Monday, April 27, 2020

Another week has come and gone

Hello Folks ~ Here it is the start of another week. Today makes day 48 since I've left the property. Our 'self-isolation' period has been prolonged until May 31. I am so thankful for blessings this past week.

Had a friend, Sandy, call while I was talking with another friend, Rita, she left a msg. Rita and I had been talking about food and I told her I had a craving for fresh veggies. Well, when I called my Sandy back, she asked me would I like a blessing of fresh veggies. I could hardly believe it. I told her I had just mentioned craving them to Rita. God knew and he had answered my craving before I even voiced it.

I cooked up the corn, and it is sweet. Think I'll make a corn/potato chowder with the rest, stretching it out. With the cucumber and tomatoes I plan to make a salad, adding kalamata olives and some gargonzola cheese.

The next day Rita called me up and said she wanted to gift me a 6 pack of toilet paper, a box of kleenex, plus a Wendy's drive thru lunch, cheese burger, fries and lemonade. The day before we had been talking about toilet paper, and while I still had 4 rolls, 3 double layer, and one single layer, I said I was counting my sheets. Three for p, more for the other, two to blow my nose and one for my watery eyes. We both were laughing, but she felt compassion for me doing that.

While talking with Rita on the phone about her coming over, I had a fire truck and then a power truck out front. I had been hearing electrical pops, thought it was a palm frond hitting the hot wire along my driveway, but it wasn't. It was the neighbors trees along the road side by their apts. Sometimes single pops and then other time a continuous string of them. I called 911 finally because of fear of fire starting, (had that happen before, small, but still scary, especially as it was a windy day.) They sent out a fire truck and called the power company. The power company came, to take care of tree limbs and the fire truck left. The man from power company said they hadn't seen anything, but he heard and saw the sparks flying. He took care of the problem and I thanked him.

I then called Rita telling her she could come and she did a stop and drop. Oh my what a treat.

I walked around picking flowers for a bouquet to give her. What a joy it was doing that. Pictures below from different angles.

On the phone the day before I had told her I had baked a loaf of oatmeal bread in my machine. She groaned and said "are you trying to make me jealous?" So, I decided to give her half of it.

I baked another loaf yesterday afternoon, and oh my the aroma that fills this place is so wonderful.

I am thankful to Mary for once again picking up and delivering groceries with a smile yesterday.

This past week I worked outside on clearing a path on the east side of main garden. Forward progress.

Now for some more blooms. Miss Joachim vanda orchids.

 Next we have 'tropical hydrangea'.

 This is 'frangipani'. I have an all pink variety that I've had for years and years. A friend had given me 4-5 cuttings and I just stuck them in the ground. They are always a treat when they bloom. This particular plant I bought a couple of years ago.

Below is 'sandpaper vine, or queens wreath vine'. Since I can't grow wisteria, I found this tropical vine. I think a gardening friend gave me a cutting, it's been years ago and this is the first year that it's done this well. I love it. On the other side of this arbor I have the garlic vine growing. I need to tie this down to the arbor.

Here's a close-up of the blooms.

Below is the mandala pattern 'Sophie's Universe' that I've been working on.  The past couple of days I've had to pull out different rows several times as I hadn't gotten them right. Not carefully reading the directions is the cause. I'm so thankful I bought this book so that I don't have to sit in front of my computer looking at the directions online. I had let this project sit for awhile as I just didn't want to get involved. Below is where I had left off after making a mistake and having to rip out a row.

 Below is after working on it over the past couple of days.

 Here's a closer look. Overlaying stitches is fun, but you do have to count and pay attention.

Ok, that's it for now. Remember to take things easy. Find something that you enjoy doing, try to get 10 minutes of fresh air each day. Eat as well as you can, get sleep. Let others know you care about them and love them. Give encouragement, keep negativity out of your life.
Let us help others when and where we can, and keep each other in prayer.

I want to say thank you to family and friends for love, support and encouragement. Thank you to all of the bloggers and you-tubers posting positive blog and vlog posts, beauty where they are, music to make our hearts sing, to comfort us during this time, for devotionals and spiritually uplifting words to build our faith and hope.  Thank you to the fire dept for sending out a truck in case of fire, and for the power company coming out and taking care of the problem. 

We will get through this. Things won't be the same, they will be different. May we learn to grow with change and be thankful all along the way.

God is in control and He loves us deeply.

Here's a prayer I want to share with you.

May you feel the comforting love of Jesus surrounding and flowing through you,

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Each day is a gift

Hello Friends ~ It is early evening EST here in s.e. FL. I pray that you are all doing well. Today made 40 days since I last left this property. Amazing. One day melts into another and if I don't check my phone or the computer to see what day it really is, I wouldn't know. I do have a calendar that I write things on, and mark the days off and that helps, but to know for sure, check phone or computer.

Thanks for visiting here and kind & encouraging comments you leave. They are a big help.

Had my first zoom session with bro & sis in law the other night and it was great to break me in. Then this morning had a 40 min session with them and their daughter and her fiance. The time flew by, so good to see faces and laugh together. We plan on doing it again soon.

This coming Tuesday evening I'll have a session with a small ladies group from church and I'm looking forward to that also. Not seeing anyone was really taking a toll on my mental health as I'm sure it is for others who live alone. I have a couple of friends who are not computer savvy or have smart phones and they are lost in that respect of keeping in touch with people. I am so glad I do have these two items to keep in touch with others especially at this time.

I joined an online scavenger hunt earlier this morning from Hootin' Annie's blog. My macro mystery item is found below, with what it was below that. 

Friday night we had some really heavy rain lasting for a good while. My little wooden house with metal awnings is hard to take with the noise of heavy rain beating down. It was just as I was going to bed also and that makes it worse. I start fretting/worrying about what if this or that, because I will have to figure out how to take care of whatever it is, if it happens. Sheesh! My stomach gets in knots, I lay there praying, thinking of different scripture, laid on my side and put a small pillow over my exposed ear to deaden the sound and just breathed in and out, thank you, Jesus. Finally I calmed and fell asleep and the rains stopped.

But, the next morning I knew I would have to 'rig' the downspout to rain barrel that the raccoons had taken apart with climbing up and down it. I had tried before, and what a joke that was, wrecked again by the critters. I had bought a metal piece that inserts into the whole in the gutter, that goes into the downspout, and would work with the pieces I already had. I don't have extra $$, and besides there is no going out and buying anything from HD right now anyway.

I did find my very favorite tape for fixing things, it is a metal tape. I've used it on my van's roof, and other things, and it was going to be put to use for this project now. So, that's what I worked on yesterday morning.   I was always my husband's ready helper no matter what the project. (He thanked me for that when he was bedridden those last 4 months of his earthly life. I MISS helping him.) Now, I have to try to figure out what to do and give it my best shot.

So, here are before and after pics, going with what I had on hand and going with the flow, praying as I went along. The 'coons had taken the little downward insert from the gutter and I don't know what they did with it, which is partly why this whole thing fell apart.

Here's my metal tape work. Where there's a will, there's a way.

The top portion goes from the gutter into the top of the rain barrel, the bottom part takes overflow water out and down to the french drain that goes out to the front away from the house.

 It's pretty tight in place now and hopefully will last me a good while.

Glad that is done, one less worry to deal with. 

Now for some pretties and happy stuff.

I love hearts and am always happy to find one. This was found a few days ago. It's a seed pod.

This one I found yesterday evening in the driveway. Do you think my Vionic garden clogs have seen better days? The arch support is great. I got these in 2016 I think at a discounted place who sold shoes. They looked great when new, now not so nice and the strap on both shoes is all stretched out. I wear tie ups when working outside these days, these are just for quick walks outside.

This is a knockout rose.

Don't know the name of this rose, no tag when I bought it a few years ago. The color and scent are fantastic.

 Afternoon sun hitting plum cottage and the prolific orange reed orchids.

 Here are some vanda 'Miss Joachim' orchids, growing with little care from me. 

 The reflections in water caught my eye.

That's it for now. May tomorrow be a day that is bright and filled with hope and joy.


Thursday, April 16, 2020

Up, down, up, down....

Hi folks ~ Like a yo-yo our emotions go, up, down, up, down, praying we have more ups than downs in this time of isolation. I'm not perfect, I'm human and have my times of down, especially after I've posted something positive. The evil one wants to destroy our faith and he does try his best, but his best is NOT good enough. He's NOT in control. The One, Jesus, who lives inside of me is GREATER and He brings me back up when I'm down. Either through scripture, prayer, emails, texts, family, friends, nature, He is always working in our behalf, for our ultimate good.

Yesterday I was in a funk during the day, then a dear friend called, then later my dear BIL and SIL called, then I watched my pastor's Wed. Bible study, then afterwards was able to put the zoom app on my phone and tablet and I went to bed thankful and lighter feeling than I had been earlier. 

Being able to zoom with family and friends is going to be great! I'll let you know how it goes after I've participated in a session. My SIL said she did it with 55 ladies from BSF on Sat morning and it was fantastic. Modern technology has been a blessing in it's positive aspects, not the negative ones. To be able to reach out to others is a gift.

I have an online blogging friend who posted today and the title was *Today is Blursday*, then she wrote, "everyday is Blursday."  What an apt description of what time is like since our having to isolate ourselves from others, some home from jobs, etc. Our routines have been disrupted so that we have to check the calendars, phones or computers to see what day it really is. 

It has been a time of rest from the hectic world we live in. I read somewhere this morning that because of everything being shut down around the world, nature sounds are being heard where they've not been heard in a long time. 

Before this 'isolation station' happened, I thought of joining my local botanical garden again, for a $50 fee for the whole year and I could go there any time I felt like it to enjoy it's peace and beauty. I put it off, and feel that was God's doing, because I would not have been able to go. I then thought, I have my very own little botanical garden right here. I keep working on the different areas and making forward progress in this time of 'going nowhere'.

So, here are more blooms to share with you. I know some of you are still having snow and I hope this will help cheer you up. Others of you are locked indoors with no place to go for fresh air and spring beauty, may you enjoy blooms from Plum Cottage also.

Below is 'Carnation' rose. Such a beauty. Lots of buds on her right now.

Next are pics of my 'sweetheart' rose, at least that was the name I was given when I bought it.

Below are two white flowering plants that have delicate, lovely scents. The first is 'basket plant flower', Callisia fragrans.  This plant creeps along, spreading itself prolifically.

The second is an Angel wing Begonia, Begonia Odorata. This plant is easily propagated by cuttings. 

Next we have 'Dancing Ladies' orchids.

  These are blooms from 'Giant Milkweed'. The leaves of this plant are velvety, silvery green and huge. The blossoms beautiful.

 'Tahitian Gardenia'

This little flowering plant is an unknown to me.

 This is 'Blue Lips'.

 'Texas Sage'

Here is an unknown. I have the name somewhere, but can't remember where. ;-)

Here is an upcoming project to work on, the St. Francis garden area. There is a path there, but it is overgrown with a ground cover.

Next pics are of another garden project tackled last week, still a work in progress, but it makes me feel so much better already.

I think that's it for now. Keep focused on positive, beautiful things. (On a positive note, the virus cases and deaths are declining in our area, and we may have another three weeks to a month of isolation. Hoping and praying this may be true and for the best for us all.) Do what you can when you feel like it. Don't stress as much as possible. 

Love, hugs and prayers for all,

Monday, April 13, 2020

Resurrection Day dinner and Reggae Resurrection Service

Good morning Folks ~ It is Monday here at Plum Cottage. It is breezy, partly cloudy and a new day to be thankful for. 

I watched you tube on Resurrection day, being blessed by msgs and music. The day went along, and as I started to mash potatoes for my dinner, using the potato masher brought tears as it was part of a utensil set from when we got married in 1969. I've not used it much since God called my dear husband home 7 1/4 years ago, as I don't cook meals for me like I did when he was here.  Idaho instant potatoes work fine. But this special dinner I wanted 'real' potatoes. 

Dinner was yummy, lamb meatballs with apricot preserves heated and served over, and served with the mashed potatoes and asparagus. The grocery store didn't have any mint jelly this year, so I had to improvise and had these preserves in my stash and it was fine.

 Every Easter we drank our merlot in celebration of what Jesus did for us with His dying and resurrection. We found a pair of these glasses at a local flea market many, many, many years ago, $1 each. 

To me they symbolize the rooster crowing right after Peter had denied knowing Jesus three times. Peter had proclaimed that He would never leave Jesus, and Jesus had said Peter would deny Him three times before the rooster crowed twice and it happened. 
You can read the story here 

Peter went out and wept, he was deeply sorrowful. Jesus forgave Him and Peter became one of Jesus' greatest followers and preachers of the Gospel of salvation.

We all have sinned, and when we repent, Jesus gladly forgives us and calls us His own.

After dinner, I watched one more Resurrection Day video, this one was by 'Christafari', a Christian reggae 'musicianary' group. I had watched their music videos before and been blessed. DH and I have enjoyed all kinds of music. I may be 71 but I'm still a 'rock n roller', have enjoyed and lived the 'blues', and 'reggae' has always been a favorite or ours.

I was totally blessed and encouraged by the music  and the message by this wonderful group. They love Jesus and preach His gospel to third world countries around the world. I sat here singing, clapping and enjoyed myself, with Jesus right here beside me. I was even blessed with a guitar run that sounded like my DH playing his guitar and my heart soared. It was a gift from Jesus to me in this time of isolation. 
(You can hear the guitar run starting at 1:04:32 -1:04:58.)


I had communion with this group and was thankful to have had communion on Resurrection Day.

So, after that, my heart was lifted and I felt so thankful to Jesus for blessing me in this way on this particular Resurrection Day. 

Today is a new day, a gift from Him and I want to thank and praise Him as I go about my day, whatever I do, from washing dishes, to folding and putting away clean laundry, to vacuuming and dusting, etc. All done for Him, for His honor and glory.

May you all be drawn to Jesus, either for the first time, or as a long time believer, put your trust in Him.

Love, hugs and prayers ~ FlowerLady

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Wow, this was such a blessing to read

Happy Easter/Resurrection morning. I just received the following in my email and wanted to share it here with all of you. It is triumphant! 

How the virus stole Easter

The morning started out cloudy looking like rain, but around 9 a.m. EST the sun peeked out from behind the clouds. There is beauty and hope in celebrating this new day, may we find blessings to be thankful for.

The first bloom below is from yesterday. It is from the rose 'Bermuda's Kathleen'.

 same bloom from this morning

Here is a new flower open, from two different angles. I just love the simplicity of this type of rose. The scent is a delicately sweet rose scent.

Next is the rose called 'Carnation'. The petals are wavy on edges like a carnation when the flower is open, hence the name. Or at least that is where I assume the name comes from.

Next is my favorite orchid. A vanda called 'Miss Joachim'. She grows like a weed, with little care from me. I can break pieces of her off that have the roots dangling and place it anywhere. They are all over the property and bloom several times during the year, if not all year long.

 Well, that's it from me here at Plum Cottage.

Here is a gentle reminder.

Love, hugs and prayers ~ FlowerLady

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Have a blessed Resurrection Day

Hello Folks ~ May tomorrow, Easter or Resurrection Sunday, be a lovely day even though we are all in isolation. This holiday has been my favorite for a long time. I love Christmas, but not like I do Easter. The one celebrates the birth of Jesus, King Messiah, the other celebrates His resurrection. He was crucified because he dared to say who he was, the promised Messiah. Death could NOT hold Him in the grave. He is the Creator of all life, He is Life. It is because of His life, death and resurrection that we can have life forever and ever with Him. 

This virus is not the end, it is an experience we can grow through. It is a time to call out to Him, to trust Him in all things.

Last night the word cocooned came to mind as to how Jesus' love is toward us. I looked it up to see what the definition would be and this is what I found, which was just how I felt.

"enveloped or surrounded in a protective or comforting way". Trusting in Him is an every day opportunity, to believe that He is in control, and all things 'will' work out for our good  for those who love Him, and for His honor and glory.

We can't be together, but we can still celebrate. There will be many, many services to view online tomorrow. May our hearts be blessed, our minds calmed and may we draw closer to Jesus.


Below are some songs found on you tube. May you be blessed as you listen.



Up From The Grave He Arose


Love, hugs and prayers for all,