Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Blooms, Blooms, and More Blooms

I hope you're not tired of looking at flower photos. I know I have shared a lot of them lately but I just can't help myself. I love flowers and love photographing nature....so you guys get to look at them.
 These white English Dogwood blossoms are one of my favorites every year. They are a tall bushy plant and when they are blooming, it looks almost like it has snowed on them! They don't last too long so I enjoy them while I can.
When I got home from work today it was sprinkling rain, so I ran inside and grabbed my camera to take a few photos. These two turned out the best....:)

A few days ago, I stopped by my mom and dad's place to get some potting soil. My kinders planted seeds to take home for Mother's Day in a few weeks. They are so excited that they sprouted over the weekend and they have seedlings now! Anywho, I had to snap a few photos of mama's gorgeous lilies while I was there! If you are looking to plant some flowers that make a statement....these are perfect! 
Just look at them.....

They are huge blooms....bigger than a saucer but a little smaller than a dinner plate.
 They are just gorgeous!

They are planted inside an old tub out of a washing machine. My washer bit the dust a while back and we saved it just to take the tub out of it. I may just plant lilies in mine next year. Last year she had over 50 blooms and this year it looks like it will be over 50 again before they stop blooming.

I took this picture of my daddy while I was there. He was working on the watering system he built for his container gardens. I love it...:)

I love the wisteria blooms too. The lavender color is just gorgeous! Mama planted some of the seed pods and is going to share with me. 

The little house on stilts in the background is the playhouse daddy built for all the grandchildren years ago. Most of them have long outgrown it, but one day there will be great-grands to play in it. There's a basketball hoop on the front and swings and a slide underneath. 

Such delicate blooms...too bad they don't last longer. 
They sure put on a spectacular show while they are in bloom though.

Sorry I haven't had anything crafty or creative to share lately. I have been really busy with work lately...it's testing season (insert frownie face here!) We test these kids to death in my opinion! My teacher/retired teacher friends know what I am talking about. I am really hoping to get creative this weekend....we shall see...:) Have a wonderful Wednesday my friends. 
Until next time.....

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Today....I Will Choose Joy

Hello friends....it's been a week since I've had time to post. I've enjoyed reading your blogs this week and am trying to get caught up on responding to comments. I'm sorry I get behind on that sometimes. Your sweet comments always bring a smile to my face. I don't want this post to be a downer...but I feel that I must share some events that have gone on around me recently that have had me down. I know many of you are prayer warriors and prayer is definitely needed in my little area of the world right now. My hubby and I rode down to the river this afternoon to see how high it had gotten and to restore some peace to my soul. The water does that like nothing else for me.
So...enjoy these pictures as I share some things with you. 

The ramp that is sticking up is normally slanting down a few feet.
 In the past week, my husband's co-worker lost her young sister-in-law to a brain aneurysm, one of my co-workers dad was admitted back into the hospital because his bowels won't wake back up after his bladder cancer surgery when they removed his bladder. They are not sure what they are going to do for him yet. Another former co-worker lost her father. A friend lost her 36 year old daughter and 8 year old granddaughter in a car accident. The little girl was not killed instantly but due to many injuries and lack of brain functioning, she passed away a day later. They leave behind a husband/father and younger daughter/sister. This same family buried a baby last year that had many complications after birth. I also found out yesterday that one of  my nearest and dearest friends is about to go through a divorce. My heart hurts so badly for her and I pray that happiness and joy will return to her life in time. 

So....all of this on top of a really stressful week at work has been just about more that my heart car stand. I feel so helpless. I want to fix things and I can't...

 I do have a few bits of good news as well. First is that my friend Heather is tolerating her chemotherapy very well now (other than it making her sick) and she is doing as well as can be expected due to her condition. My little group of friends is planning to get together and can some veggies and make some jelly this summer. I have always wanted to do this and have never made the time. 
This year....I'm making the time. 

Joey and Sadie on the floating dock. Sadie wasn't too sure about the new sights and smells...:)
Another bit of good news...my daddy went to his skin cancer doctor and his skin graft is doing well where they did plastic surgery on his nose after his cancer removal. I am so thankful they were able to get it all and patch it up afterwards. 
Answered prayers...:)

My son's friend had a healthy baby girl this week. So sweet...:)

I had a fun morning out with m sister and nieces yesterday prom dress shopping. She found a pretty dress and is ready for prom!

I enjoyed a sweet evening with my bestie yesterday. It was nice catching up and talking. We haven't done that in a long time and I realize how much I miss it. If you're reading this Jeana...I love you and am always here for you. My sister joined us for a while later in the evening and we all had a good visit. Looking forward to celebrating Jeana's birthday on Friday night. It was this past week but Heather wasn't up to celebrating after her chemo treatment. The week after is pretty rough on her...so we are all getting together Friday night for a nice dinner out.

Just like this beautiful river....life is full of ebbs and flows. 
We are at their mercy and they can't be stopped...you just have to ride it out and pray for peace and understanding along the way.
The river like our lives, can not only be beautiful in and of itself, but also in what it reflects. We can choose to reflect the things of this life that are positive and good or we can choose the negative or bad things that happen and reflect that. I myself try to always reflect the good things. I try to stay positive and surround myself with positive people. Does this make sense?

So....while I have been sad this week and truly aching for so many, I am still trying to remain positive. I am praying for so many and will continue to do so. 

I still enjoy the beauty of this life. 
There is always something beautiful...if we just take the time to see. 

I don't want to let life pass me by. The older I get the more I want to truly live and live an authentic life. Do for others and do what makes me truly happy. Taking pictures of God's beautiful creations makes me happy. I hope you enjoyed them as well. 

 Sadie makes me happy too....she bring me such joy...:)

Just like each of you reading this right now....:)

This says it all for me.....

Feel free to use the graphic...I created it myself on PicMonkey!
I pray you have a blessed and beautiful new week. 
I hope it is filled with JOY!
Until next time.....

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Passionate for Purple

I had such a lazy, lovely afternoon. Joey, Dakota, Sadie, and I went to my mother-in-law's house for lunch and for Joey to take care of a few things in her yard. We enjoyed a yummy lunch, then went outside to walk the dogs. I like to look at her fish pond and check out the pretty aquatic plants she has in it. 

This brings me to the reason I titled this post Passionate for Purple. She had told me about this beautiful wild iris that she plucked from the roadside on a recent fishing trip. My mother-in-law loves to fish! 

 I thought it was so pretty and wanted to go see them growing in the wild. So, on our way home, we went a little out of the way so I could see them. Here's Sadie enjoying the afternoon drive...:) See the white thing sticking up in the bottom, right corner of the photo? That is one of a few white pieces my mother-in-law picked up for me at a yard sale. I'll share soon!

There were hundreds of wild irises scattered in small clusters in the roadside ditches...so pretty!

It was difficult to get good photos with my little point and shoot camera, but I did capture a few good ones. The breeze didn't help either, but it sure felt good. It was a gorgeous day today here in Florida! It lived up to its nickname today...The Sunshine State.

I spotted these eggs and wasn't quite sure what laid them, but I did my research and discovered that it was the Florida Applesnail. Apparently there are four species of applesnails in Florida, but the Florida Applesnail is the only one native to our state.

On the drive, I noticed almost every wild flower blooming in the ditches were shades of purple. It looked as though the road was hemmed in shades of purple. These tiny flowers are so beautiful with their bright yellow centers and just look at the details! 

The thistles are such a pretty shade of purple....although they are a thorny, scary looking plant!

Sadie loved hanging her head out the window while I was snapping photos! She was sniffing all the new scents in the air.

We live in such a beautiful world...:)

Love this photo...I was trying to capture the thistle, but the breeze kept blowing this dry grass into view. It turned out great for a mistake! Not sure what this grass is called...maybe Indian Grass?

This purple wildflower was pretty too. Even the stem was a shade of purple.

This picture just says Florida....or at least the Florida I know so well...:) So many different types of vegetaion in this one photo. If we had not been short on time, we could have driven just a few more miles to Shired Island and the Gulf of Mexico. I love it down there...maybe sometime soon I'll get down there and take some sunset photos. 

I hope you enjoyed the drive and looking at all the beautiful purple flowers. I enjoyed my afternoon immensely and am glad I had time to share it with you. I normally prepare lesson plans and other things for school on Sunday afternoons, but I got everything done Saturday night this week. This allowed me the time to go for a leisurely drive and look for purple flowers to share with you all.
Have a blessed and beautiful week my friends. 
Until next time.....

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A Little of This & a Little of That!

Hello friends and happy Saturday! I can't tell you how thrilled I was to see the weekend arrive. This past week was rough after being off for 10 days! I made it through though and am happy to have a couple days to get refreshed before I have to go back next week. Good news is there are only 44 more days of school and then two post-planning days until summer break...woo hoo! 
I was so tired Friday and not in the best spirits when I opened my mailbox to this sweet little surprise!

Isn't this the cutest tape? 
I love it...definitely made me smile! 
This sweet little package was from a sweet blog friend...Pam from Virginia Retro. She sent me an e-mail a few days ago and said she had a strawberry card she wanted to send me after seeing my strawberry tablescape.  Well, of course I gave her my address and she must have sent it out right away, because here it is! 

Now...Pam tricked me and sent me this gorgeous Wilendur strawberry dish towel too! Isn't it just gorgeous! The colors are so vibrant...:)

Looks right at home with my other strawberry decor too. Oh...when I shared the tablescape the first time, I had forgotten all about my strawberry glasses my sister bought for me a few months ago, so I added them to the table too. 

Pam also sent me this sweet little Strawberry Shortcake tag. I loved this adorable character as a young girl. My sister and I had a few of the characters and I can still remember how they smelled! 

She sent me a sweet handmade Easter tag too! Here it is perched inside my newest milk glass addition. I bought this earlier in the week for a whopping $0.50! Thanks so much Pam...your happy mail just made my day...literally! If you love vintage linens and all sorts of retro goodness, then be sure to go visit Pam...you will love her blog!

This morning, the hubby and I decided to head over to Lake City to the flea market and to go buy groceries. I found a couple things at the flea...of course there were several things I normally would have bought home with me, but since I am trying not to drag too many treasures home, I refrained. There were two things I could not pass up though...the first was this adorable square butter bell! I couldn't believe it when I spotted it. I have never seen a square one before! It was $3. 

Here it is beside my round butter bell. This one doesn't have any maker's mark on it so I think it is a knock-off, but I still love it! 

The second item I bought was this square, wooden pedestal bowl. It will be getting a paint job when I decide what color! It too, was $3.

I ran by the Hospice thrift after we left the flea market looking for a plate or two for my plate wall, but no such luck! I did buy these pretty teal/grey colored placemats....$1 for the set of 4...great deal!

Earlier in the week I went to the local Hospice thrift while waiting for my prescription to be filled. I found the adorable little milk glass dish I shared above, and this chenille bedspread. It said it was stained but could be used for crafting, which is what I bought it for. It was only $1.99. When I got home and spread it out, there was only a couple very small stains on it and I am trying to remove those. If they come out, I will probably use this on the guest bed and if not, I might use it as a bedskirt in my room. We'll see...but I love it! I have been wanting one of these for a while now and finally got a great deal on this one!

Anywho, back to our Lake City trip...after we went to the thrift, we went to Texas Roadhouse for  and enjoyed a yummy lunch together while listening to 80's country music and discussing putting in a plank wall when we redo our dining room and living room. I am excited about that! After lunch, we went to Wal Mart and I was checking out the spray paint aisle (my favorite in the store) and found a couple gorgeous colors that had to come home with me. I love both of them....

The Sea Glass by Krylon is such a vibrant color and I like that it is a satin finish. The wooden bowl might just get a coat of this color!

I almost forgot that between the thrift and lunch, we ran into TJ Maxx to buy Miss Sadie Lou a new bed. She thinks she should be a couch dog but we are going to try to train her to use her pillow/bed. She is learning already, although she still prefers the couch...lol! I like the bold pattern on her new bed and it is a heavy canvas type fabric and removes for washing which makes it even better!

Sadie said she likes it too...:) 
Isn't she stylin' in her blue glasses? 
She is super smart...let me tell you what she does. When I give her a treat, I make her sit. I will sit her treat on the floor or on my knee and count. For a while I would just count to three and then say OK. She got to where she knew three meant she could get her treat and would get it on three. Now, I can count 1...2...5...7...3 and she knows the number three. She waits for it...so cute. She also looks away from her treat while she waits...I guess the temptation is too great if she is staring at it....lol! Do your dogs do anything like that. Maybe it's common...I don't know! I'm reminding myself of one of those parents who think their kids are the smartest and best at everything...lol!

I have too much fun with this big girl! 
She is such a lover and such a bright spot in my days! 

I hope I didn't bore you to tears with my Sadie stories! 
And...I hope you are having a wonderful weekend. 
Until next time.....