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Good afternoon Friends ~ This is a good day, being Earth Day, to write up a post. Have quite a few photos to share as I’ve not posted in awhile.

Thank you all for bday wishes, get well wishes and wishes for rain. We have gotten some much needed rain in the past week or so. Rains letting me know gutters have clogs that need attending too. The rain is so good for everything and saves me spending $ on my water bill to water gardens and potted plants. We had rain last night, this morning and it looks like we could get more. The sky is gray and there’s a stiff breeze from the west.

Right now I’m enjoying a cup of green tea and ginger tea combined, sweetened with honey. The scent of gardenias is right here in my little space and smells heavenly. That scent is one of my earliest memories from Florida. My grandmother had a big bush that would be filled with the blooms, it was intoxicating.

Pink hibiscus

Pink begonia

This begonia is scented and just wonderful.

Spiderworts, which some consider a weed, but not this gardener and it is one of my favorite flowers.

This beauty is tibouchina. First one a fresh bloom in the shade, second photo an older bloom in the sunlight.

This is a vanda orchid, ‘Miss Joacuim’. This grows like a weed, spreads nicely. I can break off bits with some roots hanging off and just plop them anywhere. Another favorite.

Blue Salvia with Tahitian Gardenia in the background

Salvia coccinea greggii spreads by self-seeding another favorite

This orchid bloom was a pleasant surprise the other morning. It is attached to the stem of the Tahitian Gardenia.

Tahitian Gardenia ~ These are absolutely wonderful!!! Huge scented blooms.

Bougainvillea from friends Nanci & John

This is Confederate Jasmine ~ blooms once a year. I have three of these vines and look forward to their scent filling the air every spring.

This is an orchid I bought at a yard sale soon after my dear husband went to be with his Creator. It is called Dancing Ladies or Butterfly orchids.

This lovely orchid was given to me by friends/customers from my time of working at an antique shop for 17 years.

An unknown ~ another surprise the other day. I forget about them when they aren’t in bloom.

These tiny orchids are ‘Reed Orchids’ another orchid that grows like a weed with little care from me.

I don’t know what the plant is in the next two photos, two different colors.

This is a ‘Tropical Hydrangea’.

‘Miss Atwood’

Something snacked on this while it was a bud. The holes are interesting.

‘Mozart’

A sweet little carpet rose.

‘International Herald Tribune’ rose a real sweetie.

‘Miss Ruth’s Wavy’ rose

Hibiscus

Two views of the same shell.

1st year anniversary gift I created for young friends.

That’s it for now.

Be well, count your blessings, love God and love others.

FlowerLady

***

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass,

the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind,

whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

And the earth brought forth grass,

and herb yielding seed after his kind,

and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind:

and God saw that it was good.

***

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Good afternoon Folks ~ I hope you all had a lovely Easter and where there is spring I hope you are able to be out to enjoy it. Some of you are still having snowy weather, hang in there, it will pass and the sun will come out, flowers will bloom and birds will sing.

Down here in s.e. FL it is very dry, we need rain and it is predicted but time will tell whether we get it or not. I am able to use my sprinklers 3 days a week, twice a day, hand watering can be done any day, just not in the hot time of the day. I have to pay for water, so it is not an option to water grass in my book. Grass looks like straw, shrubs and vines are shriveling up, not good.

One day I went outside and found this creepy ‘alien’ growing in a pot of a tropical flowering plant. I’d never seen anything like it. Do any of you know what this might be?It’s gone now, only lasting a day or so.

The next creepy thing was a ‘worm’ of some type in my computer. My dear BIL told me what do do the first time via the phone, I was totally FREAKED. Led me to a day of depression, not good at all. (I had had enough. It came on top of being overloaded with thinking/worrying about the responsibility of caring for this place. I let the negatives get me down instead of focusing on the good things God has done and is doing in my life.) Then, just the other day as I was watching a movie on you tube, the same window/voice started coming up and I clicked out of all tabs and it stopped and didn’t load. I told BIL and he said it sounds like someone had hacked into my space and to change all of my passwords, so I did that, and hopefully that is the end of that. Sheesh! (I was sick so didn’t have the energy to freak out, and didn’t think it worth it anyway.)

Before that happened, a couple of weekends ago, he worked on my desk top for around 4 hours trying to find the problem in safe mode as to why it was running so dang slow. He said he’d never seen a computer run that slow. We thought I was going to have to bite the bullet and start from scratch, which I dreaded doing, but did have everything backed up onto an external harddrive. He did several things and we’re not sure as to what the catalyst was that set it working again but it is working just fine.  Thank you dear Todd.

My 69th bday was the first day of spring. Where has the time gone? My dear SIL Sue, Todd’s wife, and I spent the day together up at their place. She made me a decious chicken dish for lunch, and we had a lovely bday cake and time together. The pretty roses on top got smushed in transit and she was really bummed about that, but it was still a pretty cake and tasted wonderful.

They took me out to eat at The Outback Steakhouse that night. I had steak,  coconut shrimp, a baked sweet potato with butter and brown sugar, and mixed veggies. This was after we had shared a blooming onion and their delicious bread. I also had a margarita to celebrate.  I took a box home and had two more meals, one shown below. Delicious!!!

Had a wonderful Easter weekend, starting with a great worship/communion service, Friday night, with 6 different churches being represented. Sunday a lovely Easter service then dinner afterwards with dear friends.

Monday night I started having a sore throat, which developed into a bad cold. I finally bought some Nyquil after having coughed one whole night and that did the trick. My stomach muscles are so sore from all of the coughing, but at least I didn’t crack ribs like I’ve done in the past. I sounded like a bullfrog for a couple of days. But after getting some much needed sleep and just sitting/laying around doing nothing, today I am feeling much better. I do feel dragged out though, and will take a nap after I finish this.

Work on the living room remodeling is coming along. Todd has been doing mudwork, still more of that to do, but it has to dry between coats and once that’s done, then comes the sanding, which is going to be a mess, but needs to be done. We both will be glad when this project is over. Then we’ll start on the bedroom. He is a dear helping me like this and I appreciate him more than words can express. My dear husband would be proud and thankful for the ways Todd is helping me.

Ok, here are a few blooms from Plum Cottage gardens.

Here is a critter who visited the other day.

There are a lot more photos but I don’t feel like going through and editing them right now. Maybe another time.

That’s it from PC.

Have a great weekend and remember that God loves you dearly. You are precious to Him.

FlowerLady

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Hello Friends ~ I hope you all are enjoying preparing for Easter. I hope and pray that in the hustle and bustle of the holiday you will ponder the real reason behind this holiday.

This is my favorite holiday, it is ‘Resurrection Day’, a day of rejoicing.

I want to share here a devotional from John Piper’s Solid Joys daily devotionals, from 11 Dec. 2017 as to the ‘why’ of both Christmas and Easter. Jesus is God in the flesh, come to set people free, now and for all eternity. All who believe in Him will have life forever with Him. No more pain, no more tears, no more sin/evil, no more death. All will be joy forever, better than we can even imagine.

“Why Jesus Came”

Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. (Hebrews 2:14–15)

This, I think, is my favorite Advent text because I don’t know any other that expresses so clearly the connection between the beginning and the end of Jesus’s earthly life — between the incarnation and crucifixion. These two verses make clear why Jesus came; namely, to die. They would be great to use with an unbelieving friend or family member to walk them step-by-step through your Christian view of Christmas. It might go something like this, a phrase at a time:

“Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood . . . ”

The term “children” is taken from the previous verse and refers to the spiritual offspring of Christ, the Messiah (see Isaiah 8:18; 53:10). These are also the “children of God” (John 1:12). In other words, in sending Christ, God has the salvation of his “children” especially in view.

It is true that “God so loved the world, that he gave [Jesus]” (John 3:16). But it is also true that God was especially gathering “the children of God who are scattered abroad” (John 11:52). God’s design was to offer Christ to the world, and to effect the salvation of his “children” (see 1 Timothy 4:10). You may experience adoption by receiving Christ (John 1:12).

“ . . . he himself likewise partook of the same things [flesh and blood] . . . ”

This means that Christ existed before the incarnation. He was spirit. He was the eternal Word. He was with God and was God (John 1:1; Colossians 2:9). But he took on flesh and blood and clothed his deity with humanity. He became fully man and remained fully God. It is a great mystery in many ways. But it is at the heart of our faith — and what the Bible teaches.

“ . . . that through death . . . ”

The reason he became man was to die. As God pure and simple, he could not die for sinners. But as man he could. His aim was to die. Therefore he had to be born human. He was born to die. Good Friday is the purpose of Christmas. This is what most people today need to hear about the meaning of Christmas.

“ . . . he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil . . . ”

In dying, Christ de-fanged the devil. How? By covering all our sin. This means that Satan has no legitimate grounds to accuse us before God. “Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies” (Romans 8:33) — on what grounds does he justify? Through the blood of Jesus (Romans 5:9).

Satan’s ultimate weapon against us is our own sin. If the death of Jesus takes it away, the chief weapon of the devil — the one mortal weapon that he has — is taken out of his hand. He cannot make a case for our death penalty, because the Judge has acquitted us by the death of his Son!

“ . . . and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.”

So, we are free from the fear of death. God has justified us. Satan cannot overturn that decree. And God means for our ultimate safety to have an immediate effect on our lives. He means for the happy ending to take away the slavery and fear of the Now.

If we do not need to fear our last and greatest enemy, death, then we do not need to fear anything. We can be free. Free for joy. Free for others.”

I will close with this quote from John Piper.

God is most glorified in us
when we are most satisfied in him.

Have a blessed Easter.

FlowerLady


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Good afternoon Friends ~ Hope you are all doing well, are safe, no matter where you are or what your weather is.

I just had some much needed rain earlier. I had seen that rain was coming so went out before it got here and raked up garden debris. It has been so nice these past few days that I’ve been out working in my gardens. Still much to do, but I’m making forward progress and and it feels good.

Yesterday and then again this morning I played around with my LG smartphone to try some videos. Some show the traffic noise from the 4 lane highway out front. The road out front used to be two lanes, a nice country type road, but this area has grown tremendously so roads have been widened and homeowner’s properties shortened, ours by a depth of 25’ across the front, which has most definitely brought traffic much closer. There are quiet times throughout the day as the traffic ebbs and flows depending on what time of day it is.  Links will be at the bottom of this post. Forgive my inadequacy at doing this. I want to be able to either put music to the videos, or just have them silent and voice overs. I need help.

Now here are some blooms from the past week.

Basket plant flowers. These are so sweetly scented. I will try to remember to get a photo where a lot of these are in blooms at the same time. Very easy to grow and spread like crazy.

Here is a swallowtail catterpillar I think, munching down on a Giant Milkweed plant, which is now stripped of all leaves.

A two-toned carpet rose.

Clock vine blooms.

Crepuscule rose, I think.

Pinky-peach salvia greggii. Easy to grow, self sows.

A wonderful ground cover that I can’t remember the name of at the moment. I want to get this growing all over the place.

Amaryllis, blooms about this same time every year.

Peachy-pink carpet roses.

Granada rose in the foreground, has a delicous scent. I plan to paint the aluminum metal work turquoise like the heart to the right hand side of this picture.

International Herald Tribune rose on the first then on the sixth.

Maman Cochet yesterday, I need to see how open she is now.

Orchids from my dear friends Nanci & John.

Spiderwort, a favorite of mine, spreads like crazy, some gardeners call this a weed.

An unkn. tiny orchid.

Vanda Miss Joachim orchid, grows like crazy, break off a piece with roots and put it wherever you want it.

Secret garden, this is what I look out into when I wash dishes.

That’s it for the photo section this time.

Here is a link to a lady gardener/vlogger in Ireland. I had visited her blog quite awhile back, but a friend just found her and sent me the link so I re-visited and she inspires me.

A Cottage In The Woods

Now for the links to my humble, amateur short videos. You can see more if you view full screen.

Front Gardens with traffic

Front Gardens with traffic 2

Mockingbird Singing

Secret Garden

7 March 2018

Ok, that’s it. Time for some lunch. Blogging takes time, from picture taking to editing photos, then writing up a blog, but it is something I truly enjoy.

Enjoy each day you are blessed with.

Spring is coming ~ FlowerLady

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Hi Folks ~ I’ve had several ask if the flowers I post are mine, and yes they are, unless I’m at a nursery, botanical gardens, etc. and I will state where they are taken.

Many, many years ago, I told my dear husband that I’d rather have ‘growing’ flowers that a bouquet that doesn’t smell and will die shortly. Not to say that I didn’t enjoy the surprise bouquets he did give me. My gardens are what they are because I bought flowering plants, mostly perennials and not very many annuals as they die shortly too. Occasionally, I can’t resist pansies, or some other annual delight.

There is a nursery near me that sells 3 gal. size plants for $5 each. I’ve bought quite a few plants from this nursery. I always get bit by the spring flower ‘bug’, especially since my bday is the first day of spring. Flowers speak to me heart & soul, mentally they are stimulating and physically their scents are healing and some intoxicating, and their colors are wonderful. On a spiritual level, they make me think of our great God who created everything and I thank Him for the many wonderful plants and flowers He gave us to enjoy. Being out in the gardens or any natural setting makes me feel more alive and at peace.

I live on a busy 5 lane road, and while the traffic can really be heavy at times, there is a peace inside my property.  My mechanic came here the other day and he told me he loves this place, the plants and flowers all over, how quiet it is. (He wasn’t even hearing the traffic). In spite of seeing what I see, weeds, overgrowth, and stuff that needs to be gotten rid of, he just saw the beauty and that made me feel so good, especially coming from a young macho man. It was a gift of encouragement to me.

Today is a new day and this post is filled with photos from Plum Cottage gardens.

This is ‘Chinese Hat’ Holmskioldia sanguinea. Bees, birds and butterflies love this. These get to be 6 feet tall and about as wide. Can be grown as a tree or a sprawling shrub.

This is Hibiscus Tree, I don’t remember the botanical name of this tree, that info is in my desk top computer. This is NOT your typical small hibiscus shrub, this towers up to and beyong the power lines and is a FAST grower. I love and hate it. It is in our neighbor’s property and is what hangs over into my driveway. DH used to take care of this from our side with his saws-all, now I sometimes get help from friends, or the county takes care of it after the limbs hit the power lines causing power shortages or outages. The flowers are yellow and turn the bronze color as they age.

This is my ‘Meyer Lemon’, first blooms of this season. This small shrub is in a pot and my ‘Key Lime’ also in a pot, are both doing fantastic right now.

These below are the seed heads of the ‘Lipstick Tree’, Bixa orellana, a.k.a. Annato, Urucum, Achiote

Spiny red fruit with hard, deep red seeds that are used as a spice, in cosmetics, and as an industrial dye. The flowers are pale pink, small.

I got this as a tiny plant from Butterfly World for $1, a year or so ago.

This is ‘Smoke or Mist Bush’. Iboza riparia, Tetradenia riparia. In my main garden and really doing well this spring. I had hoped for the pinkish variety, as it wasn’t in bloom when I bought it from the local botanical garden a couple of years ago. But this is pretty being pure white. The leaves are aromatic, but I’m not all that crazy about the scent.

Pink begonias

Next, is ‘Purple Fringe Bush’, Loropetalum chinense. My little bush is full of blooms right now, the most it has ever had. I just read that it has a scent, so I need to go outside and see if I can smell it.

Lots of my roses are filling out with new growth, and buds and blooms. I am thrilled to say the least. I never know what I’m  going to see from one day to the next, very exciting. I ooh and aah and gasp in delight.

This is an unknown sweetly scented rose that I bought two of for $5 ea. a few years ago. They are both in my main garden and bloom off and on all year long.

I don’t know the name of this little beauty either. It is also in my main garden.

This is ‘Crepuscule’. I walked the front path and looked up and there was this lovely bloom. I bought this a couple of years ago and just love it. It is in a big pot, but set so the roots will grow into the ground. I can feed and water it better this way. This can be seen through my front gate once it fills out. It is another rose with a wonderful scent.

This is a ‘Carpet Rose’, I just love the two-tone look of the flowers and that it is a simple rose.

I loved how the sunlight was hitting this spider web. I hate walking into webs and it happens almost daily. Not huge ones like this but whispier types.

Here is Miss Tork, doing what she does most. We are in a state of ‘disarray’ here and she sleeps all over the place where she can find a space. She has two of these ‘memory foam’ beds and really likes them. I made these two beds up for her when she was limping around for a week or so.

While the cottage is in ‘CHAOS’, ‘Can’t Have Anybody Over Syndrome’, (from FlyLady),  I have been making forward progress as I await the remodeling job to continue. Dear BIL is staying close to home on weekends, while dear SIL recuperates from total knee replacement. She is doing good, getting stronger with each new day.

I did move the desk unit from living room to the bedroom and am happy to have it as more storage space.  Here is the piece moved into bedroom, along with the little antique cabinet next to it, which was also in the living room. Inside that little cabinet I was able to fit my little sewing machine.

Here is the desk unit being filled up. Next to it is the linen cupboard on the left with curtain closed. Both of these pieces were found curbside years ago.

Now the curtain is open and you can ‘see’ what’s inside. I bought the black laundry basket last year. Like it’s size and shape, the color nice because it doesn’t appear as big as it is. Then after getting it home I realized it would fit in this space hidden away. YAY! In this small cottage, 675 sq. ft. I have to make it all work efficiently for me on my very limited budget. It worked for DH and I and it is still working for me now, only being changed around for one person instead of two. I know he would like the changes I am making for myself, even though some of them are hard.

Now, here is why I didn’t want to put this desk unit curbside. The messy inside of the drop down section, wrapping paper, desk supplies, stamps, etc. In needs to be gone through and stuff thrown out, old papers that haven’t seen the light of day in years, and the other day I had an ‘ah-ha’ moment and the two little white drawer units (hold receipts and bills, etc.) will go inside this space, giving me more space on the shelf where they are now. Yippee!

The living room is piled with stuff and it is depressing, (won’t show a picture here), that’s why my gardens are so therapeutic right now. I can go out into them and be refreshed, and some back in and tackle another section. I am a procrastinator and that is a detriment that is for sure. But, I am making forward progress and that feels great.  Moving the desk unit helped my mood tremendously. Dealing with that messy space in the desk is something I am looking forward to also and it will make a difference in how I feel.

I got rid of one bag of linens I no longer want. They were just taking up space. I’m working on getting rid of more things as I go along. Planning to keep what is needful, has memories, or is pretty or sweet. The rest can go in the trash, or be given away.

Ok, that’s it for now. Today I plan to use a gift card for JoAnn’s. Then come back and work more in the cottage. It will look so good when the remodeling jobs are completed. All in good time.

May you all have a good weekend, wherever you are.

Let us all remember in these turbulent times to think on  “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.” Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

The MSG translation says it like this:

“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.”

Hang in there, you who are dealing with more snow and cold,

Spring is coming!

FlowerLady

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Hello Folks ~ I pray that all will feel loved on this day of celebrating love.

Thought I’d share some hearts and flowers from Plum Cottage.

I will close with these thoughts on love.

~~~~~

Here are some love notes from God to all of us:

I have loved you with an everlasting love;

I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.

Jeremiah 31:3

With everlasting love I will have compassion on you,

says the Lord, your Redeemer.

Isaish 54:8

Never will I leave you;

never will I forsake you.

Hebrews 13:5

Let us remember & ponder the following:

~~~~~~

Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,

will be able to separate us from the love of God.

Romans 8:39

The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save.

He will rejoice over you with gladness,

he will quiet you by his love,

he will exult over you with loud singing.

Zephaniah 3:17

How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
 
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand

Psalm 139:17-18

Let us ~

“Give thanks to the Lord Almighty,
    for the Lord is good;
    his love endures forever.”

Jeremiah 33:11

Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

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Hi Folks ~ It is a very warm, balmy day, 80 and feels like it is 82, humidity is at 66%. I was outside sweating as I worked more in the gardens. I am trying to get things done or at least somewhat caught up before summer’s real heat and humidity get here. I got nabbed by a rose bush and decided to come in, clean up the scratch and take a break.

This time of year is when our gardens down here thrive. Lots of things are doing very well, new growth, flowers. Just wonderful.  It makes me feel so alive working out in God’s beautiful creation and so loved by Him, surrounded with beauty, scents, & textures, that draw in butterflies, birds, bees.

This week I did more tweaking in the kitchen. I got the small cabinet out of the caravan that I was thinking of mounting to the wall, but after a closer look I decided not to use it after all. It is old, old, formica so I set it out curbside, no one took it before the trash truck came around. I’m not sorry it is gone. So here was what I ended up doing.

The iron stand over the oven was outside as a plant stand. It has no top I was using a rack on top. I wire brushed it down and brushed off the debris, then put on two coats of a water base industrial strength enamel. That paint is great and I think DH found it curbside years ago. Still good and I’ve used it a couple of different times and love it. It is a very light sage/gray color. Industrial meets cottage. (On a limited budget, you go with the flow and take a look around to see what can be re-used that you already have.)

Next I had to find a shelf for it and found one in the workshop that will work for now. On top of that I put the maple piece that was originally with the chopping block counter that is under the marble top we put on it. I love the look, more open and lighter than it looked before. Still more tweaking to do in this area, but for now it works.

I did make my first baked item in the oven on the convection setting. It turned out good. So I am happy with my purchase of this oven. I do have to look for a pan with no handles on the sides to have a larger casserole pan. This was an 8x8, no problem. I’ll need a new pizza pan also.

The recipe is from ‘Southern Heritage Cakes Cookbook’ by Southern Living.

Here’s another little project. I had 8 of these tiles that DH bought somewhere for 79 cents each. I decided to use them here. Entry screened porch.  I love the new look.

Here’s a closer look. The tiles are glued to plywood into the 8 squares that you see.

Here is the ‘welcome’ mat that I got for $10 a week or so ago, so FlowerLady and Plum Cottage, plus it reminds me of Spain.

Now for some blooms from my gardens.

Azaleas, I can’t remember the name and can’t look it up as that info is in my desktop and I’m in my laptop.

The rose below is ‘Bermuda’s Kathleen’, a found rose.

‘Carnation rose’, when it opens up the edges become frilly looking like a carnation, hence the name. Smells wonderful.

Delicate little carpet rose, is actually a salmon/pink color not pink like shown here.

This is ‘Miss Atwood’.

‘Clock vine’. I just love these blooms.

‘Plumbago’

“Spicy Jatropha” with our state butterfly the Zebra Longwing.

‘Cemetery Rose’

‘Tibouchina’ ~ I got this on Wednesday as a Valentine’s Day present to myself, 2 pots of these actually. They are about 2 ft. tall and were $3 each.

I’ve started a granny square afghan for myself, to go with my spring/summer colors in the bedroom. The yarn is Lion Brand Scarfie, very nice yarn to work with. This is a birthday present to myself, an early one, birthday is the first day of spring. I might have it done by then.

I drove up to my sis-in-law, Sue’s, on Tuesday, to visit and make she & Todd a crockpot meal. I made white chili and also took them half of the apple cake. She’s doing pretty good, although PT is awfully painful, but it has to be done. She is using the cane with 4 little stabilizing legs on the bottom. We had a great visit and if all goes well I’ll go back up there this coming Tuesday. It takes me an hour up and back, so that’s 2 hours of driving when I’m used to and comfortable with driving for about 20 minutes. I’m a wuss I know. I left here around 7 and got home around 4.

That’s it for now. Have a great weekend, indoors or out. Count your blessings.

FlowerLady

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Hello Folks ~ I am in my lap top. It will be awhile before my BIL can get here to install more ram, that I  have still in the pkg. from when I ordered the two parts of so many RAM each. I don’t remember what I ordered, 2 GB’s each I think, but I’m not sure.

So, here I am in lap top and I just installed Open Live Writer which I love. It is modeled after Window’s Live Writer which was fantastic, but for some reason, they did away with it. OLW is great also though and I have been happy with it for a few years now. DH told me about it and installed it in my computer way back when.

Thanks again for all of your thoughts and prayers for SIL, Sue. She’s in therapy, using a walker, hopefully in 2-3 weeks she will have graduated to a cane. We would appreciate continued prayers as she exercises and recuperates.

Ok, I did order the Oster Convection/Toaster oven TSSTTVSK01. I got it from Best Buy. They had a 20% off on small appliances promo code, so I got it for around $63, instead of $80. It arrived via UPS last evening around 5. UPS usually delivers around 8 p.m. so I was happy this came early.

It is nice!!! I’ve not used it yet. I’ve got to wash the rack, drip pan and crumb tray as suggested in the manual. I’ve also got to heat up the oven on a high temp for 15 minutes to burn off any residues that might be in there from processing. I hope to do that tomorrow.

Now I had to make a space for this oven as it is quite a bit bigger than my old one, which was a little red Oster convection/toaster oven. I can do so much more with this oven and am excited to have it. But, let’s get back to the ‘make room’ story.

I had a 4’ high x 36” wide bookcase filled with books, cooking, gardening, health, etc. I decided it had to go so started weeding out books. I am proud of myself for getting rid of so many. I only kept what I really wanted. Back when I was collecting, we were setting up and selling at a local flea market and would see books CHEAP, so we bought on all kind of subjects. That is how our library grew to the size it is.

Monday morning I headed out to look for a piece to set the new oven on. I had a loop of shops/stores to check out, Salvation Army being the first one as it is close to home. I saw a piece there, but thought to myself, let me see what anyone else might have. I went to Big Lots, GoodWill, Target and Walmart, zilcho, nada. So I went back to Sal. Army and the piece was still there. The size was good although could have been bigger or so I was thinking. It is 27 1/2 inches wide x 16 inches deep x 32 inches high. The price $29.99. I had looked online before heading out on this shopping expidition and nothing was this inexpensive. This piece is like new. It’s not real wood, but it works for me in this little cottage of mine.

Well, after I got home I looked at my space again, and decided to move the butcher block counter with a green serpentine marble top on it, to where the bookcase had been. I knew that would be the right size for the oven especially when the door was open. Marble top is 25 inches deep x 39 3/4 inches wide.

The oven would not go on the new little cabinet I had bought after all. But, I love how this has all worked out on a limited budget and mostly using what I already had.

Here is kitchen before. A wreck as I was moving things around, etc. We bought that solid square butcher block table many, many years ago when we had our antique shop at a yard sale near us for $100. I love it! It was hand made by the young Finnish man we bought it from.

The little floor freezer is under the a.c. DH made a formica top for it so that I could use it for a counter, as tops of those things are dentable. ( I miss my dear husband so much, for so many different reasons. I want to encourage you to love and appreciate your husbands and let them know how much all that they do you are very thankful for. Let petty stuff go, love, encourage, forgive, laugh and live peaceably as much as possible.)

Putting the new little cabinet this way gave me more access to the oven and the kitchen feels so much bigger.

This morning I ‘thought’ about going to Home Depot to see what I could get for some kind of top to go on top of the little cabinet, to protect it from hot items taken from the oven. Well, I decided to check out our slowly depleting marble stash again, and lo and behold I found one I was using on a plant stand, and it is the same green serpentine marble as what is under the oven. The size would work, not a perfect fit, but good enough. I cleaned it top and bottom, then used double stick tape to stick on pieces of felt on the bottom. In the pic below the dark areas were still drying from when I had cleaned it. This side is unpolished.

Here is the top all cleaned & on top of the cabinet.

Here is a view from the scullery. Excuse the living room in the background which is a total wreck as remodeling is being done, but on hold, you know how it is, stuff gets stacked here and there until you are done. All in good time. Framing needs to be done around the a.c. also.

Below is a small cuboard that I have in the caravan, just being used for storage.  It is 33 inches wide, by 18 inches high x 12 inches deep. I’m hoping to put it, have dear Todd put it, over the oven. In the picture below, it is upside down, so that I had a flat surface to lay things on.  Anyway, after it’s cleaned up it will look better and give me more storage.

This room still needs tweaking. I’m on a roll now though. It’s a new year, new & old projects are being worked on. I am thankful to God for leading me to a promo code, for getting rid of books, for the strength to rearrange (these pieces are heavy), for curbside finds to be used, and for marble in our stash. I’m also thankful for this beautiful and wonderfully scented rose, Mr. Lincoln.  It is 5 inches across. Picture taken with my smart phone instead of my Canon PowerPoint, as were all of these pictures, so to me they are not the best quality, (but I can send these pictures to myself via emal and then save them to this computer. It’s how I figured out to be able to have photos to post.) I sure do miss my desk top. Doing without will make me appreciate it all the more when it is up and running again. For now, I’m thankful for this laptop that I’ve not really used in about three years. We bought it so that I’d have a good computer where I worked. I had 99 windows updates to do the other day, and that took a few hours. Anyway, I hope it keeps working.

Ok, that’s it for now. I do believe I am caught up. I have been out working in the gardens too and that has been good therapy for me and I see forward progress there too. I do hope you are all doing well. Keeping warm, safe, and healthy.

Now I’ll hit the publish button and see what happens.

FlowerLady

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Hi Folks ~ Am having major 'puter problems. Not enough memory in my desk top to do anything. I don't know what to do. I did let my dear BIL know, but he's got a whole lot on his plate right now. It is what it is. At least I have this lap top, but it is giving me a hard time also. So, I don't know how much I will be posting,  if you don't here from me you'll know why.

I did order the convection/toaster oven by Oster that I was leaning towards. Got a 20% off promo code from Best Buy and I was thankful for that. Free shipping, no pick up at the store, so it should be here Tuesday. I'm doing some rearranging in the kitchen so as to have a place for the larger oven. I bought a small cabinet at Salvation Army thrift store, and have another cabinet to mount on the wall in kitchen that is out in the caravan being used for storage :-). I am taking out a bookcase that is in the space I need in the kitchen, so going through and getting rid of books. It feels good. I will have pictures when computer situation is under control again.

House is a total wreck with living room and bedroom remodeling going on, and now with the kitchen changeroo too. I'm just taking each day as it comes, trying to go with the flow, be calm and carry on and all of that.

It is gorgeous here, not to rub it in to you freezing northern people. I did work outside a couple of mornings this week and it felt great to do that.
Ok, I'm going to see if this will post.
Later ~ FlowerLady
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Good day Folks ~ First of all thanks to you all for your prayers, positive thoughts and good wishes for my sis-in-law, Sue. She’s doing good and came home yesterday. Now it’s weeks of PT, but at home it will be nicer, being with Todd and her dear kitty girls. Continue to pray for a complete recovery. Thanks.

I am always looking for books to encourage, strengthen and inspire me in my walk of faith. This is a book filled with personal experiences and insights on 31 Proverbs. It also has questions to stimulate you to look into your life and draw you closer to God.

The book of Proverbs in the Bible has been a favorite for a long, long time.  This little book by Liz on 31 Proverbs from this book in the Bible is a wonderful devotional to start your day, or to read any time you need to be uplifted and encouraged. There is a prayer at the end of each chapter also. Also a study guide at the end if you want to start a group and read this book together.

I love reading ‘real’ books and having them where I can pick them up and read again. My books have underlinings and comments in them, dates also.

I will close with some thoughts Liz wrote on Proverbs 27:19 ~

As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.

“The pressure to comform—to have the right shape, the right size, the right look—is intense. Yet when God created you, He had a unique plan in mind. A one-size-fits-you approach.

God’s Word assures us, “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Everything would include you and me and all the women we know and admire. If we’re comfortable with who we are, others will be too.

God looks beyond our mirrored images. He looks inside our hearts and observes the things we do.

God sees the absolute truth about who we are and what we’ve done. Even knowing all that, He loves us completely. As is. As His.”

On the inside cover she writes, “ When you follow God, you never have to worry about where you’re going or who will keep the path clear of debris or how long the journey will take. Rather than looking around for answers, look to the One who knows you, the One who loves you, the One who leads you. He charts the path. He lights the path. He is the path.”

I’ve given you just one of the 31 Proverbs in this book. Maybe it will inspire you to get this lovely book for yourself to read the rest.  The photo above is a link taking you to Amazon’s page. I get nothing from them, but I did receive this book from Blogging 4 Books to read, give my review of and to keep. Another wonderful addition to my library.

Have a great weekend ~ It is windy and cool here at Plum Cottage ~ FlowerLady

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