Sunday, October 6, 2019

Song for today ~ Count Your Blessings


Good morning Friends ~ Found this sweet rendition of an old hymn this morning. Enjoy. ~ FlowerLady


Thursday, September 19, 2019

P U


 Hello Folks ~ As the title says, P U, which was my sentiment from an awful stench that lasted at the most 2 days caused by Clathrus ruber, which "is a species of fungus in the stinkhorn family, and the type species of the genus Clathrus. It is commonly known as the latticed stinkhorn, the basket stinkhorn, or the red cage, alluding to the striking fruit bodies that are shaped somewhat like a round or oval hollow sphere with interlaced or latticed branches." You can read more here. It looks like something from outer space. I noticed the smell first, which smelled like something dead, then started looking around to see if I could see any flies. Saw some and they led me to this pot of begonias, where the fungus had grown. You can see a fly in this picture.





Had this pop up in another pot of some other flowering plant last year. Not pleasant that's for sure. Scent is gone now.

On to something much better, avocados on my tree. These are really high up, top of roof level. They aren't ready yet.



Can you find Miss Tork? When I saw her sitting there like that I just had to get a picture. She's a sweetie. I have to admit, this is how my living room usually looks, lived in, and not ready for company. ;-)



Below is a felt heart I made, 3 inches wide by 1 3/4 inches high. Making 24 of these to give out at our last GriefShare meeting for this session. I really am enjoying making these as I've not really done any embroidery in quite sometime. I bought a pkg of fabric sheets that you print on, just peel and sew on. I had some other sheets, that you print on, then iron on, but you could hardly get a needle through the material so I tried something different and really like this. I printed out the heart shape with the words 'Love is Forever'.  Now that I am looking at this completed one, I think I will add a rose bud and leaves underneath the word forever.


Last, but not least, I was about to hang out some laundry to dry the other day, and saw this trampled weed and had to take a picture of it. I love finding hearts in unexpected places. 



So far, hurricanes are staying out to sea, here on our side of FL, hopefully there will be no more headed this way. Hurricane season ends the end of Nov. Hurricane Wilma hit here the end of Oct. 2005. Very late in the season. Praying for those dealing with flooding from Imelda, and those rebuilding their lives in the Bahamas.

Some rain is predicted and hopefully it will happen as things need watering, and then I won't have to pay for it, because God will have supplied it for free.

Well, that's it for now. Have a great Friday and weekend ~ FlowerLady


Friday, September 13, 2019

Watching another storm

Hello Folks ~ Well, here it is Friday morning, and we are having rain off and on. We are watching 'potential tropical storm #9.  The way it all looks now, we will probably be getting some wind and rain from this system. Might be more than what we got with Dorian. We've already had rain off and on since yesterday.


Yesterday I had a good day. Went to a ladies luncheon at a local Olive Garden. Saw some old friends and it was so good to see them. They meet once a month, and I'm going to 'try' to make it each month. My new friend, Rita, (leader of GriefShare, I'm her assistant) and I went together. We had a good time there and a nice visit here at Plum Cottage afterwards.

For lunch I had a house salad, the bread, Zuppa Toscana and an iced coffee. All delicious!! I came home and looked up the soup recipe and found it here. I had two bowls and just couldn't get over how delicious it was. I look forward to making this.

The other morning when I went to work at my friend's, I snapped a couple of pictures of the clouds as I liked the sunlight hitting them. 


 I did not know what I would see in this photo below, until afterwards. ;-) A lopsided heart, (at least it looks that way to me). My heart is lopsided these days, but still a heart. Broken, yet healed/healing. God is my 'comforter' and 'healer'.


Ok, that's it for now. I've got some errands to run this morning, hopefully dodging the rain.

Have a great weekend and be thankful.
Let others know you love and care for them.

FlowerLady

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Let there be light ~ Yay!

Hello Friends ~ Thank you for anniversary wishes and kind comments.

Here it is a week ago today that Hurricane Dorian finally started heading north from the Bahamas, moving up the coast of FL. What a difference a week makes. It has taken a week to begin to feel back to normal, to having all that stress and tension loosen.

Today I didn't have anywhere to go so I got out rather early, right around 8 and mowed, that took about 50 minutes. Some rain is expected over the next couple of days and it feels good to have that job done. I still need to weedwack and pull high grass out of borders, but that can wait for another time.

After mowing, I wanted to see if I could take down the smaller sections of plywood from covering some of the windows, I didn't know how tight the wing nuts had been tightened down. I got three uncovered, plus the back door. What a difference in having sunlight coming in than being in semi-darkness from everything being boarded up.  It would have been a lot worse if I didn't have those heart cut-outs. They made me love my husband all the more. I looked at those plywood pieces and realized that I can trim off the bottom edges that have rotted away (after having been used since 2004), and still use them, so that's what I plan to do. I don't have the money to get clear hurricane shutters, or get new hurricane windows, so these should last awhile longer. I put the sections I took down back where they had been stacked and will have my friend from church come back and take the larger ones down. I'll probably just leave them up until hurricane season is over.

I was so happy and thankful that I was able to uncover 3 windows and one door.  It made me feel good that I am still capable of doing things even though it is getting harder.

I read in my devotional time the following scripture from 1 Chronicles 29:11-13 ~ 

"Thine, O Lord is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.

Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.

Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name."

God's strength is what I need each and every day. When I first became a widow, a verse that was a big help was this:  "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me". This is how I was able to do what I did this morning and I am so thankful.

The sun is blazing, there are white puffy clouds moving across the blue sky, from east to west. I have a lot to do outside, and now that 'fall is coming' I'm looking forward to being outside more.

Here are some blooms from the past week or so, they make my heart sing.

This is a ground cover that spreads like crazy.


These are 'International Herald Tribune' roses.
 These are another favorite.




  These are 'Mexican Petunias'.


  This rose bush is a 'sweetheart rose', or so I was told by the nursery owner.








  This is an unknown.


Ok, that's it from Plum Cottage. It is time for an early nap. Thanks again for love, encouragement and friendship. They are priceless.

Have a great day/week ~ FlowerLady

Sunday, September 8, 2019

50 years ago today


We said 'I do'. 




'Love is Forever'

Thursday, September 5, 2019

I am so thankful

Hello Friends ~ Here it is late Thursday afternoon. I got a load of laundry washed and hung out to dry, now it's sitting in the basket waiting to be folded and put away. I did some tree and hedge trimming, then had to quit as it was just too hot and humid out. I made forward progress here at Plum Cottage. Today I felt a hint of autumn in the air, I think it is that the sun is more at an angle. My DH used to laugh when I'd say 'fall is coming' and we were still sweating buckets in Sept. We won't really have cooler temps until Oct/Nov.

I am ashamed to say that late last Friday afternoon I really had an anxiety meltdown. I had worked on the path and getting some smaller plywood pieces up to cover windows myself. I was tired and stressed over Dorian which was a cat 5 hurricane right then with winds of 185 mph headed right for here. I  sent a text to pastors of my church requesting prayer. Then I sat here at my desk and cried and prayed. They texted back that they would pray, the asst pastor sent a  link to a song on you tube that has helped him when he has been worried. This is an old hymn, and I sang along with tears of thanksgiving streaming.


The lead pastor sent me scripture he had read that morning, which was just right for me right then.
Psalm 121 The Passion Translation (TPT)
God Protects Us

121 A song of the stairway

I look up to the mountains and hills, longing for God’s help.
But then I realize that our true help and protection
come only from the Lord,
our Creator who made the heavens and the earth.

He will guard and guide me, never letting me stumble or fall.
God is my keeper; he will never forget nor ignore me.

He will never slumber nor sleep;
he is the Guardian-God for his people, Israel.

Jehovah himself will watch over you;
he’s always at your side to shelter you safely in his presence.

He’s protecting you from all danger both day and night.

He will keep you from every form of evil or calamity
as he continually watches over you.

You will be guarded by God himself.
You will be safe when you leave your home
and safely you will return.
He will protect you now,
and he’ll protect you forevermore!

I felt so much calmer after the prayers and encouragement from them. I didn't feel so anxious and did not have another meltdown, even though we were still expecting Dorian to hit us.

It was awful watching the devastation that Dorian was wreaking on the Bahamas, for over 24 hours as it stalled there. It was only moving 1 mph and we still didn't know which way it would go. But there were weather patterns, that were predicted to pull it northward and hopefully keep it to the east of FL. Finally it started moving northward, slowly but surely, and kept east of us. Late Tues afternoon I really started to relax as the storm was east and mid state and steadily moving northward. Why were we spared and not the Bahamas? I don't know and I pray for those living there who now have to rebuild their lives. I'm also praying for the Carolinas as they are dealing with nasty weather including tornadoes from Dorian. 

While staying with my friend, I was lying on the bed in the afternoon during some bands of wind and rain and what I noticed in the midst of this weather, was a mockingbird singing away right outside the window, not a care in the world. Reminded me of God's taking care of the birds mentioned in the Bible, and how He cares much more for us.

------------

Miss Tork and I are so glad to be home, humble as it is, it is our little sanctuary. Now I'll share some photos taken before and after.
Below is the scullery window boarded up.


From inside


Candlestick cassia, photo taken on the first.


International Herald Tribune rose.








 As I was outside this morning, I heard a loud buzzing and it was this hover fly inside a bloom of the candlestick cassia.
You can see him inside one of the blooms and also an ant on top.



This photo was taken from inside. I happened to look up and saw the pink blooms framed inside the heart shape.


 After being away for almost three days, seeing my gardens again really was a balm to my heart and soul. I've lots of work to do in them, and it will get done in time. There are butterflies all over the place, along with bees, pollinating all of the flowers.

Life is precious, let us appreciate the gift of each new day that we are blessed with.
To God be the glory now and forever.
Amen.

FlowerLady


Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Home Sweet Home

Hi Folks ~ Just a quick note to say that Miss Tork and I arrived back to our 'home sweet home' this morning and we are so glad to be here. I am thankful to my friend for opening up her home to us during our Dorian scare/watch. The past week has been very tense as we watched a Category 5 hurricane head our way, with winds of 185 mph, then stall out over the Bahamas, causing so much damage, and loss of life as well. To see the videos of the devastation is heart wrenching and makes me so thankful to God for turning the storm away from us. It wasn't until yesterday afternoon seeing that Dorian was no longer a real threat to us, as it started to move up the coast, that I could really relax. We hardly got any wind or rain from this major hurricane. It was about 100 miles east of us when it was closest. Our highest gusts where I am might have been 40 mph. I may leave the house boarded up until hurricane season is over, which is in Nov.

I am praying for those in the Bahamas as they rebuild their lives and for all those still in the path of Dorian. Going through all of this makes me appreciate so much more, what I have been blessed with.

Thank you for prayers and words of encouragement.

FlowerLady ~ thankfully posting from Plum Cottage

Friday, August 30, 2019

Waiting

Hi Folks ~ It is early Friday afternoon. I did my little job with my elderly friend this morning. When I got there, I got the laundry going, then she told me to sit down. So, I did, and she asked me what my plans were with the hurricane. I said I didn't really know. Guys from the church are coming over in the morning to put up plywood. She said, well, you can stay here in my house. (She will be staying across the street with other elderly friends from church.) So, that is what Miss Tork and I are going to do. She lives in a concrete house, new roof, hurricane proof windows. It will be better than staying in my little wooden Plum Cottage where I can hear every single thing that hits the house and hear the winds roar. 

Dear Husband and I went through Francis, Jean and Wilma, 2004 & 2005. Those were horrible, Wilma was the worst!  I've been through Michael and Irma, Michael I stayed here with Miss Tork, scary, for Irma we went to stay with my dear BIL and SIL, an hour's drive away for me. My friend just lives 2 1/2 miles from PC. 

I will be alone as far as people goes, but God will be with me. (Miss Tork will be with me and have to do a bit of adjusting in somewhere strange). Yesterday I watched a few you tube messages on 'not being anxious',  this one was really good.




Hurricane Dorian was 'supposed' to be here Sun night/Mon morning, now it may not be until Wed. They really don't know what it is going to do, it has slowed down out over the ocean. Praying some wind shear will happen and send the thing out into the ocean where it will dissipate. We just keep watching and waiting. Before modern technology, you found about storms when they happened. Now all the media platforms hype it all up as soon as they have a hint of a storm and freak everyone out for days on end, with scary predictions, that may or may not come true.

I have been a worrier for most of my life. I 'hate' it. My mother was the same and my two sisters have the 'dis-ease' also. Reading the Bible and prayer helps me a lot. As a believer in Jesus, the wicked one, does all he can to plague me with fear, wanting me to doubt, instead of keeping my focus on Jesus. It's an ongoing process of trusting in God's tender care. When the attack of fear happens, I call out to Jesus, and pray for His peace to fill my heart and mind.  I thank you all for your prayers and encouraging words. They help.

After I got home this morning, I grabbed a pair of huge rubber boots from the workshop, and headed out back to stomp down a path to the back of barn where the plywood has been stacked. I think I'm going to have to have new sheets cut soon, as these are pretty bad. After all, they are 15 years old, and were made from recycled wood.

Here's my path. The plant growth is mainly the Wandering Jew plant, it was pretty high, but stomped down easily enough. It was hot and I sweat buckets as I began carrying the window coverings. I left three back there as they were too much for me to handle. The guys can handle them with ease tomorrow morning.


Here are the coverings I put up. DH made heart cutouts in several of them, to let light in and they are a nice romantic touch and make me love him all the more. I miss him, but know he's in heaven cheering me on.

This is the back door and bathroom window. I couldn't do the bathroom window, too heavy for me.


Below are the two bedroom windows.


 Living room window.


Living room and bedroom windows showing the hearts from inside.



Here is the driveway to the back. Wed. morning after work, I came home and sensed I had the opportunity to mow. It had been a couple of weeks and we kept having rain and more rain.

 

This is where I park. You can barely see the 'caravan'. to the left, these days, as a spinach tree has really taken off.

 
This rain lily was along the driveway, heralding more rain in the forecast.
 
 
Here's the mid-day blue sky, you wouldn't know that people are racing to and fro getting supplies, etc. as they prepare for the storm. The traffic is unbelievable.
 

The cap, spring and the pre-strung spools, came for the weed wacker, and I got it all back together and was able to do a bit of 'wacking'. It works fine.

Ok, that's it for now. It's time for a bit of lunch and maybe a short nap. I am worn out from this morning.

Thanks again for prayers, keep praying, and for your encouraging words.
I'll keep you posted.

FlowerLady 

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Hi Folks ~ Well, it's hurricane season again, and I ask for prayers for Dorian to go north. I'll keep you posted. Guys from the church are going to come and put up plywood panels on windows, panels are stacked behind the barn. Hope they are still usable. They are 14 years old and the last time they were used was for Hurricane Irma 2 years ago. Pray for me to keep my focus on God's tender care and to turn all of my care over to Him, because He cares. 

Thank you ~ FlowerLady

Friday, August 23, 2019

A beautiful Swedish cottage garden

Hi Folks ~ I came across this beautiful garden on you tube and thought you might enjoy the stroll. 


Have a great weekend ~ FlowerLady

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Projects, life, etc.


Good morning Friends ~ I can't thank you enough for your kind words of encouragement on my latest post. We all go through up and down times. And it's through God's love and the kindness of others that we make it through our days. As a lot of you know, I'm a widow now, it's been 6 years and 8 months since God called my dear husband home to be with Him. While the grieving isn't as hard and raw as it was in the beginning, I still grieve at times, and trust in God to be my strength when I'm having a down time.

I am a procrastinator living on a budget. There are projects that hubby and I had been working on together that are still undone. I was his helper, and now I do what I can to take care of home and property myself. It is easier when the weather is nicer, but the heat and humidity of summer and being the age that I am now, I get drained of energy easier than I used to. I do what I can, when I can. When people come over here, they don't see the 'mess' I see, they see a bit of early Florida, they see all the neat tools, my kitch on the inside and the flowers, etc., they love it, they get excited and they give compliments, which make my heart sing.

I took the pics below on the 20th of the front patio and path. The patio and path need pressure washing, weeds need to be taken care of,  paths need clearing, etc.





In the overgrowth near the driveway gate, is the key lime tree, with 5 limes on it. I plan on using one to make a margarita to celebrate our 50th anniversary. ;-)


A couple of posts back, I shared about my weed whacker flipping it's lid and spool. I've looked in the hedgerow out front where I was working at the time, but did not find the spool or the spring. There are thorns in that hedgerow also so I didn't spend a whole lot of time out there digging around. One of my followers, a friend who became a widow after I did, suggested I look for parts online so I did. After reviewing both the generic parts and the B&D parts, I decided to go with the B&D. Their spools are made for my machine, they are wound and ready to go so I won't have to hassle with trying to restring a spool myself. I'm not one who has an immaculate property, only using the whacker when I feel it really needs it, so these three spools should last me a good while. Complaints about the generic spools not matching up feed holes in the machine is what decided me against them. My husband always restrung the spool for me, but after the last fiasco of trying it myself, I'm not going to try again. Two out of four worked, and two didn't, the last one being the worst. My new lid with spring and the 3 spools should be here next week. 

I enjoy working outside in nice weather, right now I have to be out as early as possible, and even then the humidity drags me down. I am so ready for cooler weather, but we still have September to get through yet. We've had some wicked thunderstorms, LOTS of rain so things are really growing like crazy.

Inside I've been working on straightening up, decluttering and cleaning. Working with/for my friend Bea has helped encourage me to keep working on this place. Since I've been on my own, I've lost, at times, the initiative to do anything. It hardly seems worth it, but that's not how hubby would want me to be living. He would want me to be my happy self, enjoying what God blesses me with each day, and know and trust that God is with me through everything, good and bad.

So, here are before and after pictures. This first photo is from March of this year. 


 This photo was taken this morning.

  

This is from June this year.


 This is from this morning. I'm standing on the other side of the bed, Miss Tork is contemplating jumping up on the bed for a snooze.

 

Here is the other side of this space.


 This is the bedroom side of this space. whole space is 8'10" wide by 24'long.


Still lots to do to finish off this cottage, and little by little things are getting accomplished. 
That's it for now. I need to get up and do some things. 

Home is where your heart is, big or small, finished or unfinished. It is a haven, one to be thankful for.

Enjoy your days ~ FlowerLady