Saturday, July 11, 2020

Change of scenery

Good Saturday morning from Plum Cottage, may you all find beauty and joy in the weekend.

Yesterday morning I woke up from a horrible claustrophobic dream and had a big panic attack. Sheesh! It was right around 5 and I decided to get up. I started the kettle for a cup of tea, and then had a spell of 'dry heaving'. Oh my gosh. I prayed, read scripture and eventually calmed down. I felt out of sorts and not so good most of the day, but gradually by the end of the day I was feeling more normal and much better. I slept good last night and was thankful for that.

One thing I did yesterday that helped give me a different perspective was to go into the caravan and lie down on the bench/bed in there. It was very warm, but not unbearable. I just laid there. It was nice to be out of the house, out of the gardens, to be somewhere different. Sure it is an unfinished project, the last one dear husband was working on. I will never finish it like he would have done, but I can make it look more presentable. Right now I've stored some things in there, but I can easily clear them out and go from there. It is a sweet little place. We 'were' going to camp in there while working on laying new flooring in our bedroom. That didn't happen of course. Life goes on though, and here it is 7 1/2 years later, I'm still putting one foot in front of the other, doing what I can.

I loved the way the sunlight was shining through one of the stained glass windows.

These past 4 months have been rough for everyone around the whole world. We are all affected differently. It has made me miss my dear husband all the more. It has made me think about what is really important at this stage of my life. It's not about things, it's about faith in God, love for Him and for others. It's about forgiveness, about encouraging one another, letting go of the past, looking forward to each new day.

This morning I came across this scripture that inspired me to keep focused on Jesus. To know that He is my strength when I am weak, that He is always with me.

My fellow believers,
when it seems as though
you are facing nothing but difficulties
see it as an invaluable opportunity
to experience the greatest joy that you can!
For you know that when your faith is tested
it stirs up power within you to endure all things.

And then as your endurance grows even stronger
it will release perfection into every part of your being
until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.

James 1:2-4 TPT

That's it for now. I've got to eat some breakfast and get ready for our GriefShare meet and greet zoom meeting this morning. There may be only 4 of us, but God will be right there with us comforting us with His ever lasting love.

Have a great weekend ~ FlowerLady

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Little accomplishments ;-)

Hi Folks ~ Today is a new day, a gift from our heavenly Father, Creator of the universe and all that is in it. May we be glad and rejoice in it.

My tropical jungle continues to 'overgrow'. Mowing is a weekly occurrence if it can be done in between times of rain. There is also always something to trim, as I never get caught up with it all.

View out the scullery window as a storm was headed in my direction.

The flowers of course are enjoying all of God's liquid sunshine. This rose below is 'Prosperity' and I've had it for years. The blooms always make me smile and give thanks and I put my nose to the blooms to take in their delicate sweet scent.

Below are alamanda blooms, this plant was grown from a cutting. Only one out of 6 cuttings made it. I love the coloring of this one.

The other day my dear friend Rita was going to drop off a couple of things she had for me, one was this lovely, key ring, which touched my heart.

Plus she stopped on the way and got me a Wendy's cheeseburger, fries, lemonade and a big cookie. Such a dear to do this and it was much appreciated.

My driveway needed some serious trimming as 4 o'clocks and other things were sprawling. So I tackled the job before she got here. It took a couple of hours and I was working in the shade, sweating but not as bad as if I'd been working in the sun.



Tree limbs from the neighbors trees are over hanging the driveway. I do appreciate the shade, but, it's overgrowth is getting to be way too much. I cut back what I can reach and I keep praying that the tree service that takes care of trimming trees for the power lines will come along and take care of it all. They have done so in the past. My dear husband used to take care of it. The last time it was done was 2-3 years ago by a friend's tree man, no cost to me.

From the sidewalk looking north.

From the back looking south.

Little side gate into front patio.

Well, I won't be buying a new phone for connecting with Zoom. My Wi-fi connection is what's wrong. I checked my ATT account and I now only have the basic internet connection. We used to have a great connection, but I did get rid of my landline because of finances so just have U-verse, maybe they cut my connection back. As a widow, on a very limited budget, I really have to watch my spending. I am relieved about not buying a new phone, as that's a LOT of $$. This one works just fine and does have a great camera.

I have an older computer with windows 7 and no camera on my monitor, so I googled web-cams. I read and read reviews and info on these cameras and finally ended up with this one below.

My brother-in-law and sis-in-law were very impressed with the quality of audio and video when we 'zoomed' on Sunday.

I was intimidated by this all as my DH was the computer geek. I had to purchase a web cam on my own, then downloaded the zoom program to my computer. And YAY, I did it! It was so nice to zoom and not be frustrated about being cut off constantly. Plus on my computer I can 'see' everyone so much larger than being on phone.

My friend Rita and I will be starting a new session of GriefShare, online, using zoom. This is all new territory, much different than doing it in person. Please keep us in your prayers, and for any who will attend these meetings in this way.

Below are a couple of visitors.

I had just opened up the curtains on the back door and saw this stray cat lounging. It wasn't all the way light out yet, outdoor light hadn't shut off, and he saw me,

then ignored me.

Here is another visitor from yesterday afternoon.

In the pic below, he must have sensed me staring at him through the window and decided to vacate the premises.

I will close this post in saying that reminders of love can show up when we least expect it. This one was on the bumper of my van.

Keep me in your prayers as I try to take care of this place. It does get overwhelming at times, and especially during this time of isolation.

Thank you all for your love, prayers and encouragement.

Thank you dear Deb for the three masks you made and sent. I will think of you and pray for you as I wear them.

Thank you dear Terra for this sweet 'bear' hug.

That's it from Plum Cottage for now.

Love, hugs and prayers,

Saturday, June 27, 2020

One day at a time

Hello Folks ~ I hope you are having a lovely weekend wherever you are. It is another hot and humid day. Night before last, was a rough one for me, after a really down day. I just couldn't fall asleep like normal. All kinds of things running through my mind. Last night I slept really good, lights out around 9:30 and I woke up and got up close to 5 this morning. I thanked God for a good sleep and the new day.

One thing that had been on my mind was one of the frangipani trees in the main garden. It had a couple of limbs getting too close to the power line that runs from pole out front by the road, to the workshop, and that's over my main garden. I worried that it was too close for me to take care of, but it was about a foot or so away.

I went out after coffee, but before breakfast. Got out the tree saw, and the pole cutter and went to work. Then I did some fern and weed pulling and trimming in the overgrown main garden. I was drenched in sweat and called it quits for the day. At least those limbs are gone and they are now hardening off for about a week, before I pot them up to root. The ones I have growing are all from cuttings from a friend, which I have rooted cuttings from to give me a couple more.

Click on photos for a larger view.

Below is the before picture. The limb to the left side was not the culprit, but the ones in the back of pic, with the ever creeping Virginia creeper vine, reaching for the power line.

Here is after and now that is one worrying thing off my mind. These limbs were about 10' high.

There is so much more work to do in this garden. Paths are overgrown with ferns and vines, weeds abound also. We've had a lot of rain and that makes things grow even faster.

The other morning when I was feeling so blue, I was out by my clothesline and happened to look up and saw to my delight that the Cereus cactus was in bloom. This cactus has grown up a dead pine tree and I don't always look 'up'.

I drew an arrow onto the dead pine in pic below. The tree is about 8' from the fence/property line.

These blooms are supposed to be scented, but if so I can't tell. Even when we took pics of one years ago where we could smell it, I didn't detect any scent, which was disappointing. Still the flowers are wonderful and huge.

Below is a link to a you-tube video from 2012. My dear husband was not well, but woke me up in the middle of the night a couple of times, so we could go out and take more pics as this bloom opened up. He held a light and I am thankful for this lovely time we had together. God called him home 4 months later.

In my down moments, God showed His love for me through His creation, by causing me to look 'up' and seeing these glorious blooms to enjoy. He knew they would make my heart feel glad and lighter. He was right. These blooms are only open for a day.

In a devotional by Marcia Gaddis, which came in my email yesterday morning from 'Wisdom Hunters', I read the following that encouraged my heart. The devotional is titled 'Living in the Present Moment', you can click on the title and it will take you to the website.

We are having to wait through this pandemic, life as we knew it is no more, and will never be the same.

~ Betty Skinner, in her book The Hidden Life, says this about waiting:

"Waiting is one of the most difficult pieces of a deep, inner spiritual journey. We want to outrun God, but our growth depends on consciously letting go of our fear and allowing our circumstances the space to teach us what God intends....As long as we wait in fear and anxiety, we will not experience growth."

She goes on to say, "This way of waiting requires we understand that the spiritual life can only be lived in the present moment. Living in the future produces anxiety, worry, and fear. Living in the past produces guilt, bitterness and regret. Many of us never get out of the past or the future and miss the gift that is the present moment." (My bold and italics.)

Oh my, how I want to live in the present. Always knowing and trusting God for working all things out. He is in control and my fretting and worrying over things, past, present or future does NOT do any good.

My gardens are a gift to me and are a comfort and joy during this time. Long, long ago, this property had no gardens. I told my dear husband I would rather have growing flowers than a bouquet of dying ones and that's how this all came to be. He bought, we bought, I bought, plants and more plants. :-)

I selectively take photos, so you do NOT see all of the overgrowth, and what I call ugliness of my gardens. Your kind words about what you see, encourage me to keep working in them. The exercise is great and free, I sweat out toxins and enjoy being out among the scents, colors, butterflies, bees and birds, plus the occasional neighborhood cats.

Yesterday I was able to capture this redbird. I was at the scullery sink and there were two frolicking in the water, but only one was there after I ran for my camera.

Ok, that's it for now. I need to go out and do some hand watering of things in pots.

Find the peace and beauty in each day you are blessed with. If you happen to have people around you, be thankful, give them lots of hugs, tell them you love them. Be forgiving and encouraging. These are rough times all over this planet, and we need to be kind to each other. Being kind matters.

Love, hugs and prayers,

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Blooms, heat, humidity, mosquitoes

Hello Folks ~ Hope you are all doing well, considering everything. It is HOT and HUMID and the mosquitoes are out in full force. I checked the temp and it says 89 degrees F, but the real feel is 106.  It is horrible out. I am so thankful for air-conditioning. I worked outside a tiny bit and couldn't handle it, it was making me feel sick with how oppressive it was.

I don't feel like doing anything at all, so I sat here and edited photos, wanting to get a new post up.

I got my new roses from 'Rose Petals Nursery' yesterday. They do an excellent job of packing their roses. The pots are stapled to the box from the outside with huge staples. Each pot is double wrapped in plastic bags, pots good and watered with wet newspaper on top. I had one little rose bloom. It was Mlle. Blanche Lafitte. I smelled her and was disappointed, as she didn't smell all that fragrant to me. But, this morning I smelled her again, and oh my goodness, absolutely wonderful. I think a lot of flowers smell their best in the morning. Plus these roses had been boxed up for at least a day in their traveling here.

Here she is. Mlle Blanche Lafitte.

Here they are on the front patio, late afternoon.

They all look good and have new growth on them. I look forward to seeing all of them in bloom and to smell all of their wonderful scents.

I was able to mow a last week, & soon after I came inside it lightly rained, then later we had heavy rain and T-storms, the next day also. Grass needs mowing again, but it will have to be done very early and maybe not even this week at all. The grass need to be dry when I mow or else it stick to the bottom of mower.

Now for some pics from Plum Cottage, inside looking out during a heavy rain. This is looking out over the scullery sink where I wash dishes, into the secret garden.

This is from inside here at my desk.

Lots of things are blooming, and everything is growing like crazy from all of the recent rain we've had.

'Dong Juan' roses.

'International Herald Tribune'

'Sweetheart Roses'

I'm not sure, but I think this is 'Ruth's Wavy'

'Queen Crepe'

Can anyone tell me what this is? The didn't know at the nursery where I got it.

'Fringed Hibiscus'

Tadpoles galore.

'Tahitian Gardenias'

'Tropical Lilac' and vanda orchid 'Miss Joachim'.

White Plumbago

I will close with the following thought.

“We are not rich by what we possess but by what we can do without.”

Immanuel Kant

Love, hugs and prayers ~ FlowerLady