Thursday, August 15, 2019

Hot, humid August


Hello Folks ~ It's been almost a month since my last post. Our summer heat and humidity totally drains me of all energy. I went out this morning to mow and weed wack. I restrung my weed wacker, but evidently didn't do it right as a few minutes into doing it's job, the spool head and spool blew off. I found the orange top, but didn't find the spool yet, it's black and somewhere in the hedge. I looked some, but was bummed and frustrated, so decided to start mowing while I felt like it. I did the little front lawn, up along the driveway and started into the back area, but just couldn't do anymore. I was soaked and needed to stop. I had taken small water breaks and was out there for around 2 hours. It was 81 when I started with real feel being 94, when I stopped the temp was 88 but real feel was 106. YIKES! I will look out in the hedge again when I can for the black spool as I don't really want to spend the $ on a new tool. This has worked just fine for years and years. 

We have had lots of stormy weather down here, wind, black rain heavy clouds, thunder and lightening, scary stuff. The sky is darkening as I'm typing now.

Early on the morning of the first, I looked out the window here beside my chair and the clouds in the sky, drew me outside. The coloring of the sky, sort of golden.


I went outside and this is how it looked from standing in the driveway.


I went on up the driveway and when I got to the turning point, this is what I saw, and gasped in delight. I thanked God right then and there for nudging me with the view out my window to go outside with camera to see this gift He had for me.


 


Working with dear Bea is going along nicely. She's a character. We both are thankful for each other. 

This is just a short post to let you all know I'm still here. I have up and down days. Our 50th wedding anniversary is coming up on the 8th, so there are a lot of memories rumbling around in my head and heart. I have much to be thankful for.

I've been reading posts and you all are busy with summer activities and I pray for continued blessings for you. I pray for our country and world, times are rough all over. In spite of all the bad that is going on, there are good things to be thankful for. There is still much beauty and love in this world.

Ok, that's it. Love, hugs & prayers from FlowerLady

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Hot & steamy, blooms, part-time work

Hello Friends ~ It's been just about a month since my last post.Time is zipping right along, each week is gone before I know it.

Remember the dead raccoon? Well, there was another one, which makes me think they must have been poisoned, because it was at the same time. The smell for the most part is GONE and that's wonderful.

I washed and hung out a load of laundry this morning, then cut back some overhanging limbs into the driveway, did a little other trimming that needed doing, bagged it up and put it and limbs out to be picked up tomorrow. Put tools away, came inside and checked the temp, 89, but with the humidity, real feel is 96. I am sitting here drinking water.

By the way, am using little a.c. again, as for some reason the water has clogged up in my Friedrich's again so that even though it was draining very good to the outside, it started dripping on the inside. This is very frustrating to me, to say the least. If my husband was here, he would have fixed the problem by thinking outside the box. The a.c. man does what he knows how to do and is good at it, so I don't have a complaint there, and he doesn't charge me. It will get fixed one of these days, for now, I'm not going to stress about it as the little a.c. is keeping it cool in here, maybe not as cool as I would like, but it is comfortable, and I am thankful.

Tuesday morning my Srs. Bible study had a bday brunch for one of our members who turned 92. I made a sausage gravy biscuit casserole. Found the recipe here.: Biscuits, sausage gravy casserole. It was easy and a big hit, no left-overs. I need to make it up for myself and freeze it in small portions.


We need rain again. I mowed last week won't have to do it this week.






In spite of little rain, things are still blooming. I do hand water and use my sprinklers on designated days. Grass does not get watered. I have to pay for water and grass isn't a necessity.  It looks pretty good in these photos. It's just starting to get dry looking.

Here are some blooms happening here. Below is Giant Milkweed.


Photos below are of Texas Sage. I love the silvery green foliage and of course the purple flowers.






This is a pic of 2-3 different kinds of vines hanging off the back shed. I just haven't had the heart to pull them off yet. I will when I have to go into the shed.


Plumbago and Miss Joachim, vanda orchid.



 Tropical Lilac
  

Cross rocks for GriefShare attendees. I have a few more to make.

 

This is the start of a little blanket for a sweet baby girl born about a week ago with heart problems and Down Syndrome. Her name is Sara, please keep her in your prayers. She's been hooked up to oxygen also. Found this pattern online, sweet and easy. Here is the you-tube link - part 1.  Beautiful shells blanket



Now, here is an answer to prayer for me, part time work, close to home. As some of you know, I lost the job I'd had for 17 years, 2 1/2 years after my husband left this planet. My boss decided to sell the building we were in and move across the state. That was the end of an era for me. I've been looking on Craig's List, etc. for part-time work. Have checked out craft stores, and other stores, and one of the requirements is to be able to lift 50 lbs. Well, I have to say that is not going to happen with me. Any other jobs I saw as potential, just weren't right. So, I've just been praying about some kind of part time work to supplement my small ss check and trying not to be overly anxious about any of it. God provides and works things out.

This past Sunday morning, I was talking to an elderly friend from my Bible study and she told me how she needs someone to work for her Mon-Wed-Fri mornings doing light cleaning work. She does not want to go to a nursing home. She's very independent at almost 94 years old. So, Sunday afternoon I visited her for 2 hours and yesterday morning I started working with her. We both feel this is an answer to prayer for both of us, we were friends first, and we both just feel happy about this arrangement. She lives 2.5 miles from me. ;-) She crochets, reads, plays games, watches movies, and is quite the character. She's been a widow for 35 years. 

She had people come from agencies to work for her and ended up having things pilfered, and that was discouraging for her. For as long as this lasts, I am thankful. We both are not getting any younger. She inspires this 70 year old with her spunk.  Keep us both in your prayers. We both hit it off with each other when we first met at the beginning of this year and have been telling each other, I love you, for months.

Ok, that's about it from Plum Cottage. I am feeling like getting horizontal for my afternoon nap.

Enjoy each day that you are blessed with. Hug those you love and tell them you love them. Those you can't hug, write them a note, send a text, or call them, but let them know they are special to you.

FlowerLady

Friday, June 21, 2019

Summer is here


Hello Folks ~ it's hard to believe we are almost into July and today is the first day of summer. Right now, at 6:22 p.m. EST it is 90 and feels like it is 100. YIKES! No wonder I feel like hibernating. I am so thankful my Friedrich's a.c. is working fine again. A couple of shims, a new hole drilled into the bottom casing, and making a wider pathway for the collected water to go where it should to the outside. I'm thankful to Stephen who came and did this work for me, for free. He's been in the a.c. business for over 30 years. Met him through church.

I bought a Lasko pedestal fan a few weeks back, and it sits in the hallway at night blowing the cool air from a.c. into the bedroom, which keeps the temp in bedroom at around 74. Very comfortable for sleeping.

A week ago I mowed as grass was dry, the next day we had rain and then off and on since then. So I did that at the right time. It needs it again, but I'll wait until next week and then get out early to do it. 

I also got a couple of loads of laundry washed and hung out to dry and that was a good thing also, as a couple of days ago I started smelling something 'dead'. Saw lots of flies, and then saw that it's a critter, either racoon  or possum, in the hedge around the secret garden, hedge next to clothesline area. I know from experience that in a few days nature will take care of it all. When my dear husband was here, he would take care of digging a hole and moving critter to it to be buried. Since I'm here by myself, I'm not even going to attempt that. I don't want to end up wretching.

This morning I saw that I had a regular gardenia in bloom and also a Tahitian gardenia had a bloom. The scents are so wonderful.  I just sat here a little while ago, in my creative space, editing photos while listening to soothing instrumental music, and felt like crying for joy. God's creation is such a beautiful gift to us. These days it is so easy to miss seeing so much loveliness because we are so engrossed in social media, so busy, busy busy. 

So, here is some loveliness for you to enjoy.
  

 





In the picture above, you can see a glimpse of the statue below through the window. We bought her at a local flea market many, many, many years ago for $10. She's made of cement. Her head and arm have been knocked off, but DH put her back together again.
I did a google search a long time ago and believe she is called 'The Weeping Woman'. She has aged nicely.


I've  been feeling a tad down lately. Those feelings come and go. Being a widow has made some drastic changes in my life and I miss my dearest and best friend so much.

I've been re-reading a book titled "Whisper - How to Hear the Voice of God" by Mark Batterson.
I read uplifting books before going to sleep and after turning off the light and laying there in the quiet, praying last night, these words came to me, "Let it go." I knew what the 'it' was, all of the things I'm anxious about. Those three words, calmed my spirit. 

This morning as I read more in this book, these words jumped out at me ~
His, God's, word does not return void. 
I looked it up in my Bible and this is the scripture from Isaiah 55:11 ~

"So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
Then in verse 12 it says:
"You shall go out in joy and be led forth with peace."

I then was flipping through pages and came across this verse:

"Call unto me and I will answer thee and show thee 
great and  mighty things which thou knowest not.
Jeremiah 33:3 KJV 

A week ago, I finished a 549 page fiction book called 'The Forgotten Garden'. Near the end of the book I read the following: 
"You make life out of what you have,
 not what you are missing." 
Boy oh boy, that hit me and I felt like God was speaking to me through those words also. 

He can and does speak to us, we just need to calm down, be still and look and listen.

**************

An online friend sent me pics of rocks she had covered in crochet, with a cross as the focal point. I've made a few and given them away and they are great little reminders that God is our rock.

Psalms 18:2 NIV says this:
 "The Lord is my rock,
my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation,
my stronghold
."

Below is the last one I made. I had bought a bag of river rocks at Home Depot for around $9, (much cheaper than buying a little craft bag of them), and I am going through it picking out rocks that will work for this project. I wash then off, let them dry, then paint them with clear nail polish.


  Here's a batch cleaned, waiting for polish then the crocheting.

 
Ok, that's it for now. I pray that any of you who are going through tough times, that you will call out to God. He cares deeply for each of us. He will be our strength when we are weak.
Love, hugs & prayers,
FlowerLady




Saturday, June 8, 2019

Le Jardin Secret

Oh my goodness. This is absolutely beautiful. Enjoy.



The garden of my dreams.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Such a deal!

Hello Folks ~ I want to thank all of you for your concern with my not having a.c. for a couple of days. I want to tell you that this tiny 5000 BTU a.c. is keeping my little cottage very comfortable. It has been as low as 74 degrees in the bedroom which is the furthest room from the a.c. I almost think it is doing a better job at cooling this place that the larger BTU by Friedrichs. I put a Lasko, pedestal fan in the hallway which blows the cooler air into bedroom and have a ceiling fan over the bed. I am very comfortable. God is good! 

The man who cleaned my large a.c. unit is to be here tomorrow to drill a hole or two in the bottom pan of the unit, so that water can drain out. I haven't contacted Friedrichs yet, but did take photos of the deteriorating fins. I am really bummed with this unit as this company has the reputation of being the Cadillac of air conditioners. I bought this thinking it was going to last me a good many years, not just two. 

I am so thankful for this Daewoo tiny a.c.



This morning I did a couple of errands, had to get windshield wiper blades, saw a shoe store that was going out of business and stopped there, but they weren't going to be opening for another 40 minutes or so, so I went on my way. Decided to stop at a new thrift store I'd heard about, and checked out their shoe dept. as I need new shoes for gardening in. This is the pair I found. Almost new, just a bit of a scuff on the right toe area. I knew nothing about the brand, I tried them on and they are perfect, 7 1/2 wide. They are made in the USA. I got home and googled them, they are SAS tripad comfort, $171. I paid $4.99.



When I told my friend about them, she said God placed them right on the shelf just for me to find. They were the best looking shoe of this type on the shelves.

****************

I was reading something the other day about taking long canes of roses and bending them over, to make more shoots come out along the cane. Well, I did that with the 'Bermuda Kathleen' rose that I have, and it is doing great. I've another cane from it that I need to bend over in the opposite direction.

  


 ******************

I will be facilitating with the lady who leads GriefShare at my church. We have become friends since I went to the first session. We were together yesterday at her apt. viewing the video for the one time session for 'Loss of a Spouse'. We visited, had lunch and after I got home, I laid down for a nap, but couldn't sleep.

I got up and got out some supplies and created this piece.



I have 14 more of the little bottles. They are flat on the back side. The little tear drops are sewn to the felt underneath the bottle. The bottle is sewn down. There is a bluish crystal at the top of bottle. I'd like to make these up to give to participants. It took me roughly 2-3 hours to make, not sure exactly.

I've been itching to create again and this is the perfect start.

We had a little rain today, more is expected. We really needed it.

That's it for now. Have a wonderful weekend wherever you are.

FlowerLady

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Tiny a.c. unit keeping me cool!

Good morning Folks ~ two nights with no a.c., first night not too bad, second night not so good. Since my a.c. man can't get here until Sat., I got out the tiny a.c. unit, still in the box, given to me a few years back. I unboxed it, read the instructions, but could not lift it into the window. So, I let the assistant pastor at church know that I needed help in putting the unit in the window. He and the one young man who had helped get the chair here, came, put the unit in the window, and got it sealed in to keep cool air in. Then, we plugged it in and thankfully it works. I am so thankful for the gift of the little unit and for the help of these two young men. 

It was 84 in the bedroom, furthest room from a.c., outside was much worse, feeling like it was 10 degrees hotter. I went out to an American Sign Language class last night, a thoroughly enjoyable evening, and something I am looking forward to again. It was still warm in the house when I got home, but the humidity was being sucked out and that was a good thing.

In the middle of the night I checked the thermometer in the bedroom and it read 78. YAY!!!! I slept really good, getting almost 10 hours of sleep. 


This morning I need to get a few groceries. Then it's back home to relax. Having two days of no a.c. really drained me. I was starting to get 'grumpy' also. Heat does that to me. 

Yesterday after my Sr's Bible study, a gentleman from the church who feeds the homeless with collected goods from stores, came by to see if any of us wanted anything as he had surplus. I took 4 ears of corn, some butter rolls, and an apple strudel with walnuts, and 4 Fuji apples. Another blessing!! Pray for me as I plan to be more frugal than I already am.

Ok, with that, it's time for some breakfast and get ready to go get some groceries.

Enjoy your day, count your blessings, and thank God for all.

FlowerLady

Monday, June 3, 2019

A.C. problem again

Hi Folks ~ Here it is another hot and humid day in s.e. FL. This afternoon my 2 year old Friedrich a.c. clogged up again and started leaking inside like before. It's only been a couple of weeks since the a.c. was taken out of wall and cleaned with hose outside. I am bummed to say the least. When the a.c. man was here and was cleaning the unit, he said the fins were eaten up pretty bad, especially on the inside of the back section of fins. Things aren't being made like they used to be. The a.c. does have a 1/4 inch slant to the outside, so that's not the problem.

We've had other Friedrich a.c. units, one lasted 12 years and the other 9. They have a great reputation for being the 'Cadillac' of room a.c.'s. I do have a warranty that my BIL paid for so I need to get in touch with the company. 

I have the windows closed to keep out heat and humidity, and have two fans to blow on me tonight. I do have a tiny a.c. unit I may have put in the living room window, but, it  can't be done tonight. The a.c. man cannot get here til Fri or Sat. to clean big unit again. Depressing!

Tomorrow it is supposed to be 90, don't know what the real feel temp will be.

 To top it off, I got my quarterly property tax bill in the mail today.

I need to relax, and trust God to work all things out, as He has in the past. Pray for me to be calm and patient.

On a positive note, two men from the church picked up my chair for me on Sat. morning. It fits perfectly in the space. The chair is a little dark for the summer, so I've covered it temporarily with the only thing I could find in my stash that would work. Not perfect, but I like the summer look.

Here's the chair before in the first photo, then covered in the second. Oh yea, the chair is a La-Z-Boy.


 
Miss Tork is enjoying the chair.

Ok, that's it for now. 

Doing without, 
makes us appreciate so much more,
whatever it is that we are having to do without.

FlowerLady



Thursday, May 30, 2019

Summer is here

Hello Folks ~ here it is late Thurs. morning EST in the USA. I worked outside mowing, trimming, raking and bagging for 1 hr and 45 min. My body started telling me it was time to quit. I was starting to stumble along, always a sign I've done enough, and I was thirsty, hot and tired. 

I checked the weather when I came in and it was 85F with humidity at 65% and real feel 96, real feel in the shade 89. Yesterday morning I worked about 2 hours. It's all I can handle in this kind of weather. I had my pedometer this morning, and that time of gardening only clocked 1471 steps. How on earth do people walk 10,000 steps?? 'They' say that number of steps is what we 'should' be walking. I'm 70, gardening has been my exercise for years and years. I haven't been concerned about how many steps I should be taking, I worked til my body said stop. In my younger years, I could work longer, but not any more. 

This number of steps that 'they' say we 'should' be walking daily is a burden, it makes me feel 'guilty'. Guilty for what? For 'not' doing what 'they' say I 'should' be doing. A verse from the Bible popped into my mind, 

 KJV I Timothy 4:8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. 

NIV: "For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." 

Hmmmm. Words to ponder for sure. ~ Do what I can, enjoying my time in my gardens and keep my focus on God and what he has done, what He is doing and what He will do.  Sounds like a plan to me.

I've still a pile of trimmings to bag up, and to put curbside, where it is picked up then taken to a facility that turns it all into mulch. I hope to do that later when the sun is not blazing overhead. 

Here are some photos of the little rose 'International Herald Tribune'. Such a pretty rose. First few photos were taken in the morning, the later ones were taken after the sun had crisped the roses. 




 




Ok, that's it for now. I'm ready for lunch, then a nap. 

I read a good thought the other morning from Ann Voskamp's book 'The Broken Way',
"To-do lists can become to-love lists". That is certainly a different and better way of looking at things.

Keep cool or warm wherever you are, keep calm and be thankful.

Pray for those going through the nasty weather of tornadoes and flooding, and those going through early sweltering heat.

FlowerLady