Saturday, March 31, 2012

Weekly Observations

This has been such a busy and beautiful week.....
A collage here of my little world and why it is I'm
feeling so thankful and incredibly blessed.

May your footsteps set you upon a
lifetime journey of love. 
 May you
wake each day with
His blessings
and sleep each night in
His keeping.
And may you always
walk in
His tender care.........Dee Dee

Friday, March 30, 2012

Their Own Sweet Traditions

A Sunday afternoon family drive
led them down highways in
south Florida.
  The men were
on a mission to locate wild turkey.
The mom and young daughter,
along for the ride,
were enjoying the scenic
view of spring wildflowers.
 Young son turns
seven years old this week, and
I suppose it's a coming of age
thing, to walk through the swamps
with Dad, armed for the hunt.
And, indeed they did see turkeys,
stopping to mark the area, for return
in the future.
 Young son was very excited
having seen a fine turkey hen..... and
conversation leading  to his  bringing home
the holiday turkey.

The women in the family
happily gathered wildflowers.

Ah.... the continuity
of family and my enjoyment
watching as they set
their own sweet traditions.

Have a beautiful day everyone!  Dee Dee

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Someone Was Watching Me

I bought new linens for the guest bedroom
yesterday, and this morning I washed
and hung them outside to dry in the warm
Florida spring sunshine. Yes, they are
pink Peonies and yes I am bringing  spring
flowers inside the cottage in various ways.
......humming to myself, I was so happy
for all the beauty of the garden and
the outdoor morning sounds.....mostly
quiet and peaceful sounds....maybe a
little too quiet.
 I began having
 strange feelings of discomfort,
as though I were not alone at all.
As though I were being watched.
I looked around......
The Mister was running errands, and I
thought for a moment  he had returned.
I shook the feelings of discomfort off
 and continued
on with my morning garden duties of
watering the plants and flowers.
It was then I discovered
who indeed
  had been watching me,
and oh what a relief!
There he was.....
Such a tiny green grasshopper perched on
pretty periwinkle flower......
not watching me, just minding his own business.

Master Po: Do you hear the grasshopper at your feet?
Young Caine: Old man, how is it that you hear these things?
Master Po: Young man, how is it that you do not?

Enjoying sweet moments of life,
and wishing
you very special
blessings for the day......Dee Dee

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

New To The Garden

Do you know of them?
 I understand they are native to Africa
 which is more than perfect for my tropical garden.
 Accustomed to dry and
sandy soil, these beautiful annual  flowers should
thrive and bloom all summer long.

I did a little research and found Cleomes
are sometimes called "cat whiskers"....
can you guess why?

 Spent blooms should be removed to encourage
rebloom  on the Cleome plants......
I find this to be true of many
flowering annuals.

 One must wear protective thick
 gardening gloves
when planting, for the Cleome plants  have an
abundance of thorns.  

I am entirely pleased with
these "whiskery ole beauties"  
finding they add an elegant
surprise to our small cottage  garden.

I'm glad you stopped by.
May you walk in His tender care today......Dee Dee

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Walk Down Zinnia Lane

  It's amazing how a few pots
of Zinnias, placed  in the garden,
can change  things so dramatically. 
 I had my shopping cart weaving
in and out of the garden section of
Home Depot, actually looking for that
bowl of flowers I blogged about.  I
was so disappointed when there
were none to be found.
 However, my gardening spirits
 soared when I spotted two large pots of Zinnias.
They were a gorgeous golden yellow and
pure white.....and I was ready for some
new summer garden colors.

I had two large clay pots, readied at home for planting
and knew exactly where the pots would
go in the garden.

With all the planting completed, you guessed
it....I began taking photos. The camera loved 
the shadows in the garden and I got some
real pretty pictures.

I will have to baby these Zinnias once
the hot Florida heat and sun becomes
a daily occurrence. Water each day, for sure.

I have no favorites here, the colors
are both absolutely beautiful!
.....and then I put them all together into
one great big collage, to make a lasting impression.
Please click on photos to enlarge.....

Now, this is what I'm talking about when
I marvel at our Creator.
Sweet blessing for you all today.....Dee Dee

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sweet Motherhood

  With three young
mothers-to-be in our family, I've had
moms and babies  on my mind,
and quite a lot lately.
So far, one baby coming, is a little boy,
and just a few short weeks to discover
what the good Lord
 is sending the others.
My yarn basket is heavily ladened with
new baby yarns and
I have a heaping
basket of baby fabrics to create with.
Both mothers in waiting
.....want girls
this time, so this little illustration of
motherhood is created with them in
mind.  Note: baby has on a pretty
 frilly dress.....we are hoping girl.

Life is magic, the way nature works
seems to be quite magical.~Jonas Salk

Life is always a rich and steady time
when you are waiting for something to
happen or to hatch.~E. B. White,Charlotte's Web

Have a beautiful week everyone......Dee Dee

Sunday, March 25, 2012

On My Mind This Evening....

The room is fairly quite.
The volume on the television is turned down,
and I'm hearing the deep scruffy voices
 of criminals and occasional gunfire.
The Mister's watching
an old crime and espionage movie.
Taking a break from my sketching,
I'm seated across the room,
  looking at a small book lying on
my desk titled in Mary Cassatt.

Do you know of her?  I love
her art and have  read she was referred
to as "strange:...and "a foreign impressionist"
upon her arrival in Paris.
Born in Pennsylvania in l844,
she would leave America, 
 move to France and stay there her whole life.
She would however, boast of being an American.
Ms Cassatt eventually
 would show her work with the likes of Monet, Degas,
Renoir, Sisley, Pissarro and Berthe Marisat.

I think it fascinating to read of great artist,
no matter the degree of their greatness
 or not so greatness. I have several books on
my bookshelves about fine artists. 
They are there to inspire me, I suppose.
 Monet and I could have been
fast friends, my knowing his obvious love
of the garden and flowers.
 I find something quite lovely about his paintings. 
On the other hand, Grandma Moses and
I could easily bond.  I identify with her art, my
roots come from places shown in her paintings.
I once saw her paintings on display and
found I could sit for hours imagining
myself walking in her world.
I do find all the great artist, of
yesteryear, shared something in common.
They found their comfort zone, their style,
and no matter what they painted,  one
could easily identify their work. Moses,
Degas, Monet, Rockwell, just to name a few,
all accomplished this.

I'm trying to imagine the years it takes
to become a great identifiable  painter.  How long
to find that groove that is uniquely yours.....?

I  find it quite remarkable the expansion of
art and art forms  these days. The old Masters
would be quite amazed, don't you think?
Imagine Degas or Renoir using Photoshop!

Well,  I've pondered long enough,
and allowed  my thoughts 
 to splash onto the
keyboard keys, and  to be  transported
out into the blogasphere where you are sitting,
reading and wondering at what I'm thinking.
After all's said and done, I for one will be
quite content, to remain forever a student of art,
Now, back to my sketching 101......

Have  a blessed day everyone......Dee Dee

Saturday, March 24, 2012

She's A June Bride

My friend ....

I've been working on this little
off and on all day long, and I'm finally
satisfied with it.  The image is
somewhat like my friend.  She is blonde,
tall and slender.
And yes.....she has had that far off dreamy
look in her eyes, every since her beloved won
over her heart.

The Mister and I were there from the
beginning....watching something develop
that seemed straight out of a Jane Austen
Romance story.

"I'm in love," and......
yes she was and is.
I'm thinking, she has found her
Mr. Darcy, or so it seems.

"I cannot fix on the hour or the spot, or the
look or the words, which laid the foundation.
It is too long ago.  I was in the middle
before I knew that I had begun."
~Jane Austen-Pride and Prejudice

Be happy, sweet friend.....

Everyone have a fantastic weekend......Dee Dee

Friday, March 23, 2012

Planting Time

You've seen my red Hibiscus
photos all winter long, due to
the mild Florida climate.

I walk out into the garden each morning,
looking for something blooming, and
your seeing what caught my attention today.

I'm ready for more flowers!
On my list of things to do this week is
set out bedding plants and buy a
 nice flower bowl for the garden bistro table.
I love a
variety of flowers and in our hot summer climate
only certain plants survive....they must be
drought resistant.

This is another years bowl of
Begonias, Geraniums and Impatiens.

I suppose most of you will be doing
 the same as me. It's planting time just
about everywhere.
Enjoying the nice spring season....Dee Dee
click on photos to enlarge

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring Fever

Putting aside everything, we went for a drive
just to see nature waking up.
We've all got "spring fever" around here.
I think the whole world has it
and much of the population is here
to enjoy it!
It's just plain hard to drive anywhere
with all the traffic from the tourist in town.
No quiet seclusion at the beaches  this time of year.
But, it's fun and we love seeing the crowds.

We drove down to the marina and along
the water's edge. We kind of know
where to go for
"peace and quiet" and this
is one of our favorite drive abouts.
 Another fellow, this
ole Blue Heron,
 was the only living thing in sight
in this location.

We were driving in an area of beautiful
older Florida homes.
Each home has ownership of the area along
the water, and a private  pier for docking boats.

 When we passed by this setting, I
fought the urge to claim 
"squatter's rights."
I'm thinking this is the perfect
time of year to take a good long look
at God's wonders. They'll take
your breath away.
Have a fabulous day!  Dee Dee
click on photos to enlarge

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

She's From Russia

Her name is Tatiana, she is our friend,
and she is from Russia.  Someone in
the church said the young Russian girl
would like to sing in the choir, but she
has no transportation to choir practice.
"Where does she live," I asked.
It was the Mister's and my good fortune
that Tatiana lived five minutes from our
home.  For over a year now, she has
been riding back and forth to church
with us.  During that time, we've come
to know and love her.
and, during this time.....
we've learned a lot about her country, Russia.
She speaks fondly of all that is the
Russian people, their art, their music,
their traditions and their history.
She was in the minority while living there,
she called herself Christian.
 I told her
I had seen pictures of beautiful churches
in the larger cities of Russia and
wondered at the church she attended.
"Only one now in the city, the others have
been destroyed when communism took over.
No freedom of religion now."
Tatiana  loves America and says sometimes
she cannot believe she is here.

On our ride to choir practice
this past Sunday, Tatiana and I talked
mostly of the Cantata music we are learning
for Easter Sunday service. She is soprano,
like me and we set together in choir.
 Her English
is broken and sometimes the Mister and
I struggle with understanding her.
We have no trouble however,
understanding her
when she speaks of Jesus and  how God has
blessed her life. She's had some sadness
in her young life, but she is optimistic
about her future.

The "Mentos" seen here....
they are from Tatiana.
"Here, these are for you!"
She often brings us candy made in
her homeland Russia.
  Her love
and kindness for others just pours
out spontaneously. 
 You know, I'm thinking
our meeting was no accident.  Our
precious  friend  Tatiana is a blessing from God.

Have a wonderful day everyone......Dee Dee

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"Myrtles" Trimmed Just In Time

 Wayne is the hired
fellow that trims our
tall palms and
 others trees
around the cottage.
For several years,
he's been a  faithful helper,
 and  good friend to the Mister.
As the years pass, Wayne's
taken over more and more 
projects in the garden.
Two weeks ago, he trimmed
the Crape Myrtle trees for
the Mister.....and it looks like
just in time.
New growth can be seen on all
the Myrtle trees.
Before long we'll have
gorgeous fuchsia blooms.

Photos were taken mid
Just look at that gorgeous Florida blue sky.

"What you see is the clear warm light of April,
and it means that we can begin a whole new
year together, Toad.
Think of It," said Frog.
"We will skip through the meadows and run
through the woods and swim in a river.
In the evenings we will sit right here
on this front porch and count the stars."
Src. ~Frog and Toad Are Friends

It's not quite April, but for sure it's spring ......sigh

Have a blessed day everyone....Dee Dee

Monday, March 19, 2012

Singing For a Sweet Sister In Christ

I received a phone call from
a close friend
yesterday morning. 
 She asked me  to sing
at a funeral. Without hesitation,
I agreed,
telling her I would be honored.

Six years ago, this  young woman was
diagnosed with breast cancer.  She went
through all the proper life saving procedures and radiation, eventually
finding herself cancer free. 
Five years later,
she had a new kind of cancer.  She
lost her battle this time and is now
with our Lord and Savior, in Heaven.

The family has  requested
I sing "Amazing Grace" and
the trio I perform with,  will  sing
"How Great Thou Art." 
 At the
end of the service, family will light
a single candle, while I sing
 "This Little Light Of Mine."

Funerals are never easy....tonight
I'm praying for those she's left behind.

Blessings......Dee Dee

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Injured Blue Heron

Finally, we took the time to ride
out to the island, and yes I did
a lot of photo taking. I love
Florida's bird life and today
I saw something that broke my heart.
It's unusual to see a beautiful
Blue Heron in this condition.
Obviously fresh wounds, I
could see open sores on  the
poor thing.
Sadly, I saw that  it had blood on it's beak.

A fisherman close by, had pity on the
great bird and threw it a fish......

In this photo, you can see when the fish went down
the funny to watch,
for in no time the fish had left the neck
area of the bird, and headed for
a hungry bird stomach.

As I took photos, I noticed some of the
birds feathers were in disarray.  Here, it
was hopping from rocks to a concrete piling.
Obvious to me, flying was difficult.
My photos were taken moments before
sunset.  Note just a bit of sun splashed
on the Heron's head and  an embankment casting
a shadow on the remainder of it's body.
I left the area concerned for this
magnificent creature and  thinking it was in a good
location.  Most tourist fishing in the area
never  keep the fish they catch.  I have a
feeling the bird will be well fed and
restored  back to good health in no time at all.

I hope your having a good weekend.
Have a blessed Lord's day.....Dee Dee
click on photos to enlarge

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Why Did The Turtle Cross The Road?

These big guys make their
home on Honeymoon Island, Florida.
I took these photos last year around
this time....early spring.

Why did the turtle cross the road?
Answer: To get to the beach!
.....and a great idea for us today.

Camera's readied.....we are
on our way out to the island,
looking for wildlife.

We're expecting  crowds,
considering record  tourist here
for spring break.  Plenty of  Snow Birds
will be on the beaches  and
home folks taking advantage of this
gorgeous spring weather.

Have a great weekend everyone!  Dee Dee
click on photos to enlarge

Friday, March 16, 2012

Beware Of Chemicals.....Grow Your Own

Nothing is prettier than flowers
from the garden.
Have you noticed  the
Roses we buy these days have
no Rose fragrance? 
As a matter of
fact, they give off a chemical odor,
that worries me somewhat. What
are we breathing?
Most are grown in fields
located somewhere in
South America....have you noticed?
  Breaks my heart .....
If you want a lovely
 Rose fragrance,
plant a few Knockout Roses in
your garden. Insect resistant,
and nature does all the care for growth.
 They will bloom
all summer long, and when you
clip a few, bringing them  inside.....
they last for several days.
Point photo here.
Even when they wilt and begin to die,
they are still beautiful.

Can you believe Friday is here?
I hope you have a beautiful weekend.....
and maybe find time to plant a Rose.......Dee Dee

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Neighbor's Birds

I drive past these beautiful
Bird of Paradise plants most days,
and marvel that they require no
care what-so-ever to grow and
They just thrive on the nurturing
of nature, I suppose.

I asked the neighbor if she minded my
taking a few photos of her plants,
 and she seemed
 eager to oblige me....
"Take as many as you like......." she said.

And, so I took quite a few.
I'm always amazed at the bold and
bright colors of the Bird of Paradise.....

Mark Twain once said....
"It's better to be a young June-Bug
than an old Bird of Paradise."
Hmmm......wonder what he meant by that?

Remember....Whether we are joyful
of sad, God still remains faithful......Dee Dee

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Nesting Time....

I saw the little Mourning Dove
circling the tangerine tree,
with twigs tightly held in her beak.
All the signs were pointing
toward nesting time.

A closer look showed strips of palm bark
and tiny feathers......

.....and the beginnings of a sweet nest.

Mourning Doves mate for life, and
I'm thinking these two "love birds"
sitting high up on an electrical wire,
just might be the owners of the nest
in our "lolly popped"  tangerine tree.
I love spring, don't you?

Have a beautiful day!  Dee Dee on photos to enlarge.