Thursday, November 10, 2022

Morning after Nicole made landfall

Good morning Folks, 

Thanks for all of your prayers. I was pretty calm, although I have to admit a couple of fear niggles did come up, but I prayed and left them with God. I slept good last night.  We had light rain and some wind all day yesterday until around 9:30 last night when we had about 30 minutes of 'heavy' rain with stronger winds. All in all we got around 2 inches of rain. Winds at that time were 27 mph. 

All night was rather quiet. I woke up around 3:15 checked the weather and saw that Nicole had made landfall north of me about 56 miles away. She hit as a Cat. one hurricane 75 mph winds, but quickly became a tropical storm. At this time she is now over central Florida with winds 60 mph. 

I went outside to take some pictures, the sun was shining then, but now it's cloudy skies again, looks like more rain might be possible.

I loved how the morning sunlight was hitting the pine trees.

This was a bit tricky for me to put up, but I did it. I could not find the plywood top and the front piece is crooked, but hey for me being on my ladder, praying and doing my best I was happy with the results. I did have to tie some rope across the top to tighten it up.

All of the plywood, and this old shutter was what we had on hand without going out and buying new wood. I think I'm going to have to buy new plywood though, and have someone cut me new coverings. I'll keep this shutter though as it's in great shape except for peeling paint which can be sanded. Mark made these around 2003. He cut the heart shapes so that we could see out. He could have just made circles or squares, but he surprised me with the heart shapes. Oh how I miss him!

These next pics are of the living room windows inside, and then one outside.

I'm so glad the storm has passed. It's been a somewhat stressful few days preparing, waiting and watching, but we survived. I'm so thankful to God for sparing my having to deal with destructive storms since Mark's been gone. I've had foliage clean up to deal with, but nothing major. They've all gone around me. Well, one a few years back I did go stay with my SIL and BIL north of me, because the storm was headed our way and it did hit. I was there 3-4 days and we were without power. It was good to get home and see nothing was damaged. Each storm is different. 

It looks like the cottage could stand another coat of pain. This paint job is from 2016 and the Florida sun has faded it out.

Ok, that's it from Plum Cottage for now. Just wanted to let you know all is well.

Enjoy the blessing of the gift of each new day.

Love, hugs and prayers,


Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Nicole update and a song

Greetings from Plum Cottage, I've done my preparing for this storm, except for two window coverings. If the storm gets worse, deacons will be here to finish up what I couldn't. We've had some rain and wind already. The storm could make land fall from our area to north of us in Melbourne. A cat 1 hurricane has winds from 73-90 mph.

My dear SIL sent me this song a little while ago and it is very encouraging and faith building. Just what I need. She also is fearful and the song is helping her. Keep us both in prayer. We encourage each other.

 Ok, that's the latest. Enjoy each day you are blessed with and know that if you believe, Jesus is always with you, through every storm.

 Love, hugs and prayers,



Good morning Folks, just before 6 p.m. yesterday, I got an email from electric company saying they were preparing for possible power outages as subtropical storm Nicole could possibly become a hurricane with projected path being my area. Holy Moly! First I had heard about this storm. The adrenaline started pumping and I started thinking of things I needed to do and I started praying. I listened to 'Be Not Afraid', God is in control, and other fear destroying you tube videos. Those helped a lot and I went to bed feeling more peaceful. 

Nicole has shifted a bit to the north and I'll be watching the path during the day to see what I need to do about boarding up or not. I have plywood for windows, and doors, need to locate the wingnuts to fasten down plywood. 

It may not be too bad, but time will tell. A lot of rain is predicted. Do keep everyone in this path in prayer, as it covers a good portion of FL and moves northward. Wherever it lands it is predicted to be a Cat. 1 hurricane. At least that's what they are saying right now. Only two times in recorded history has a hurricane made landfall in Florida in November. Hurricane season ends the end of this month.

Glad I mowed yesterday. That's it for now. I've got to eat some breakfast then head outdoors to get somewhat prepared. I'll keep you posted. 

TIA for prayers,





Monday, November 7, 2022

Greetings Folks ~ Here we are into November. This year has zipped right along. We had a week of lovely cool weather, then it went back up into the 80's, so I'm still using the a.c. It's not as bad as it was a couple of months back.

I got out and mowed this morning, I got what I wanted to do done and the battery died. There was a nice breeze and I barely broke a sweat. I hand watered some potted plants afterwards. Rain is expected for a few days, and that would be nice. I do need to do some laundry if the weather is nice tomorrow. I use a 'solar dryer', a clothesline. I enjoy hanging out the wet laundry and then taking it down as it smells so wonderful and fresh.

This past Friday night I went to a ladies wreath making event at my church. We had a choice of fall or Christmas. I chose fall as I already have one for Christmas. We had 4 different wooden ball wreath bases to choose from, I chose one made with small balls.

 Our pastor's wife showed/told us how to make a bow, very easy and pretty.  We had different styles/colors of ribbon to choose from. After we made the bows, we attached them to the bottom of our wreaths. Then we picked out a main decorative piece and after attaching that we added fillers. 

Great fun! Every wreath was unique. 76 wreaths were made. Before wreath making we a wonderful, homemade salad, then pizza, several different kinds, I had sausage, and a scrumptious brownie.

Our church secretary gave the main encouraging talk, and her daughter gave a lovely testimony of how God had worked in her life to change her heart from hard to soft. It was beautiful and brought tears.

It was after this that we started on our wreaths. I got home close to 10 and was totally wiped out. I'm used to my little quiet life, being settled in by this time of night. But, it was wonderful being with so many sisters, young and older who believe in Jesus.

I am getting used to Windows 10 in new computer. I also ordered PSP 2023 as new computer would not accept the older version I'd had for probably 20 years. That is taking a little getting used to also. Learning new things is good for us!!

 A friend from my ladies Bible study group gave me 5 tubs of yarn. What a wonderful gift!! I've gone through it all, sorted out some that I wouldn't be using for my comfort blankets, and ended up with a tub to give to another friend who does a lot of crocheting, making fun things for others.

The three tubs I ended up with sat in the living room until this morning when I cleared out a space in my little wash house to stack them in. I have an empty tub left over.

 I bought some plants and they filled up this same space as seen above. The car smelled heavenly!! 

 I had to put other plants on the floor of front passenger seat, and the back seat floor also.

This is Marlberry. I had already bought other plants and loaded them in the car, but when I took the cart to space for them, I spied a huge plant right next to space with a wonderful scent. It just nabbed me and I asked an employee who happened to be out there if he knew what it was and he did. He told me the name and said they had just gotten a nice shipment of the 3 gallon size. I headed back into the nursery and over to the area where I remembered seeing the name. I picked out the best looking plant and left the nursery with a huge smile on my face and thankfulness in my heart.

This next plant is one both hubby and I loved. Had it for a few years but they died. This is Pink Muhly grass. So wonderful when the sunlight hits it.

Here's my cart at home full of plants, and then you can see the purple Lancepod flowers from the tree that I grew from seed many years ago.

For me, plants are healing for mind, body and spirit. I'm working on an area that is quieter than up front, and will show it once I've got it more or less set up. It's a work in progress at the moment.

The other day I went to another nursery to get some potting soil and a hibiscus jumped into my eyesight and nabbed my heart. Then I looked a few plants over and there was another one of a different color. I bought one of each.

I watched a video on these particular hibiscus, Hollywood, and the grower said they put more than one plant together to give a fuller look. I then remembered a recent video I had watched about getting more plants from nursery grown plants. This person said to take plant out of pot, and wash away the soil, exposing the roots and pull/cut the plants apart. That's what I did, except not a lot of the soil washed away, but wetting the soil made it easier to separate the two plants. So, I ended up with 4 hibiscus plants. YAY!!! The plants didn't even wilt!

This is the one that caught my eye first, Disco Diva. The colors are amazing. The flowers huge. They are very tropical.

This was taken later in the day.


I believe this is Run Away Beauty, it didn't have a tag, 

but I googled, of course. ;-)


 Below is the Double Delight rose I got from friends for my bday this year. She is such a beauty with a wonderful scent!!


 Two stained glass windows in the living room hit with morning sunlight the other day.


 I'll end this photo session with sunset pictures taken Halloween evening. The colors in God's creation are so awesome and beautiful!!


You can see the sliver of moon in this one.

 There is so much beauty to see in each day that we are blessed with. We just need to be tuned in and then be thankful to our Creator for His beautiful gifts to us. Small or large, they make our hearts sing with gladness.  They give sparks of life to our days.

This is the month of Thanksgiving. Let us thank God first for our lives, then thank Him for our loved ones, for friends, for the homes we have, our beds, hot and cold water, food to eat, pets, and so much more. Make a list. Be thankful.

Love, hugs and prayers,


Monday, October 31, 2022

Learning curves

Greetings Friends ~ Well, we 'had' a cool spell, only lasted about a week, last week and this week have been back up in the 80's. It looks like it's going to be like this for the next week or so.  It's not as bad as it was during the summer, but still warm enough for using the a.c.

Well, I have a new computer with Windows 10. My old computer was from 2011 and Windows 7. So, I am learning my way around windows 10. A young friend of mine from church set me up, transferring files from old to new computer. Nerve wracking, when you are hoping you will have your 'stuff' in new computer. We had to reinstall some new and later versions of programs, but I think we got it all. Thank you dear Paul for doing this for me. It is much appreciated!!!

I had Corel PSP 2, I don't know how old this program was probably over 20 years old. We uploaded the latest version for me to try for a month for free. I can't use some of the features I'm used to because they are not free. ;-)  I use Paint Shop Pro for editing photos.  What are some of the art/photo programs that you use?

The photo below is of Tiffany, she has a wonderful scent. This bloom was almost past her prime.

   I have to say that I am so thankful to God for His many blessings. Being a widow has been hard and overwhelming at times. But, God has been with me, supplied needs and blessed me with extras. His love and tender care can be so amazing at times, and other times His care is in quiet ways of blessing. All spark something, a thankfulness for life, the desire to keep on moving forward, to not look at the negatives but seek out the good, pure, lovely, honest things in life. To praise God for His good gifts, for lessons learned and being learned in love, patience, forgiveness,and being content in all things. Is it easy? No but God is our strength when we are weak.

I read a great devotional this morning from Wisdom Hunters:  i will quote part of it here. The scripture was written by the Apostle Paul.

Graced for All Things

By: Shana Schutte

 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  2 Corinthians 12:9-10

"...the truth is that we can get through anything we experience because God graces each person for every personal trial and every difficult season. 

I may need to endure one type of trial; you may need to endure another. But wherever any of us are, there God is, gracing us for what we experience now, and what we will experience in the future. 

Ah! The beauty of grace! 

Did you need to read this today? Be encouraged! God is with you, and He has graced you to victoriously endure your trials, troubles, and tears. You are deeply loved!


Lord, how I praise you that I have exactly what I need to go through every difficulty in life. You have given me not anything less than exactly what I need. How I thank you and praise you! Amen!


Let us grow in God's grace, it is unlimited. It is for our salvation now and throughout all eternity. 

Thanks for visiting. May God bless and keep you.



Friday, October 21, 2022

Chilly weather ;-)

Good morning Friends ~ Here it is another gorgeous day in s.e. FL. We've had a cool front move over us and it has been wonderful. Wednesday morning the temp dropped to 63 in the middle of the day and basically stayed there until the next day.  This morning it is 66. 

I've got some work to do along driveway fencing, clearing out all of the plant life I can, leaving some to be trampled, and leaving what I personally can't take out myself. The old driveway fencing is going to be replaced. I am thrilled to say the least. I want to get out there this morning to get started. I don't know when the fencing work will begin. I did collect some 4 o'clock seeds from plants along there yesterday, hope to find more this morning as they are the light pink variety. Some of the stuff will grow back because of tubers, etc.


Here are before pictures running north to south. This first picture is at the northeast corner. The night blooming cactus is on part of a fallen pine tree that fell into the fencing. I will save some of that. The blooms are fascinating.

Trees hanging over fencing are from the neighbors, which I keep having to cut back as much as I can. Asplundh tree trimmers came out for FPL in April to cut back limbs from power lines, and it looked great, but this stuff grows back fast. Dear hubby used to take care of all of this. Sigh!!

I keep it in check as much as I possible can, using a pole cutter and hand clippers. So, keep me in your prayers as I 'turtle' along. It will be worth it in the end. I'll keep you posted.

Another blessing from God is I am receiving a lot of yarn from a friend, who no longer is in need of it. She and her husband live down here, but also had a house up north, which they sold. She was heavily into crafts, hence the yarn. She said she has LOTS. So when she is ready to empty pods and have me over, I'll be visiting her. So exciting! So surprising!

Don't give up on trusting Jesus to work things out in your lives. When you least expect it He can/does meet our needs and sometimes desires. Not always when we want or maybe the way we think things should happen, but He knows what is best, for us and His honor and glory. He isn't a magic genie where we can just ask and get. He is our loving, heavenly Father and He cares deeply for us, and wants to bless us, from little things, like heart shaped rocks or leaves, to bigger things. I am thankful for it all. I am thankful for lessons learned when I have to wait. I am learning contentment along the way, in down and up times. We are to be thankful in all circumstances. He has a plan in our lives, He uses others to bless us, uses us to bless others, giving Him all of the glory and praise.

 That's it from Plum Cottage. My stomach is telling me it is time to break the fast, then I can start work for the day.

God bless and keep you.

Love, hugs and prayers



Monday, October 10, 2022

Recent email -- trying to post again ;-)

Good morning Friends, Thank you MK for letting me know that there really was no post, just a title. I had a whole post done, thought I had uploaded it as I had previewed it and hit the publish button, but alas, empty page.

I wanted to let a sweet reader/follower know that I am not ignoring her recent email. It went to my gmail account, and I hit the wrong button on my iphone and it disappeared, not in trash or spam, and the gmail account has changed and I've not been in there in awhile. So, I hope she reads this post. I believe her name is Susan. I put my normal email addy in my profile. Your email blessed me more than words can say, and I do want to respond to you via email.

It is a new day and may I rejoice and be glad in it. Hopefully no more blunders!! Yesterday my friend Wendy came over and we worked in the main garden. It was hot and humid, we were both soaked when we finished. I may get out and do some more this morning. We had beautiful cool weather last week, but Sunday morning it was back to heat and humidity. We're supposed to have cooler weather the end of this week. Time will tell.

Here are some pics of the rose 'Tiffany', a gift from Wendy and her husband for my bday in March. The scent is wonderful!!!

 I am working on a seating area under the awning of the pole barn. It is more peaceful back there and near the new garden space that I'm also working on. When I went out the other morning to start working, I started taking rocks and debris out of a crumbling plastic pot. What a neat surprise I found right off the bat. A heart rock. My dear hubby was always giving me heart shaped things he found and I miss those little gifts. Every now and then I find rocks and leaves in a heart shape and save them, and I thank Jesus for those little reminders of love.

 The other night I had a short dream of my dear husband. He turned and looked at me with the  most beautiful smile on his face, then I woke up. It was wonderful to have had that, but sad that he wasn't here 'really' smiling at me. But I will take the dream smile, it made me feel loved and happy.

 I've been watching different uplifting you-tube videos on anxiety, depression, healing, living a simple life, etc. Much encouragement and hope. My hope is in Jesus, Creator of the universe and all that is in it. He is Almighty God, my strength, my protector, provider, healer and as a widow, He is my husband. 1 Peter 5:7 is a very special verse to me as it is one my dear husband called out to me as I came in the door, home from work one day, when he was bedridden a little less than a month from when God would call him home. It says this:

"Cast all your cares on Him, for He cares for you." 

This is an everyday, minute by minute choice to be made. To not choose to cast my cares on Him is to carry a burden I'm not meant to carry. He is my burden bearer. He can be yours as well. Just call on Him. He desires a close relationship with each of us, daily, not just once a week if/when we go to church. He is our friend, our Savior. He promises to never leave us.

May you all have a great week. Count your blessings. Tell your loved ones that you love them. Encourage and pray for others. Give someone a hug. Hugs are precious!!

That's it for now, and I hope this post goes up when I hit the update button. ;-)

Love, hugs and prayers,


Saturday, October 1, 2022

All is well here at Plum Cottage

Hello Friends, thank you so much for prayers. Do pray for all who were in Ian's path. There is so much horrible devastation, last I heard 35 lives lost and there could be more as search and rescue continues.

This storm came up so fast and turned deadly. I am thankful for being spared. I have to admit I was scared. I prayed, read uplifting Bible verses, listened to and sang some songs. We had strong winds and really strong gusts. In this little wooden cottage I hear so much that freaks me out. Thursday morning I could hear thunder to the southeast, and it was weird sounding. We were under a tornado watch, and then all of a sudden the most horrific thunder I've ever heard in my life happened. That scary bit passed over rather quickly, then it was windy all day Thursday. It calmed down somewhat later in the evening, and Friday morning it was quiet when I woke up  and such a blessed relief. 

Had some palm fronds down, bent plants, fence slats down off the super old fencing that runs along my driveway. We did not lose power here and I am thankful for that.

Yesterday, Friday, I mowed and trimmed the front hedge, raked and bagged up debris for pick up today. From the hedge trimming and using the heavy clippers I am so sore especially my right shoulder and neck muscles, and my back of course. I didn't sleep well last night.It's been a stressful week with wondering what Ian was going to do.  Seeing photos and videos of the devastation from this storm is heartbreaking. 

Thanks again for your prayers. That means a lot.

 Here are a few rose pics taken yesterday and this morning.

This is Double Delight, battered but still lovely. What a surprise to see that this was actually two roses in one.