Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Work in progress

Good morning Folks, here we have the gift of another day.  Right now it is 81 but with the humidity the real feel temp is 98. I was out earlier working in my main garden. I have a jasmine vine that was like Jack's beanstalk, growing, twisting and taking over everything. I work outside 1-2 hours in the mornings when I feel like it and the weather permits. Every little bit done makes a difference even though I feel like I'm hardly getting anywhere. There is still so much to do for clean up, deweeding, etc in this main garden, all in good time. I want to move potted plants to the area, maybe get some planted into the ground.

I made a short little video, nothing fancy, just raw footage. It is amazing what 'real' you tubers can do with their videos with all of the editing and adding music, etc. That is a lot of work and some of it is absolutely beautiful!! I don't have a video editing program. I just did a quick google search and saw that there is a free 'Open Shot' program that I'm going to look into. It would be fun to make 'nice' little videos. 

Here is the video. I'll do another post with still pictures of this project. I just downloaded them and have to edit them before making a post. That will take some time.

 That's it for now. Enjoy your day and be thankful.


 P.S. I ordered  from Amazon a sunhat dark gray UPF 50+. Foldable and washable. Has a nice mesh section to let breezes in. I read that the dark colors were found to be better for UPF according to a study done in Spain, I think is what I remember reading. The hat fits nicely. There is a cord to tighten it around your head, then there is the chin strap to keep hat on during wind.

Sunglasses are also from Amazon. A friend had these on one day and I tried them They go over your prescription glasses or you can wear them normally as you would any sunglasses. These are GREAT!!  UV protected and polarized.

I've been using now for a couple of years a good electrolyte powder to mix with water. Gatoraid has nothing beneficial in it so I googled and found this one from Key Nutrients. I drink this on days that I work outside. It tastes great and I feel good using it.

I'm not sponsored by any of these companies. This is just my personal little review. Summer is coming and these will be a great help for FlowerLady. ;-)



Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Plum Cottage Flowers

Happy Spring ~The first day of spring was my 74th bday. Time is zipping right along. I've been enjoying lots of flowers in bloom down here in tropical south Florida. We've also had some days that felt like summer, then a couple of chilly times when 'cold' fronts have moved down this far. The past few nights it's been in the high 50's. Day time temps have been beautiful, mid 70's to 80. This is probably the last of chilly weather though. Summer will be here shortly with it's humidity and hot temps.

I'll share some pics from Valentine's day up to now for your enjoyment.  Too bad you can't smell the wonderful scents that fill the air. Lots of bees, butterflies and also some hummingbirds have been visiting the hamelia patens flowers and the coral honeysuckle.  The hummers are too fast for me to get a picture.

 "Angel Face" her lovely scent fills the air for several feet around her.

Blue Butterfly bush

Pink Hibiscus

Art glass solar flamingo with cats whiskers flowers


'Diva' hibiscus


Orchid from Mary

Thunbergia erecta or Bush clock vine or King's Mantle

Florida native Coral honey suckle - hummingbirds love this

Black and blue Salvia


Miss Joaquim vanda orchids ~ These grow wild all over the property and bloom several times a year.

St. Francis with Louis Philippe or Florida Cracker Rose


I don't know what this next little flower is, it self seeds and is a pretty thing. It's about the size of a quarter, maybe.

Pink hibiscus after some rain

Here we have Double Delight rose. I've noticed that she closes up at night, reopens in the morning looking different. She's a beauty with a lovely rose scent.

Shown with periwinkles

Here the roses are two days later.

I am so thankful to my Creator God who gave me so much beauty to enjoy right here at Plum Cottage. Each day is a new gift. May I always be thankful and give Him all honor and glory for what He has done, what He is doing and what He will do in the future.

Easter is coming and I celebrate Jesus who died on the cross for my sins as well as the sins of everyone else. and rose up from the grave after three days, so that I and any who believe in Him will have life eternal and be with Him forever. All we need to do is believe He is who He says He is,. Jesus, God Almighty.

 Have a wonderful spring and a glorious Easter.


Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Some musings, pretty lengthy read

Hello folks, here it is nearing the end of another day. Thank you for your kind comments, and encouraging words. I do have to clarify something though. The young pastor who took me to Lowe's,  'helped' to pay for the washing machine, paying almost half, I paid the rest. His gift was so unexpected, so appreciated and I am ever thankful for it. I am thankful for the way this church has a heart for widows. It shows!

 Also, I forgot to finish the story in my last post about what happened with Miss Rinkie. In all of the commotion of taking out old washer and putting in the new one and the emotions I had been going through, I was wiped out. I decided to look for Miss Rinkie, the last barn kitty, the next day, as I didn't want to have to deal with what I knew was true.. And as I suspected, I found her the next morning and she was 'gone'. So, I got a shovel and dug her little grave, next to the grave of a little feral kitty I had buried a week or so before.

In this life we have good and bad, we learn and grow hopefully. There are catastrophes, death, loss of finances, loss of homes or businesses, loss of relationships with family and friends, divorce, abuse, the list goes on. What I've gone through in my life seems small in comparison to what others have gone through in their lives. We don't really get over things, we go through them, and hopefully we learn, grow and come out stronger.

In the Bible we are told in Deuteronomy 31:6 

"Be strong and of good courage,
do not fear nor be afraid of them; 
for the Lord your God, 
He is the One who goes with you. 
He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

Joshua 1:9

 Have I not commanded you?
Be strong and of good courage; 
do not be afraid, 
nor be dismayed, 
for the Lord your God is with you 
wherever you go.” 

As believers in Jesus, we have not been promised an easy life, in fact we are told that we will have afflictions, go through hard times. But, Jesus is always with us, He is our strength when we are weak. 

Being a widow isn't easy. We lose part of ourselves. We no longer have the physical help, the communication, the fun, the love, someone to share our life loads with. It can be overwhelming at times. As a widow who believes in Jesus, I am to trust Him in and with everything. He is now my husband.

Isaiah 54:5 says:

 For your Maker is your husband,
the Lord of hosts is his name;
and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,
the God of the whole earth he is called.

On December 10, 2012, the day after God called Mark home, I was online googling Godly help for widows and came across a wonderful piece by  Octavius Winslow (1808-1878). It was exactly what I needed. You can read the whole article here at:

'The Godly Widow Confiding in the Widow's God'.

In Jeremiah 49:11 it says:

  let your widows trust in Me


It is well!
All that he does, who speaks these touching words, is well.
It is well with you,
for he who gave in love,
in love has taken away the mercy that he gave.
The companion of your youth, the friend of your bosom,
the treasure of your heart, the staff of your riper
and the solace of your declining years,
is removed,
but since God has done it—it is, it must be well.
Look now above the circumstances of your deep and dark sorrow, the second causes of your bereavement,
the probable consequences of your loss,
God has done it;
and that very God who has smitten, who has bereaved,
and who has removed your all of earthly good,
now invites you to trust in him.
Chance has not brought you into this state;
accident has not bereft you of your treasure;
God has made you a widow,
that you may confide in the widow’s God.

And who is the object of the widow’s trust?
“In me,” says God. None less than himself can meet your case.
He well considers that there is an acuteness in your sorrow,
 a depth in your loss,
a loneliness and a helplessness in your position,
which no one can meet but himself.
The first, the best, the fondest,
the most protective of creatures has been torn from your heart, is smitten down at your side;
what other creature could now be a substitute?
A universe of beings could not fill the void:
God in Christ only can.
O! wonderful thought,
that the Divine Being should come and embosom himself
in the bereft and bleeding heart of a human sufferer
that bereft and bleeding heart of yours.
He is especially the God of the widow.
And when he asks your confidence, and invites your trust,
and bids you lift your weeping eye from the crumbled idol at your feet,
and fix it upon himself,
he offers you an infinite substitute for a finite loss;
as he ever does,
giving you infinitely more than he took;
bestowing a richer and a greater blessing than he removed.
He recalled your husband, but he bestows himself.
And O, the magnitude of this trust!
It is to have infinite power to protect you,
infinite wisdom to guide you,
infinite love to comfort you,
infinite faithfulness at all times to stand by you,
and boundless resources to supply your every need.
It is to have the God who made heaven and earth,
the God to whom the spirits of all creatures are subject,
the God who gave his dear Son to die for you,
the God of the everlasting covenant to be your shield,
your counselor,
your provider,
your God forever and ever,
and your guide even unto death."


On looking back, I think I was stronger in the beginning, I needed to be, to be trusting in Jesus to get me through each day. He gives us what we need of Himself to make it through difficult times. Our loss doesn't subside as time goes on, it is always with us, but so is Jesus, always ready to comfort us. He has comforted me over and over again these past 10 years and 3 months. I will be reunited with Mark again one day.

Covid and the forced isolation, was hard to deal with not just for me but for everyone around the world. Fear was all around. There was NO being with other humans. We were locked inside our own little worlds.

I watched online services, messages, times of worship, etc. I wondered, what I was here for?  What was my purpose. Then I found this church, and in it I found a wonderful group of ladies who love Jesus, love others, who pray for and help others. I began hearing of people who needed a bit of love, comfort and encouragement and my fingers have been crocheting lap/comfort blankets more than ever. My love of crocheting began at the age of 15, I was taught by my step-grannie. Love and prayers go into the making of these blankets, I have been given a purpose.

We all have been blessed with talents and God can use them to bless others. We may feel like what we have to offer isn't much, but God can take small things to us and make them great. A word of encouragement, whether it be a text, email or snail mail or in person. A gift of food, homemade or otherwise can bless someone. Can we be of physical help? Can we help in our churches, in our communities? There are many ways God can bless others through us. Through blessing others, we are blessed.

I will close this with the following verses.

Lamentations 3:24-26

 The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.

The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.

It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.


Psalm 46:10

Be still, and know that I am God


Mark called out this verse below, 1 Peter 5:7, to me as I walked in the door just home from work on the 17th Nov. 2012, God called him home on the 9th of December 2012. I'm still casting all my cares on Jesus.

Love and prayers,


Monday, March 6, 2023

March is here, spring is coming, things have been happening

Greetings Friends, hope you are all doing well. It's been a busy time for me. House and garden projects. Right now we are in drought conditions.  This January was the driest on record in 129 years. I've been moving and grouping potted plants closer to house for ease of care and ease on the gardener.

I've been blessed with help from my church family and am so thankful to God for them. Trees trimmed, a couple of indoor projects, a new computer, prayer, love, encouragement. I have been going to this church for two years this month. (The church I had been going to had closed it's doors during covid.) The worship music is wonderful, the messages are all Bible based, I go to a ladies Bible study/prayer time on Wednesday mornings. The people are loving, caring and fun. They welcomed me in and became family to me. God led me there and they were just what I needed. God has given me more people to love since Mark is no longer here for me to love.

 In January, my 21 year old Maytag washer finally wouldn't spin any longer. I had already replaced the belts twice in the last 10 years since Mark has been gone. I googled Maytag washers and found one out at Lowe's, which is west of me by about 20 minutes or so. I had gone to the church to help take down Christmas decorations, but the work was already done by the young pastors. A few of us ladies were there to take care of this and all that was needed was some clean up. 

I was in a bad way, really missing Mark, my last barn kitty had not been doing so great, and that morning I couldn't find her, I had a feeling she was 'gone'. she was 17. I called for her several times and did a cursory look, then left for the church. I got there all weepy, and a friend asked me how I was and I broke down. Then I talked with one of the young pastors and told him about my washing machine and googling and finding one out at Lowe's on sale. After a few minutes he said, Do you want to go out there? I said, Now? he said, Yes, it will be an adventure. I needed an adventure. We had good conversation on the drive.

We checked out a dent/ding place to see if they might have Maytags but they didn't, then we headed on out to Lowe's. Well, we got there and on the floor they had 2-3 different Maytags and I was reading the specifications, trying to make a decision, and finally went with the one I wanted in the first place. It was marked down from $799 down to $549. It was loaded into the van, then we headed back to the church so I could get my car and he picked up another young pastor so they could take out the old washer (and take it away) and install the new. I love the new machine. It is working great, is much quieter. I got out my credit card to pay and the young pastor who had taken me to Lowe's handed me some $ and said here this is to help pay for washer. He and his wife had set aside $ to help someone and I happened to be that someone right then. I was flabbergasted and thankful at the same time. Below is my new machine. Maytags always had a reputation for not needing a repairman, and the old one did last for a little over 20 years. This new one has a 10 year warranty. ;-)

Below is the rubber tree which is close to the house and had limbs overhanging the roof, not good. The rubber tree is also overhanging the driveway.

What a difference. There are new leaves starting to sprout out of the top but for now, there is no shade.

Next is the Melaleuca tree which had two huge limbs hanging over the workshop. This company did a great job cutting back both of these trees and having that done is a huge burden off of me.

Ok, that's it for now. I am still learning how to use the Gimp photo editing program, and it is taking me longer to edit and create a post. I do NOT like PSP Pro (paintshop pro) at all and I paid for it. Gimp is FREE!!! My dear Mark told me about Gimp years ago and it was a learning curve back then. I had PSP 2 and used that up until I got new computer with windows 10 which would not take the old program. Gimp is getting easier the more I use it and see what all it can do. It's just taking longer.

I have more to share but my eyes are tired and I need a break from the computer.

Thank you all for prayers, love and encouragement. It means a lot. God has been taking care of me in so many ways, big and small and I am thankful.

Enjoy your week. Be thankful. 



Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Before the month of celebrating love is over...

Greetings from Plum Cottage, hope you all are having a nice February. Temperatures have been in the mid 80's, a.c. is on. We've had a few 'cold' to us days down here, but not enough to say we had 'winter'. The cooler temps make one feel more alive.

I did nothing to celebrate Valentine's Day this year. Being by oneself it just isn't the same. ;-) I just wasn't in the mood. The next day after my ladies Bible study/prayer group which meets every Wednesday morning, the pastors took we widows to lunch at the Olive Garden. There were 7 widows and three pastors. We had good food and conversation and much laughter, which we all know is good medicine.

Valentine's Day morning a widow friend of mine sent me a beautiful prayer she had received in a devotional that morning. I want to share it here before this month of celebrating love is over.

 "Dear God, Help me today to understand what love really means.

I need a love that’s big enough to include all of us. Big enough for the dating and engaged couples, of course, with their giddy daydreams of a future together. But also big enough for the married folks, whether their passion for each other is still blazing brightly or barely more than a smoldering wick. Big enough for the singles toasting their independence, and for the singles wishing someone would come along and make that independence disappear. For the lonely and widowed and brokenhearted, I need a love that understands, a love that welcomes in hurt and sorrow instead of excluding them. The love I need more than anything is Your love. Without Your love, no other love will ever be sufficient. And with it, every other love becomes richer and truer and more life-giving than it could have been otherwise. We have learned all our best loves from You: the love of faithful friends, of spouses and significant others, of parents and siblings and children. Love that commits. Love that sacrifices. Love that lays down its life. You authored each of these loves, taught us how to recognize them and long for them and give them away. Our best efforts at Valentine’s Day are just a fraction of the wholeness of love.

Today, let everything I see remind me of Your love. Let today be a day for love. Real love. Big love. Your love. "


 God's love for us is amazing, it is never ending, it is deeper than we can ever imagine. As Jesus, He gave His life for us so that we might have life everlasting with Him. Where there is no pain, sorrow, death, sin, only LIFE BEAUTIFUL LIFE to the fullest. He wants a loving relationship with each one of us, He seeks us, call us, hopefully we hear His still small voice wooing us to come to Him. There is so much in the world to drown out His voice, and that's when we must be still and listen. Just be, just breathe, wait and believe.

Below is 'Angel Face' so beautiful in color and scent. Just one of God's beautiful creations to make our hearts rejoice.


I'm still learning how to use the art programs. Complicated until I learn them. PSP (Paint Shop Pro 2023) I am not happy with at all. Photo above was using GIMP, and it is a FREE program.  We live and hopefully learn. It's never to late to learn.

I hope to be posting more often. I've things to share just need to get into my new computer to write, edit, etc. Things have been happening here.

Enjoy the rest of your week. 

Be well, be happy, be thankful, be forgiving, love & encourage others.



Saturday, January 28, 2023

Well, here I am again. I got back into PSP 2023, and lo and behold I was able to do what I wanted to do. 

Here is a photo taken of a heart made from dish washing soap bubbles that landed on the counter. The bubbles aren't pink, they are white. The counter top is in shades of green.

 So, maybe I need to just relax, take my time doing things and not be in such a rush to learn. 

That's it for now. Time for a late lunch.


Serenity, contentment??? Part 2

Weird!!! I just tried again and here I am able to post in my computer. So frustrating when you keep trying and nothing seems to work, then all of a sudden it works. I am thankful!

Windows 11 is taking some getting used to. Saving pictures from my Canon power shot to computer is no longer easy either. It makes me feel like giving up, but I don't really want to do that.

This sweet little rose is International Herald Tribune. So vibrant and pretty. 

 More pictures will be coming when I get things figured out. ;-)


Sunday, January 1, 2023

Out With the Old, In With the New ~ Happy 2023

Hello dear friends, 2022 zipped right along until it is now in the past. Today we've been blessed with the first day of a new year. May we all find peace, be gracious to others, find contentment, live each day fully, and be thankful. 

My word for this new year is 'serenity', the state or quality of being serene. 

Serene ~ calm and peaceful.


The past three years have been filled with anxiety, fear, unknowns. For me it's been a time of reflection, of looking to Jesus for peace, comfort, provision and protection. There has been more negatives in mainstream media than positive stories to boost our morale. There is a great need to not listen to or watch stuff that fills us with fear, dread, anxiety. There is so much beauty, love, peace and joy in this world, we just need to stop and consider what they are.

 In the Bible we find what we should be thinking about. Philippians 4:8.

 "Finally, brothers and sisters,
whatever is true,
whatever is noble,
whatever is right,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy
think about such things."

I have been blessed during these times of uncertainty, with large and small blessings, and I am thankful for them all.  Jesus has drawn me closer to him and has shown me that He cares for me. He is always with me. He cares about me in my ordinary life.

The day before my dear husband's birthday, I was sitting in a quiet spot that I'm working on. It's back under the pole barn's awning and quieter back there away from the busy road out front. There is a layer of gravel on the ground where bits and pieces are always shifting about.  A little rock caught my attention. I needed to clean it, started brushing away the dirt and lo and behold, I was blessed with another 'heart'. My husband was a bringer of 'heart shaped' things to me and I miss those little gifts, but Jesus has supplied me with quite a few in these past 10 years since He called my husband home. This is one of them.

I have a goal to make this property 'serene', a haven or sanctuary, from this crazy world that we live in. I've made a start, with friends, in clearing the property, but there's still more to do. All in good time.

I'm not getting any younger, my mind thinks I can keep doing things I've done in the past, but alas, my body says different. The heat and humidity of summers take a toll also. I can only work outside mornings.

Here is a section from a wonderful book given to me by a  blog follower just after God called Mark home in December 2012. The name of this book is 'Sanctuary ~ Gardening for the Soul'. Beautiful photos, and wonderful thoughts and ideas.

"Creating a peaceful sanctuary garden is just one step toward honoring a different vision of the world.  If you are able to rediscover peace and balance with yourself while safe in your sanctuary, you can learn to carry those feelings with you outside. You will have created a place that is sacred, like a temple or a church. Our gardens help us maintain the delicate balance between the external demands of our lives and our internal emotional needs. They are places that heal us emotionally and physically. A peaceful sanctuary is truly a little paradise on this earth."

God created the first garden. I've been blessed to be able to create garden spaces here on this 1/4 acre. When people visit they say what a hidden little place this is off a busy 5 lane road. The gardens are good exercise, mentally, physically and spiritually. There are colors, textures, scents, butterflies are always flitting about, birds sing their songs, hummingbirds visit, and felines visit from the neighborhood.

So, serenity is my desire for this year. I want to share this place with others so they can soak up some peace when they visit. I want to live a life pleasing to God, to share his love with others. 

Another goal is to "create an enchanted oasis called 'home', a tapestry of beauty. To be the homemaker that God wants me to be." (Don't know where I found that quote.) I'm decluttering, trying to quit procrastinating in doing this. I want to enjoy this life God has blessed me with. I want to be still and know that He is God. He has a plan.

I am thankful for a wonderful church family, for a lovely group of ladies that meet together each week for prayer and Bible study. I'm thankful for online friends who have encouraged and prayed for me.

Here is a lovely, peaceful song that has been speaking to me this past year. I sort of lost my get-up-and-go, have dealt with some depression too. We also have hurricane season every year, 6 months of watching and hoping none hits us. Actually this song is good for any circumstance that comes into our lives. Sickness, financial struggles, relationships, death of loved ones, emotional struggles. God is there for us. We can call on Him at any time, anywhere.

So, friends, have a wonderful 2023. Count your blessings, learn through any hardships that may come your way, be thankful, love, forgive and encourage others. 

We have a new year to enjoy, each day is a gift.

Love, hugs and prayers ~ FlowerLady