the past few years, the new owners, who I do not know, have been renting to veterans. They are relativey quiet and keep to themselves. They are only loud when they are all watching some game or other together, yelling for their teams. Sometimes I smell delicious barbecue aromas.

None of the owners of this complex have ever taken care of the overgrown trees since we moved here, the summer of 1973. My dear husband used to cut limbs back from our side. We would then cut them up to manageable sizes and haul them out front to be picked up by the county for grinding into mulch.

Yesterday this crew came with a bucket truck for cutting the palm into sections, and they had their own grinding machine spewing the grindings into a truck. The palm sections could not be ground as it was just too fibrous and would bind up the grinder blades. The sections cut from the tree were about 3’ in length, then on the ground were cut up into more manageable pieces for the guys to carry/lift into truck. Those chunks were heavy.

It is always a shock when things are cut ‘way’ back, but when I went out and did a little walk about, it just felt so much more open and brighter of course. Everything will grow back, except for the palm. Stuff grows so fast down here, especially when we have a lot of rain.

I am glad this is done, giving me some respite for 2-3 years, before having to have things trimmed again, well except for the stuff that grows over the driveway, that will probably be 6 months. The front hedge really was scalped, but once I get out there to weed wack the grass in the one foot swale that is between sidewalk and the hedge row, it will look nicer. I remember the last time my dear husband tackled the two jasmine vines in the front hedge row and I was shocked because it looked so bare, but, those vines are tenacious and will fill in once again, as will everything else.  I think I’ll throw some 4 o’clock seeds into the hedge row and maybe a few other things as well. There are red firecracker plants growing out there and they are nice.

Now for some before and after pics.

08-23-driveway        08-24-driveway-south2   

08-23-driveway-north2      08-24-driveway-north

      The ficus to the left of photo below was at least 10-12 ft. tall.


What a difference, so much more open and you can see the trees across the street in the background.




The palm, an end of an era.   

08-23-palm-before   08-23-one-frond-left08-23-palm-center      08-23-starting to-section



Front hedge definitely got a haircut. I just need to weedwack the grass, hopefully tomorrow morning.

08-23-sidewalk-before      08-23-sidewalk-after

I’m standing out on the sidewalk looking northwest at Plum Cottage. What a difference without all of the foliage from trees. It really won’t take long though before it fills back in and not feel so bare and ravaged.


I look forward to moving potted plants back in place, and moving others into new spaces to make it all compact and easier to care for for me. I have felt hints of fall coming and those are wonderful. DH used to laugh at me when I would mention in August, “fall is coming”. We still have Sept to get through. It is really hot and bright and humid outside today. I did grocery shopping this morning and will be taking a nap shortly. It’s hibernation time.

I hope there won’t be too many that will hold against me, the taking down of the palm. It was truly a necessity.

When I went out this morning it felt as if gloom and a burden have been lifted and I am oh so thankful to God for working all things out. There is still more to do in taking care of this property, but this particular gift to me has given me more hope and trust in God who has a plan for me. He answers prayer, he nudges others to help out and I am thankful more than words can express.

There is more sunlight coming into the living room, especially through the stained glass window on the east where the driveway is.

Grass needs mowing. My B&D electric lawn mower that I’d had for three years, 2 yr. warranty, started smoking and not running right. I spent a couple of weeks googling electric mowers and ordered one this past Sunday. Just got an email it was shipped today, should be here by next Wednesday. This is a Greenworks 18-Inch 12 Amp Corded Lawn Mower 25012. I may have to use the weedwacker before it gets here. I hope not. Did that last week on some high grass that needed it and using that tool is such a wear out. I’ll let you know what I think of this mower. Making decisions by myself is nerve wracking.

The same day my lawn mower smoked and croaked, a few minutes later I was raking with my favorite rake that I’ve had for years, and the handle broke right where it attaches to the rake tines. For Pete’s sake. I was able to get the wood out of the rake part, trim down the handle and then screw two things back together. This is maybe the 3rd time this has had to be done. Eventually I’ll have to break down and get a new handle if not a new rake, as tines are starting to break off too. Winking smile

It’s time for a cup of Pukka Cleanse tea. This tea is delicious and healthy. Ingredients are: Nettle leaf (40%), peppermint leaf (25%), fennel seed (25%), dandelion root, licorice root, aloe vera leaf (concentrated natural extract).Naturally caffeine-free. 100% organically grown and ethically sourced. (Info from Amazon).

I have a relatively new electric tea kettle and love it. My old pyrex pot cracked when I forgot about it and it ran dry. So that when I moved it off the hot glass stove top onto cooler section, snap, crackle and pop.  That was the end of that.  This was another item I googled. It is a Hamilton Beach Gooseneck. Heats the water to boiling very quickly. Much faster than waiting for water to boil on the stove.

Mug says, ‘Celebrate the little things’. The honey is Florida Orange Blossom honey. Hmm, hmm.


I’ll be doing a future post on the Moringa Tree leaf powder and general info on this ‘miracle tree’.

I received an email awhile back from Four Roses Bourbon. Jackson & Perkins has come out with an Anniversary Rose to celebrate the Four Roses Bourbon’s 130th anniversary. The email said in essence, since I am a rose lover, would I write a review of this rose in exchange for the receipt of this rose when it is available in my area. (Should be next month.) The rose is beautiful, red of course, and should grow well in my zone and it will grow in containers also. I am excited. Of course, I wrote back ‘yes’.

They will also send me a bottle of their signature Four Roses Bourbon. There is a love story attached to this bourbon and the flavor description sounds delicious. I will be celebrating our 49th anniversary on Sept. 8th and maybe this will arrive by then so that I can have a little celebratory drink.

So, things are happening. Life goes on, one day at a time. I am thankful for the gift from God, the Great Creator, of each new day I am blessed with. We go and grow through things in this life, hopefully drawing us closer to Him. He loves us more than we can imagine.

Time for supper now, a Marie Callender’s Creamy Mushroom/Chicken pot pie is baking. They were 4 for $10, 15 oz. size. Good deal! I love these when I don’t feel like cooking.

Have a great weekend everyone, wherever you are. Count your blessings. Love others, hug someone, be kind, be forgiving, encourage others.

Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady