Friday, November 24, 2017

A start to Christmas decorating

Hello Folks ~ Well, here we are past the first holiday of the season. I had a nice time with friends, plenty of delicious food, and gifted with take away for several meals here at home.

We’ve had more rain, and more rain. The ground has not dried out since hurricane Irma and tropical storm Philippe after that, and the T-storms and rain showers that have kept coming our way. I was finally able to get a load of laundry washed and hung out the other day. Got the grass mowed and did some trimming and weedwacking too.  Today it is beautiful out. Sunshine, breezy, some clouds and the humidity is less.

I did get outside this morning to do a little weeding and moved some potted plants. It felt good being outdoors.

Indoors, I’ve made a small start to decorating for Christmas. I just love doing this. I’ve got to get another small tree out of the attic and that should do it for the trees, a total of 3, plus my collectible iron rose tree that I bought many, many years ago at a local flea market for $10. It has 5 small light sockets hidden behind clusters of leaves, with an old chord and a dimmer switch also hidden behind a leaf. But, I bought battery operated lights with a timer 6 hours on 18 off, since the tree is not near an outlet.  It looks better in person than in the photo.  I’ll take more photos after I am done decorating the trees. The LED lights are weird to photograph.


One of the small trees.  I hung the mirror with painting on the wall for the reflections. DH and I got that frame probably from same flea market as the above iron rose tree. He painted the painting for the top, after an old master, but at the moment I can’t remember which one. Then put a mirror in the bottom and gave it to his mother for either Mother’s day or her birthday. one year. It hung in the family home by the front door as you entered.  I recently was given it and cried when I saw it. Another part of DH here with me.



Remodeling work in the living room and bedroom is on hold until the new year. I decided that it is just too hectic with the holidays to even begin with the projects. But, amidst the chaos of boxes of stuff, decluttering, etc. I am still decorating. It puts more color and joy into this little cottage and I look forward to working on decorating for days to come.

Happy holidays and getting ready to celebrate Christmas. It is a wonderful time of year. Filled with love, peace, joy and goodwill.


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving


I am thankful for:

the gift of another day,

for food to eat,

hot and cold running water,

clothing to wear,

a comfortable bed,



Thankful for

my four feline girls,

for Plum Cottage and gardens.


Thankful for

43 years of marriage to my best friend,

for the love we shared,

for the memories that fill my heart,

thankful knowing that he is now with God.

For love, encouragment and comfort from God and others,

through these almost 5 years without my dear DH, my ‘love’.


Thankful for,

the love of family,

for the love of friends, real and online.

Thankful most of all,

for the Love of God.


Happy Thanksgiving to all of you,


Monday, November 6, 2017

Fall blooms

Good morning folks ~ It is Monday, a new week, one of getting used to the time change, and one for working inside and out.

The ground is still soggy here from the heavy deluge of rain we got from Philippe. Below is a picture of the driveway the next day. There was standing water in different parts of the property. We sure have a lot of green don’t we?


After Philippe moved northeastward, a cold front moved in and the next morning this is how my scullery window looked. It was 58 and real feel was 54. Right now at 11:51 p.m. EST it is 83 and feels like it is 90. The cool weather didn’t last long.


Last week I was out of my ‘comfort zone’ a bit as I was on a little adventure of checking on and visiting my bro & sis-in-laws two felines, Zoe and Peppy (who I call Pepperoni), while they had a lovely week with friends in Cancun, Mexico. BIL & SIL live about 25 miles north of me. I do NOT drive I-95 or the turnpike, just way too fast for me and stresses me out. That route would take me 30 minutes less, my slower route takes about an hour each way.  Worth it to me for the stress level, zipping along at 65-70 mph is just too fast for me. I’ll post pics from my times spent there in another post. I went there Tues. Thurs. and Sat.

Being there did make me appreciate my little Plum Cottage, and I was refreshed and inspired by my time spent there. BIL-SIL are living here until they find another home to buy. They sold the home they had lived in for many years, this past spring and moved into this rental, to be closer to BIL’s job. It is lovely and peaceful, a quiet gated community on the water, just off the intra-coastal waterway. Nice to enjoy the water views and the clouds in the sky passing by. I was inspired to work on my place by their lovely home and the way she has decorated.

This morning I started working on the bedroom, moving things out, making plans for some rearranging. I’ll need my BIL’s help in moving things, then we/he can start work on repairing living room west wall and I’ll be able to paint and then we can move in the two matching bookcases and the tv stand piece (from them) that will go in between bookcases. A couple of days ago I started feeling excited for no reason, and this morning starting to do this work made me feel even more excited.

Ok, now for some fall blooms here at Plum Cottage tropical gardens. Enjoy. They give me much pleasure in their colors and scents.

Philippine Violet blooms along with yellow firecracker flowers and a lone Wine Cup rose.


Philippine violet flower with a Skipper butterfly sipping nectar.





This is a lilac tree, grown from seed. The flowers have a delicate sweet scent.


Hibiscus Tree bloom ~ This is the trees that grow along my driveway and hang over from the neighbors. These are fast growers, a real pain. DH used to keep these cut back on our side. The flowers start out yellow and turn a salmony color as they age and fall off.


Mexican petunia and below that are morning glories.



Pink Muhly grass





Port St. John vine


Confederate Rose (I think) and visiting ants.


Wild petunia of sorts.


Cape Coral Honeysuckle, I also have this in a bright orange.


Wooly Jasmine


Barnhouse rose


Coral knockout




Maman Cochet





Not sure which rose this is.


This might be Mozart again or else a little rose called Picnic.






Evening sunlight hitting the pine trees.


St. Francis, a wonderful old cement statue we got at a flea market for $10 many, many years ago. I love it’s old patina. He’s about 3 feet tall.


Miss Tork minding her p’s & q’s, then looking at me to see what I’m doing.



That’s it. I hope you are all finding beauty in each day and enjoying getting into the start of the holidays.


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Whisper ~ a book review

Good morning Folks ~ I am a tad late with getting this review out. Hurricane Irma and taking care of this place has kept me occupied. Then this past weekend we had tropical storm Philippe come on us all of a sudden dumping lots and lots of heavy rain, even some tornadoes. I am thankful Plum Cottage has done some more surviving, thankful to God for His tender care.

Before hurricane Irma, I had ordered a book from Blogging For Books to do a review for and it came afterwards and there were some great helpful and encouraging tidbits in this book.

The book is ‘Whisper – How to Hear the Voice of God’ by Mark Batterson.

There are many ways in which God speaks to us, we just need open our hearts to listen.

God wants to speak to each of us, you and me. Do we want to hear Him?

If we do, all we have to do is ask.

Some thoughts from this book are below:

“The goal of hearing the heavenly Father’s voice isn’t just hearing His voice; it’s intimacy with Him. He wants to be as close to us as is divinely possible.”

“Nothing has the potential to change your life like the whisper of God.”

“His whisper quiets us, calms us, stills us.”

“The voice of God is all-powerful ~ it is also all-loving.”

“Jesus is in the business of opening impossible doors and leading us to impossible places. It’s one of the ways He whispers.”

“God can use anything to accomplish His purposes, and He can do it anywhere, anytime and anyhow.”


In this book Mark lists seven love languages in which God whispers to us. They are Scripture, Desires, Doors, Dreams, People, Promptings, Pain.

This was a good, encouraging read and I have LOTS underlined to go back and re-read and be encouraged and uplifted by.

I am thankful for the many ways

in which I have experienced God’s whispers in my own life.

May we all be open to hearing God’s whispers each and every day.


Sunday, October 22, 2017

Life continues

Hello Folks ~ Wow, it’s been two weeks since my last post. I’m not posting like I used to and I thank those who have checked up on me. I’m still cleaning up my property a little at a time. The other morning there was some cooler weather and I was able to work outside for almost 3 hours, but, there is still much to do. I’ve piles of brush here and there to rake and bag up. The huge pile out front from hurricane Irma was finally picked up this week. They did leave the bags of debris though as they don’t want the plastic bags ground up into the mulch the brush piles will make. I drove pass a huge piece of property where the trucks are dumping the brush and it is amazing how much there is and it is still being picked up around the county.

I’ve weedwacking and trimming to do, was able to mow again the other day. One thing about FL is that the growing season this far south is 365 days a year, and with the rain we’ve been getting lately, things are growing like crazy. It is so overwhelming to me at times, I just want to go somewhere and hide. That doesn’t solve anything though, so I thank God for His many blessings, for the strength He gives me and for working things out.

I had an unplanned expense, a whole new brake job, ball joints, new fuel injection, back door lock mechanisms so I can now open the doors and some other things on my van. It all needed doing. The brakes were metal on metal, and the ball joints had wiggle room. The van is 16 years old, and only has a little over 42,000 miles on it. My mechanic and his mechanic friend said my engine sounds great and with the work they did on my van it will be good for more years and miles. Although, the next expense on the van is a new fuel pump. I need to build up my bank account before that expense. I am grateful that my mechanic only charged me his cost on the parts, plus his labor. My BIL said I was given a great deal on the whole cost of the job. I baked peanut butter, oatmeal, chocolate chip cookies as a thank you for  them for their hard and honest work for this widowed FlowerLady.

I’ve seen a hummingbird twice, once from the ‘scullery’ as I was looking out into the ‘secret garden’, and then the other morning as I was sitting here in my chair. Some movement caught my eye and there was a hummer flitting from one red flower to another. What a treat! Don’t blink, because they are there one minute and gone the next. No time to get the camera.

Now for some photos.

Weedy and overgrown secret garden.




St. Francis garden, where’s the path?


I did pick my 4 key limes from my little potted bush as they were ready and were enjoyed in water and in a margarita. Winking smile I still have 3 lemons to pick from my Meyer lemon bush. Next year I hope to have more fruit as they will be bigger plants. I love key limes.


Barnhouse rose.




‘Miss Atwood’











‘Ground orchid’


‘Miss Tork’ without a care.


I received a beautiful book the other day, one for me to write a review for. I’d been looking forward to it and was NOT disappointed. I cried reading the preface. I am enjoying it immensely.


Ok, that’s it for now. I’m still working on getting rid of books, etc. did give away a bookcase to a young family. B-I-L Todd and I will be working on the living room, patching walls, painting, setting up new/used bookcases and tv stand. It may be another two weeks or so before I post again as I’ve work to do inside and out.

Before I forget, someone asked about the hybrid ‘kiss’ hibsicus. Yes, they are finicky in my opinion. Mine is still hanging in, but I do need to fertilize it as it has not looked as good as it did when I first got it. I love the blooms so will do some ‘babying’ of it and hopefully will be blessed with more of those fantastic blooms. Mine is called ‘Hugs & Kisses’.


Thank you all for your kind words, your encouragement and your prayers, all are much appreciated.

Have a great week ~ FlowerLady