Monday, October 18, 2021

Thank you!

Good morning Folks, it is just getting light out. Birds have started to sing their greetings to the world. I will be heading outside shortly to do more clearing of overgrowth. Saturday my dear friend Wendy and her husband Mike came over with a dump trailer and we, but mostly them as they didn't want me overdoing things, started loading old lumber, wood, etc. They took that load to the dumping station near me, came back and we proceded to fill the trailer again, but it going to station again will be happening today. This particular station takes anything, so my property should be looking great as each load of 'stuff' leaves. 

 I know my dear Mark is ever thankful and shouting for joy that I have been blessed with so much help this year. All of this accumulated 'stuff' didn't happen overnight, it happened over the years. When he first left this planet for the heavenly plane, I could NOT deal with everything. He had told me near the end if his life here when he was bedridden, "Rainey, get rid of the junk. I know you hate it." He could not pass up use-able things items dumped on the side of the road hence the overload. We used some, sold some and stored some. 

With the help of another female friend a few years back, and her husband's dump trailer, she and I loaded it with metal and took it to the scrap yard. 3,000 lbs equaled $300 back then. Now it is a lot less. That was the start of the clean up. This year, Juvenal took 18 pick up loads of more metal to the scrap yard, he got the $ for his help in clearing away the metal. Now everything else is starting to be cleared out. Mind you, I have kept out decorative iron bits, some things I think maybe I should keep, ha, for what? I am not a builder, I was Mark's helper in all of our projects. I would get ideas and he would bring them to fruition. So most ends up in the dump trailer or will end up there. It feels GREAT, I feel invigorated. A burden is being lifted. I am forever thankful to God for working all things out in His timing, for my good and His glory. I am thankful for helping friends.

Ok, I want to say thank you all for your kind and encouraging comments about my video short. I have a couple more that I took the same morning that I will put here. I will make next ones in landscape mode for wider views. I haven't looked for a free video editor yet, too busy to give it the time.

In this first one you will see a butterfly flit by at the very beginning. That was a treat! 


 The next one is a bit of my front patio area.


 Coffee is finished and I'm ready to get outside and start work for the day while it is cool.

God's blessings on you all and may you feel His nearness. 

Don't lose hope.

Love, hugs and prayers ~ FlowerLady

Friday, October 15, 2021

Learning to make a video and upload to youtube

Hi Folks ~ Well, here we are in the middle of October already. Time is zipping right along.

I want to say a huge thank you for all of the kind, encouraging comments on my last post, and thanks for sharing your own stories as well. 

 Things are moving along here at Plum Cottage. Step by step, day by day, things are getting done. A LOT has really been accomplished this year and I am thankful.

I'm going to share a little video I took yesterday, just to see 'if' I could do it on my phone, and then upload it to youtube, which took a bit of googling, but I finally did it. What I need to know is, what are some great video editing programs that are 'free'?

In the video there are birds singing and traffic noise from the 5 lane road out front. I look forward to learning and improving. It is exciting to be learning and getting into something new.


 

Have a GREAT weekend and count your blessings. ~ FlowerLady

Friday, September 17, 2021

Dealing with anxiety

Hello Friends ~ This past year and a half has been one filled with stress and anxiety. The world is filled with it. The media puts out mostly negative ideas which feeds fear. I do not watch normal TV so don't see a lot of what is out there. But I do watch a lot of you-tube, so see their thumbnails, and those with my yahoo account and pass by what I call negative input as much as possible. I don't want to live a fearful life, but one filled with faith in God. 

 As a believer in Jesus, who is God, I want to keep focused on him and his promises. There are so many in the Bible and those are what I want to fill my mind with. I've also read & re-read some good books that have been a help. 

Here are just a few: 

'The Shepherd Trilogy' by Phillip Keller. This is so wonderful and comforting.

The Shepherd Trilogy: A Shepherd Looks at the 23rd  Psalm, A Shepherd Looks at the Good Shepherd, -     By: W. Phillip Keller 
 
Another book by Phillip Keller is 'Strength of Soul ~ The Sacred Use of Time'.
 
Strength of Soul  -     By: W. Phillip Keller

'Anxious for Nothing ~ 'Finding Calm in a Chaotic World' by Max Lucado

Anxious for Nothing, Softcover  -     By: Max Lucado 

'Be Still My Soul ~ Reflections on Living the Christian Life' by Elisabeth Elliot

 Be Still My Soul, repackaged edition: Reflections on Living the Christian Life  -     By: Elisabeth Elliot


There are others. I also get daily devotionals that have blessed and encouraged me.

I've gotten three from John Piper's Desiring God website, these devotionals are called 

'Solid Joys'.

These came in the last week. They are all short and you can also listen to him give each of these devotionals. His voice is soothing, encouraging.

7 Reasons Not to Worry ~ Part 1

7 Reasons Not to Worry ~ Part 2 

7 Reasons Not to Worry ~ Part 3

God Will Supply All Your Needs 

Anxiety is something I've been dealing with for as long as I can remember. (My mother was fearful of so many things, it was how I was raised, no excuse though.)  I hate it and it is a sin. Dear Jesus be merciful to me a sinner. Since Jesus called my dear husband to be with him in Dec 2012, and I'm having to handle things by myself, I've been more anxious. But, I've also seen Jesus working in my life, meeting needs, comforting me, drawing me closer to him. Closer to him is where I want to be each and every day that I am blessed with.

Last week I went to Walmart for the first time since March of last year. I needed to buy a cheap watch and some baby yarn. I wore my mask, found what I wanted and was thankful to have taken a step of faith and walk into that store. I don't want to live in fear!!! I just go to the grocery, get gas and church on Sunday. I have been out to eat a few times with friends and family. Basically I'm a homebody, always have been and I always am thankful when I pull into my driveway.

I watch positive videos on you-tube, gardening, young families homesteading, needleworking, cooking/baking, some movies, documentaries, sermons, prayers and devotionals also. I work in my gardens, do different needlework, I listen to soothing music, a lot of instrumentals. Being out in the fresh air among flowers, (weeds and overgrowth also), seeing fluttering butterflies, hear singing birds, and seeing visiting felines are so good for my soul.

The other morning I looked out the living room window and the sky had a glow, that made me decide to go out and see if there might be a rainbow. I grabbed my phone and headed out. I didn't see a rainbow, but I did see three beautiful night blooming cactus blooms. I took a couple of pictures, then came inside for my old Canon PowerShot for better close-up shots. I took more pictures with it. As I was heading back inside, I thought to myself, well I didn't see a rainbow but I saw these beautiful flowers that would be soon closing up. I then looked up at the sky again and lo and behold, there was a partial rainbow. I laughed right out loud and thanked Jesus for two lovely gifts, flowers and a rainbow.


 

 
 

Oh to see, enjoy and be thankful for God's goodness in my life. To be thankful in all circumstances, like being without my dear husband, and whatever else might come my way.

Started this post yesterday, had to turn off computer as a thunderstorm was moving in. Close T&L lots of heavy rain. My back gutter needs cleaning so it overflowed and splashed on back door which caused a bit of water to come in. T-storms are something that cause me to be anxious. When winds start to pick up I become anxious. Not to mention threats of hurricanes. Adrenalin pumps into my stomach, heart pounds. Sheesh! I am learning daily to truly believe and trust God to take care of me regardless of what is going on. He is sovereign. He has not promised me a life without thorns, hassles, disasters, illness, death, but he has promised to always be right with me through everything. Lately I've noticed that most t-storms pass over rather quickly, some have even been skirting around me and that is always a relief.

Anyway, today is a new day. May I rejoice and be glad in it. May I be full of faith and fear less.  When anxiety rears it's ugly head I want to refuse to worry and call to mind the verse that my dear husband called out to me when I came home from work one day when he way bedridden.

"Cast all your cares upon him for he cares for you".

1 Peter 5:7

****

Love, hugs and prayers, 

FlowerLady


Wednesday, September 15, 2021

August surprise

Greetings from Plum Cottage ~ I can hardly believe it's been almost another month since I've posted. Time is zipping right along. Fall is coming and I can hardly wait for cooler temps to get here. I basically hibernate, working outside weather permitting, in the mornings. It's just been too hot and humid. 

I had a huge surprise happen the last week in August. I have a new neighbor to the west of me. He bought the place and moved in the beginning of the year. He got hold of my other neighbor who lives to the west of the back of my property. The new neighbor is a young man who hadn't seen me and since he has long hair and tattoos he didn't know how I would react, hence his getting in touch with other neighbor. This other neighbor contacted me and new neighbor and I finally met the next Sat. He is 34, his hair is beautiful, auburn, his tattoos not scary. ;-)

 Anyway, the wood fencing between us was pretty bad and was not something I could immediately take care of.  When we talked, he had already made plans for a company to come out to take down old fencing and put up new. I was shocked, but also thankful. No money on my part. I had to clear some bushes, etc. from the property line and that had me in a bit of a tizzy as I only had a day to get ready. I survived.

The crew came Sunday morning to take down the old, and put up new 4x4 posts in cement to cure overnight. They were back on Monday to haul away old fencing and to put up the new. They put up fence slats and made true privacy fencing, no spaces to see through. They did a fantastic job and I'm still amazed at how this all came to be.

I had started new fencing on the back side of his property, and the neighbors who lived there and sold him the house, gave me $ to finish doing that fencing since they were selling and wanted it to look nice. I then had some $ left over to work on the other west neighbor's fencing, and he also gave me $ to take care of most of the fencing between us. So, now three runs of new fencing are up and there are just the two long sides to go, the back of my property and the driveway from street to back. They both are really in bad shape, but so far I don't see either of those neighbors helping, one is a landlord of the apts. next door, the other are renters. I don't expect them to, I mean, after all, it is my fencing that I should be replacing. All in good time, God will provide. He's already taken care of three sides and with Him all things are possible. He has surprised me with working those three sides out.

The other morning I came across a Bible verse in Proverbs 15:25, and am putting it in the picture below. He has certainly done this for me with new fencing.


 Now for some before and after pics of this project.




 I cut back holly as much as I could and cleared paths.






 
My property was open to the street out front for one night and I prayed for God's protection to keep people out. It is a 5 lane road out front and lots of stuff goes on at night.












This project has been more motivation for me to 'prettify' this place once again. It will never be pristine, it will always be a tropical cottage style garden. It won't be done overnight, and will be done when finances allow. For now, I will do what I can, as I can. Weed, propagate, plant, water and enjoy.

My friends Sean and Stan came two weeks ago and cut down more trees in the back of my property, stuff that had sprouted and become super overgrown. They've still more to do, but come here when they are able. They both have full-time jobs. I am so thankful for all of their help this year. The huge pile of brush was picked up Saturday.

On the 8th would have been our 52nd anniversary. I still celebrate, can't help it.  A sweet young couple, gave me a lovely bouquet of flowers that I am still enjoying a week later. Thank you Melissa & Paul.



 

I have flowers, critters, etc. to share but they will be for another post.

~~~

Remember to count your blessings.

Having a heart
full of gratitude
is good for us
spiritually,
mentally and
physically.

When blessings seems sparse,
as they sometimes are,
let us remember ones from the past.
They give us hope.
May God bless you all and keep you safe.  
 
Love, hugs and prayers,
FlowerLady

 

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Hot, steamy August

Hello Folks, sorry I've not been posting, the summer doldrums have been here for a couple of months now. It is hot and steamy and I just feel like hibernating in the a.c. Thank you to those who have reached out to see how I'm doing. I work outside early mornings when I feel like it, I do grocery shopping, go to church, and am always glad to get back home. I'm a homebody at heart. I have done some crocheting also, but am taking a break from that now as I completed a 31" square comfort blanket over a period of 6 days in between doing other things. My hands and wrist were aching when I finished. Crocheting for hours at a time will do that and I wanted to get this finished and delivered.


 I started this post a few days ago. I've had a hard time with being motivated about doing anything. This past year and a half has been 'off' for so many of us. What I've been going through is nothing compared to what others have had to endure and my heart and prayers go out for them. Now we have this whole  Afghanistan fiasco which is horrible & evil.

Yet through all of this I believe in Jesus, our sovereign God who is with all who believe in Him. I believe he is working through all of the bad to bring about ultimate good. I am looking forward to His coming again, and until then I want to live graciously, thankfully and to be able to help others as I can.

 I've had up and down days, more ups than downs and for that I am thankful for. Thankful to God and thankful to others who have lended a helping hand either physically, monetarily, prayerfully, or with encouragement.

I dream about my dear husband a LOT. Some are of us working together on projects, or just being together doing things, which is always a bummer to wake up from and he's not here. Sometimes I might get a message, which happened a couple of weeks ago. I didn't remember much of the dream, except he was bedridden and I could only remember a little of what he said to me. It was this, "all ye who hope in Christ." In the dream I hugged and kissed him and told him that his sharing things like that with me was just one of the reasons why I love him. I googled that portion of scripture to find out what the rest of it was and it was this. "Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord."

I love the way Jesus encourages me throughout my widowhood journey. It happens through family and friends, the Bible, devotional readings, music, and his beautiful creation. He is there for any of us, he wants a relationship with us and all we have to do is open our hearts to him. 

For my pulled back muscle, I finally broke down and looked up and found a great little massage center. I went to 90 minutes as I really needed to be kneaded good and long. It's cheaper in the long run and 30 min just wouldn't have been enough, 60 min always leaves me wanting more.  As it was, this wonderful lady who worked on me would have liked to work on me more but she had other clients to see. It was a time of release, release from stress for the past year and a half, bottled up tears flowed and I felt so much better when I left there. A week or so later I received a check and note from a sweet friend who said she wanted to help with my getting a massage. That brought joy, thankfulness and more tears. Our God is awesome.

I still couldn't do much after that treatment, as I had to relax and heal. My friend Wendy came and weedwacked my grassy areas and what a blessing that was!! Afterwards I would walk around smiling, so wonderful to have that taken care of and I didn't have to do it. She did a fantastic job and just whipped around the property. She's done this kind of thing for years. She volunteered to help me and has in so many ways.

I have mowed, trimmed hedges, etc. our whole married life, and enjoy it, but last Dec I tripped and fell and badly sprained my right wrist, then pulling this back muscle put a crimp in my style. I have an electric mower, an electric weedwacker. The heavy 100' cord for using the mower has been harder to deal with but I just take my time. After Wendy had weedwacked she asked me if I ever would use a battery operated mower. I said yes and that I had thought about one but that they were more expensive than the electric. (Gas powered is too noisy, smelly, and harder for me to pull the crank rope to start.) She said she would look into it. Here's how the driveway area looked before.


Here she is hard at work.




After





Then on the 11th of this month she and her husband gifted me with a new battery powered mower. Oh my goodness, what a joy to use, easier on me, quicker too and it works great!!! I've used it twice now, and was going to do it again this morning but it rained.

This year has been filled with so much help, my neighbor having the tree cut down in my property that was near the fencing and dropping a gazillion seed pods on us both, his giving money to help with replacing privacy fencing between our two places. Juvenal coming and working at hauling scrap metal to the scrap yard (he got the proceeds), 18 pick up truck loads, and he did a lot of tree trimming as well. Then Sean and Stan did fencing work, Sean has done major tree trimming with more to do yet. For this I am so thankful, more than words can say.

The temps lately have been awful! In the 90's with it feeling like l04-106 and humidity really thick. It's like being in a sauna. I can't handle being out in that. Today I decided to take a break from working in my overgrown main garden area. The paths were nowhere to be seen, and I have made forward progress, it will get done all in good time.

Now, here are some flowers to enjoy. Crepuscule are the peachy blooms, sweet scent, and the pink one is Miss Atwood.



This is an orchid that just bloomed for the first time. I've had it several years, but recently moved it to a different location.



Fresh bay leaves picked from my bay tree. I bought it for $1 many, many years ago and it was about 6" tall, I had to trim it back as it was over 6 ft and leaning into the walkway. I dried them like this for a few days now they are in a zip lock bag.

 
I didn't feel like making pizza crust dough in my bread machine, and used flour tortillas instead. I just might do this all of the time. Fresh picked basil from my plant, cooked Italian sausage,  green olives stuffed with jalapeƱo peppers, mozzarella cheese, then parmesan sprinkled on top.


This is a night blooming cereus cactus. This is the first bloom since the dead pine that it was growing at the top of, came down in wind. It is supposed to be scented, but I've not  noticed a scent in all of the years that we had it. These pics were taken the morning after it had bloomed so it was on its way to closing up.




Here is a little you-tube slideshow of this orchid that bloomed on our front gate arch Sept. 29, 2012, the last project dear hubby and I worked on together. He went to be with our Great Creator of this bloom, on Dec. 9, 2012.


This is purple sage.


Beautiful sunrise clouds one morning.

 
Friends, Nanci and John gave me gift $ and this is what I bought from Harbor Freight. It came in a box, was pretty heavy and I had to put it together. I thought this would work better for me than a wheel barrow. The front wheels swivel. It took me about 30 minutes or so to put it together.


I will end this photo session with a pic of my Swootie Patootie, Miss Tork. She's snoozing where my feet usually rest. I had several crochet projects going on at once as you can see.

Ok, that's it for now. I pray that you all are doing well, and for those who are not, I pray that you will soon be better whatever you're circumstances are. Call out to God, he hears, and he works. Put your trust in Him, His name is Jesus.

Love, hugs and prayers,

FlowerLady