Inside to the Kitchen

I am going to put everything on hold and move into the house. I took these pictures more than a week ago so many things have changed so will tell you what I have done as we look at the pictures.
Going from the patio/car port you enter my kitchen. I did quite a bit of work here as soon as I moved in. I got new stove and dishwasher. The stove worked but was a mess and impossible to clean so a new one was needed as do love to cook. The dishwasher was not working and taking up so much room it either needed to be replace or taken out. After some discussion I decided to just get a new one. So far I have only used it twice but come Thanksgiving I will be glad I have it. The refrigerator cleaned up fine so I kept that and the hood cost more than the new stove and the old one worked so I did not replace that. I have to have one shelf in the pantry replaced and the micro wave I just tossed out. Other than that just a good cleaning made this a great kitchen even if it is small. When I do much cooking here I over flow into the living room and the dinning room.
this is a picture of the whole kitchen. As you see it is a galley kitchen and very small. There is more room than it looks like here so I will show you the different sections closer up. Now that I have cut the hedge down a couple feet I get much more light into the kitchen and I have a small lamp on the counter behind the sink. Josh fixed my sink for me so that is fully functional now.

As you come in on your left is this sink area. I now have moved many of my canisters and keep here only the dried fruit I have for breakfast and have a small lamp here so I have more light when I cook. With a double sink it is easy to keep things washed up as I cook and don’t need as much room.

To your right is the pantry. I have to keep the door shut on the pantry as it’s door blocks the door to the outside. That is fine as I don’t want people coming in when I am working in the pantry anyways.

Right beside the pantry is this small cooking area. It is here I do my baking and mixing up any cake or cookies etc. It is small but big enough to us my big mixer and that is all I need. Right next to that is the refrigerator.

Next to the sink is a counter where I prepare food and you can see the edge of my big chopping board. What you see is about one third of the whole counter. You can also see my lunch that I was making and that is lettuce from my tower. That fresh lettuce just melts in your mouth. Next to the chopping block is the stove. There are cabinets above all these and below. I also have nine draws below so have lots of nice storage.

Next to the stove and at the end of the kitchen is a counter that sticks out to separate the kitchen from the living room. That used to be the dinning room but I switched the living room and dinning room. At first I wanted to take this counter out but after making bread in this kitchen I decided I needed this counter and the cabinet that is under this counter that was unusable turned out to be the best place to keep the booze. When someone wants a drink they don’t have any trouble getting into that cabinet so it works out just fine.

Just on the otherside of this counter is the living room and I use the right wing of my entertainment center to put many of my canisters, my extra wine, and some can goods. They are handy to the kitchen for food prepping and doesn’t look out of place at all. I keep rearranging my kitchen so that I have things handy as I work. I think I have it mostly set now but we will see. I am doing Thanksgiving this year and will have somewhere between ten and twenty people here so I’ll see if I can organize the cooking enough to make it look easy on Thanksgiving day. Everyone that comes will have to bring their own chair as I only have ten chairs. I have invited the family and my neigbors. I want any one who doesn’t have family to come and join us. I have the dinning room, the living room, the screened in porch and the patio as well as the craft room where I will set up the food and have everyone serve themselves. I think I will have enough room no matter how many show up. Now all I will need is plenty of food!!

Just around the corner from the kitchen is the dinning room with enough room for a large table and shelves and freezer against the wall.
Along the wall of the kitchen is the freezer and my hutch that I have had since our first condo in Peterborough. I put my dishes in here and my linens for the table. Jen has a six foot book case for me that I will put against this wall also.

This is the corner where I will put one tall bookcase. The back wall has a pinup lamp and the only window in this room. I will put another of the tall book cases on the other side of that window. I am not sure what I will put on these shelves yet but will have no trouble fill them I am sure.

This is the other side of the window. This book case will be moved to the craft room and all the puzzles with it. The third wall is mostly slider to the craft room. It gives me nice light in the dinning room but I have almost no wall space on this wall and the fourth side of the room is open to the end of the living room that can be used as dinning room if it is needed and is living room normal.

This is the third wall of the dinning room. Between the two sliders is a very small wall but just large enough for my Eufy, which is my robot vacuum cleaner. It needs a three foot semicircle around it for it to work right and this gives me just the right amount of space for it and yet not large enough for any thing else. She has programed herself and each day at 6:15pm she turns herself on and goes all around the whole house and cleans the floors. I never have to sweep the floor or vacuum the rugs. She takes care of it all and does a beautiful job. I do have to pick up the dogs water dish as she tips that over and makes a mess as she is not supposed to get into anything wet. I have to make sure there are no cords hanging down as she gets tangled up in those and hangs herself and I have to block her from going under the sleep sofa and sink as there is not enough room under those and she gets stuck. Other than that she can go everywhere, under the bed, under the book cases and into every corner. After two hours of running around the house her battery get low and she goes back to her home and plugs her self into her power source and stays there until the next day. Otis is not too happy with her as Eufy thinks he is a dust maker and follows him around and bothers him unless he stays with on his bed where she can’t get to him. I do have to empty his dust bin every day as she can always find dust and dog hair enough to fill the dust bin every day.

Just a last note, I want to show you my lunch the day I took these pictures. I have lettuce and beet greens from my garden. You can take the girl off the farm but you never get the farm out of the girl!!
I guess that takes care of my kitchen and working area. Next time I’ll show you the bed rooms. Have a good day.

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Complete Outdoors

Last time we talked I showed you the new patio. Yesterday Scott and Will finished everything out side except the two shelves Scott has to make for my garden shed so John, Jane and Sam came over to christen my completed patio and Bella came to help Otis celebrate also. We all enjoyed ourselves and I got so involved I forgot to get a picture for you.
Now I’ll show you what I have besides the patio. At the end of the patio is my “utility room” or laundry room. When I bought this place that was just a garbage shed and smelled it. All the cleaning we did could not make that a room anyone would want to walk into or to work in. I had to hold my breath when I went in to put in a load of washing and it made my skin crawl to walk into the room the floor was so caked with dirt, grim and spilled chemicals and the ceiling was covered in mold. Monday Scott and Will pulled everything out of there that was not nailed down. They disconnected the washing machine and the drier which turned out to be a good thing as the drier was not connected up correctly. It was blowing into the room instead of out the vent. The vent hose on the machine was too small for the exhaust pipe and was ripped so could not connect. All that hot air in there with the garbage was not good and the garbage cans did not have any cover so the smells just got worse.
They power washed the whole room and bleached the ceiling and got rid of the mold that had been there so long it had etched marks into the metal of the ceiling. Then he painted the washed floor to make that look good. And with new shelves and new garbage cans with covers I now have a great laundry room. This is the patio/car port. In the back you can see the door to the laundry room.

This is the back door that goes into the craft room. If in the future I need a ramp it will be made to this door so it can go into the car port/patio without cutting the patio in half and interfere with the hot water heater. across from the above steps is my tool rack. This keeps all my tall tools organized without taking up room in my laundry room or garden shed. going into the laundry room I now have this beautiful floor, no more dirty awful floor for me. And the ceiling is now clean and white. It is a small room so I could not show you the whole thing with one picture. The east wall has a wash tub with water, a washing machine now hooked up to the sewer as it should be thanks to Scott and a drier now blowing outside thanks to Scott. There is a small space beyond the drier but that will stay clear of “stuff” so Scott can get to the pipes if I have any problems. On the west wall is my new shelves. Beside these are the two new large garbage cans with covers. One for garbage and one for recycles. These must stay in the laundry room so the raccoons can not get to them. Raccoons make the rounds every night and even sometimes durning the day so all food must be kept locked up and inside somewhere.
On the other side of the house is my screened in porch. That too was all dirty and moldy. We have very high humidity here so mold is a constant problem and if you don’t keep up with it you have to power wash. It is not something you can wash off once it gets a good hold. So Scott and Will power washed this room and fixed the roof so I can now have furniture out there. It is a nice place to sit and enjoy the cool fall air but Otis can’t see outside and enjoy watching the people of the neighborhood go about their daily duties so we spend our time in the new patio. When Patty comes we often sit out here. This room is 20 feet long and you can sit at either end you want to depending on what you want to see facing south you see only the preserve. You feel as if you are were in a southern jungle. If you sit at the other end and face north you see the back yard of the three or four houses. It is still a very quiet peaceful view and makes this porch very private.
My garden is on this side of the house. Out the door from the porch you step down onto a small patio where I have put my herb tower. There is a table there also but I don’t use it, I like my new patio for sitting better. Also this patio has a fence but it does not go to the floor so I have to put a small fence below it so Otis could not jump down and head for the preserve. He would love to go hunting the animals in there but they would eat him up.So when he goes out he either has to be on a leach or stay in the patio or garden where Scott installed a small fence that seems to hold him in just fine. He is a good dog and tries to follow the rules but does need reminding once in a while so I don’t let him out without me.
This is the small patio with my tower. From this you go along the walk that Scott and Will made for me with a fence on one side to keep Otis in line and my pineapples along the other side.

And at the end of the walk is my garden. It is hard to see the small fence but it is there and Otis respects it and stays in the garden with me when I am out there working. When he decides he can get out then he will have to be on a leash or stay in the house. The garden is growing so great. I had ten grow boxes. Each box is made up of two parts, the lower held water and the top one held the soil and plants but because my land is slanted and I have animals that insist on jumping up on them they kept tipping over and I would have to replant my plants. So What I did was to separate them and drill holes in the bottom so they had good drainage too. Now I have 20 boxes and I have to water them every day that it does not rain and some days I water twice a day. This is my shed. It will hold all my garden supplies after Scott makes the two shelves, right now it holds only the large bags of things.soil and mulch. As you walk into my garden you are greeted with a box of basil, I use so much of this I decided to plant a whole box of it. Behind that are two boxes of broccoli. This first box is just a little larger than the second as the second one was one that got tipped over and I had to rescue those three plants and replant them. They really did great concideing to fall they took. The last box in that row is the green squash, zucchini. So far so good with those I just hope I don’t have too many plants in the box. if I do I will have to thin them out.The next row is has tomatoes, two boxes of lettuce and one of beets. The last box I just planted some seeds and don’t remember what I put in that box but will know this week when they come up. The beets are growing fast now and I will have a meal of beet greens this week and one next week. Then they should be thinned out enough to just let the beets get large enough. This gives you a better look at the lettuce and beets. I missed the green peppers but these are the next row, the strawberries. These are the ones we planted last spring and got a few berries from then, I’ll see how they do this next spring. The other boxes I have just planted some seeds yesterday and today. beyond that are the blueberries. This is the row of five blueberry bushes. They were not too happy about being moved from Patty’s house but they are coming around and starting to send out new growth. I hope to get some blueberries this spring but time will tell more. In the last row are my string beans. I thought they were bush beans but I know now that these are pole beans and there is not room for them to grow as tall as they need to so I may not get any beans from this planting. In the center of this garden is a large gardenia bush that was there for many years. The bush is looking happier every day. Before it was covered with weeds. I am hoping for lots of flowers on it this spring.
I guess that covers the out side. Next time I will try and show you the inside of the house. I am now trying to organize the craft room but that will take several months to get that done. Have a great day.

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Outdoor Living at it’s Best

It has been a long time since I have talked to you. Every time I sit down to do this I find three things I have to get done first. So today I have decided I will show you one room only and all I have done to it and then get to all the other things I have to do. Then tomorrow I’ll try and get back and show you another room.
As you know I am living alone here and can not do any work on improving my house. I can keep it once it is done but right now I needs up grading from top to bottom. First I needed a new roof as I had a few leaks, which is not different from all the older homes here so I was lucky to have Scott Collins and his father in law Will to do my work for me. He is very knowledgable on all areas so once I got the place livable we decided the roof needed to be done first. This is the men working on my roof. I have one of the biggest places in the park so it was a big big job. I have the roof for the house plus the add on car port and the screened in porch. Both of these had leaks where they joined the house so first they had to put down a large 26 inch wide flashing and seal that good then put the new roof on the house. Just so you don’t think I really needed a new roof, let me show you the rest of the neighborhood from above. You an see most of them need a new roof. There is a couple that have had some patching done and one with new shingles. I elected not to use that method as you lose some shingles every time a tropical storm come through and you can depend on at least one of those coming every year. You can see first they have to power clean the roof so that the new sealer will adhere to the roof and not just peel off. I won’t bore you with the details of that job, just let me say it was done very well and will last a long time.
They power washed the whole house and fixed the skirting around the house to keep out all the wild animals that live behind me in the preserve. Then they helped me put in my garden. I am not showing that first as I am still working on that. I have changed it several times already and as soon as I have it all set I’ll send pictures of that.
I am still changing things inside the house and getting everything in good repair and arranged just as I want it. I am not worried about making my house beautiful, I just want it to work best for me and will show you one room at a time later.
Right now I will show you my new car port. What can you do with a large car port when you don’t drive and don’t have a car? Most of the houses around have a car port that fits one car comfortable and most have a small patio at the end of their car port and park their car out in the dive way. I thought of that for my car port but I had a beautiful screened in porch so didn’t really need a patio and I already had a small patio behind the porch. However out there all you can see is the preserve. It is a pretty view but it really cuts me off from the neighborhood and Otis likes to watch what is going on in the neighborhood. He loves it when I will go over to John’s house and visit in his patio at the end of his car port. He can’t see anything on my porch so I decided I would make a patio there. I got most of the things I need to turn this into a patio from Amazon. Scott power washed the floor and then painted it. Will cut the hedge down about three feet for me to let in some light for the new patio and the house making it less of a cave. And here is the results. That is Otis on the loveseat but he is so black he is hard to see. He loves it as he can see the whole neighborhood now and any of our friends that go out for a walk can stop in and visit with us. Otis loves it. I have a gate now at the end of the carport and a small fence around the whole place so he can come out with me and not have to be tied. Now instead of just the trees behind the house this is his view. without the car in the drive he gets an even better view of the whole street. I still have a little more to add in the back. A second rug is arriving today and a small refrigerator will be here next week. Scott put in an outside plug for that and I just got a stand for my brooms, rakes and other tools so now my whole car port is a patio and we eat most of our meals out there and do all our visiting out there.
Monday Scott and Will will be back to power wash my laundry room which is in the back of the carport. That room houses the washer and drier and a wash tub with water. It is also where you keep the garbage cans so the raccoons don’t get into them but when I moved in that room stank to high heaven as they had left garbage in there for weeks at a time and in this heat that is awful. I got it cleaned up as best I could and got my washer and drier hooked up which was no small feat. George replaced the broken pipes in the room so Jetson’s could hook up my machine but the drain was not hooked up to the sewer so Scott came a dug down and found what was wrong and fixed that. Now that works well but it still stinks in there when it gets hot. The ceiling is all mold and the floor is gross so Monday Scott and Will will take everything out of there and power wash the whole room then paint the floor and return everything I want back into the room. I have already thrown out a bunch of junk from there and there is still more to go, mostly wood. Then that area will be done and I can slow down. Most of the other things I can do myself, it just takes time.
I still have room for three cars in my drive way. I have one of the longest drive ways in the park and if I need more room I can always move things aside, open the dog gate and I can put two or three cars in the patio area. But most of the time it will be a patio. I still can not sit out there when a wild storm comes as it does rain in when the wind blows hard. Then all I do is put my cushions in the big storage box I got for them and go inside until the rain stops.
Time now for me to get my lunch as Patty will be here after lunch to take me down to the store to get my flue shot and pick up a few items I will need this week. Lastly here is the hedge along the side of the car port and if you go back and look at the first picture you can see the laundry room in the lack.
Have a great day.

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Back Again

I had to leave you for a wonderful visit from my daughter. Now I am back to being alone most days so I will take the time to finish the tour of my house. I showed you the outside of the house, the kitchen, living room and dinning room so I will go on from there.
From the kitchen turn right and go down the hall and you find the guest bathroom. This is how it looked in the listing ad. I haven’t done anything to this room. I do have rolled up towels on the other end of the counter so when a guest comes to stay over night they have all the towels they could want.
Continuing down the hall you come to the guest bedroom. This is how it looked in the listing. I have changed this room a lot. This room is now my library. I took off the closet doors since they no longer stayed in the track and were just swinging free and have put shelves in there for my books and genealogy books and papers. I put in my daybed and trundle so there is room for two people to sleep if need be and yet have a couch for people to sit on when visiting and add to the comfort of the library. As you see I have opened up the windows so lots of sun light come in. The front windows now look out onto John’s house. It is only from these windows and the front windows in the master bedroom that you see any other house. This house is set so far back that from all other windows in this house all you see the the greenery of the preserve or the six foot hedge on the side of the car port. You really get the feel of being in the country. I have Uncle Web’s chest of draws in here. I will leave the top two draws empty for guests and use the other three draws for library supplies and linens for this room.
This is the closet area. I took this picture before I was all unpacked now there is another book case in there along with the file cabinet. I have my family notebooks up on the high shelf. What you see for a bed there is the trundle. They had not yet brought over the day bed part. Now that is in and up closer to the wall under the window. The whole center of the room has to remain clear so when I need the trundle it can be easily pull out. It also helps to keep this room from looking too cluttered. On the wall to the left is another book case.
Next in line is the master bed room, master bath and walk in closet. I haven’t done much to change this except to clean and put in a single bed so I have more room. Right now I have a book case to hold my clothes and that will go to the craft room when they bring me my dresser for my clothes. The master as on the listing. I open the windows to the light now so the room is bright and pleasant. Because I have a single bed I have plenty of room for a sitting area in the big room. I have Aunties old pillow chest in front of the bay windows and when my dresser comes it will replace the shelves. Otis sleeps with me and he can’t jump out of the bed as it is too high so he has his own steps to get out of bed. He still can not go up the stairs as they are made of foam and he doesn’t trust them. This is the master bath. It is long and narrow. I haven’t done anything to this as it functions very well as is.
Going back to the kitchen going straight or left gets you into the living room and beyond that is the screened in porch. I haven’t done any thing to that yet except clean it. The back half of the porch, it is the same size as the living room. Front half. I don’t know what I will do with this yet. I have to wait until it gets cool enough to really spend any time out there. It has been such a hot, humid summer it is impossible to sit out there. It is not under air nor can it be since it all open. Off the far side is the patio. They left the table and four chairs so all I have to do is junk one chair that has the strapping broken and clean up the other three chairs and the table. Again I haven’t touched this yet as it is much too hot to sit out there. I don’t think I will use this area much as it is no fun sitting out there alone. Maybe when the weather is cooler it will be a nice place to sit when Patty comes to visit. It is very private out there and is set right into the green area.
Going back inside you come to the Florida room. From the patio you can look into the Florida room. This is my craft room. This was the last room I unpacked and much of my stuff is still in the boxes such as some yarn and all my cloth. The pictures I took of this room just show the mess I had. example So now I will take some new pictures and show you how it will look when I get it all sorted out.
Back again to finish up. Remember this room is far from being organized yet. I need at least the one large book case for my cloth and work to organize the different crafts. But here goes for what I have done. This corner is to be all my patterns. I have so many crocheting, knitting and sewing patterns and if I don’t sort them and make them easy to find and get they are useless and might just as well be tossed out. So I have lots more work to do in that corner. Next to the pattern corner is the sewing area. I wanted to get a folding sewing table but couldn’t see spending over $100 for it right now, then when Shanti and I went out for a walk with Otis on trash day we found at a neighbors the exact table I wanted to get, free for the taking so we wheeled it home and here it is. Right now it is opened up and I have two trays of puzzle piece on it. Later I will fold it up and move it against the wall and this area of the room will be empty so it will not look so cluttered and there will be a space to open up the table whenever I want to use it. This is the second bay window area. Here I will have my jewelry making area. I also have Auntie Thayer’s antique table set up to make puzzles on. I love stopping and working on a puzzle when I get busy. It is a wonderful way to relax so I will always have a puzzle to work on here. The third side of the room has the door to the car port and all my boxes of cloth and yarn. I think I want some shelves here under the window to put my odds and ends on but we will see as I get the rest of the room organized and neat. The fourth side is mostly the two big sliders. I will keep the sliders free and the area in front of them so there is plenty of room in here to work on which ever project I want to. As you see this is the largest room in the house.
I am not much for house cleaning and now I have a very large house to keep clean all by my self. Since I do not wish to live in a pig pen I have taken a couple of steps to assure all of you my house will be clean and welcoming for you when ever you come to visit. First I have Neide come once a month to do the high and heaving cleaning. She is a wonderful house cleaner and keeps me on the right track. Second I have Effy,
She is all programed to wake up and go to work each afternoon and she runs all through the house cleaning up the floors. If I leave anything out of place she pushes it out for me to pick up or she fights with it and I have to stop the argument. She fills her dust bin every day even when it looks clean here and she makes it impossible for me to leave a mess anywhere so every night when I go to bed things have to be in their place and the place is clean. When she is finished she parks herself at her station to recharge for the next day. Otis hates her as she just chases him around and won’t let him sleep when she wants to work.
When we lived at the Villa I made Patty a pillow to sit on when she came to visit but now Otis has taken that for his place to sleep whenever I am in the living room. One last thing before I close. Kathy asked me to show her some of the animals I have been making and that I will now sell at the craft fair in Nov and I thought this might be a good place to put them as all of you might want to see them too.
Here is Otis asleep on his pillow. At least here I don’t forget and step on him. When he sleeps on the rugs it is a different story.
Here is the mouse made from felt, the monkey and the hippo. I no longer have the hippo as I sent that to Prem and I sent the rabbit to her sister.
Here we have the Red Hen, the pig and the horse, the monkey and mouse are behind them.
Here I have the seal, the giraffe, the cat, the dog, 2 bears, the octopus, raw puffer fish, mouse, sea horse, crab, the shark, the elephant the cat and some apple fridges.
And lastly I have the cow!
Have a great day. My door is always open.

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Moving Again

I finally got up my nerve and bought a house for just Otis and me. I lived in Spanish Lakes back 25 years ago before we retired. I like it there but didn’t take part in much of the social activities because we were both working and didn’t have much free time. Now I have lots of free time and lots of things I want to do in that free time so I can join any group if I want to or I can just enjoy sitting with Otis and watch old movies. So I decided to buy a house in Spanish Lakes River Front again only this time I needed a place in the pet section. There was only one house available in the pet section in River Front and the price was right. There were two places available in Spanish Lakes I Pet section but they were two and three times more and I really didn’t want to use up more than half my savings. I worked out my budget and found I could afford the HOA fees and still have money to spend on all the little things I like to get so I put in an offer on the house and got it. Last weekend Patty and Jen helped me move in and now it is up to me to unpack everything and make the house just what I want. There is all my crafts and writing that I like to do so instead of a conventional house I will have one big craft house.
Two weeks later now and I am all unpacked and ready to sort thought some of my things to get all the different crafts together so I will know where they are.
I have the pictures that the sales agent took of the place and I will take you on a tour of the place with the pictures and show you what I am making out of each room.
First here is the entrance to my new home . This is the drive way. Notice it is a long drive way and can hold four or five cars in my drive way. I could put two cars in the car port at the top of the drive but since I don’t have a car and don’t intend to I think I will make a patio out of the section of the car port between the kitchen steps and the utility shed where my washer and drier is housed. You have to keep the trash buckets in the utility shed also because as you see I back right up to the preserve and that is where the raccoons live. Anyone that doesn’t have a shed to keep the trash in gets a nightly visit from the raccoons looking for anything they can eat. This is the car port. This was taken when the previous owners had it. You see how two cars can fit in here just fine so I will use where this car is a an open patio and still have room for anyone to come in if it is raining out when they come. This is the agents picture of the kitchen. This is a small kitchen and this is only one side of it. The two ends are open, one has the door to the car port and the other is open to the present living room. The fourth side has the refrigerator. a small counter and a full size pantry. This is the kitchen now only taken from the opposite side of the room. You see the door to the carport, my new stove, new dishwasher is in there now and the micro wave (new) is in the dinning room on the hutch. You can just see the fridge and pantry. This is the picture of the dinning room taken from the kitchen. That was the biggest room so I switched the dinning room and the living room. I took out the chandler and put in a fan with a light. The one thing this house lacked was light. They had blinds on all the windows to keep out the sun, good to keep it cool without having to pay as much for AC but awful for light to see anything. It felt like a cave which I can’t stand so I changed out all the fans and put in new fans with lights. Now I have a light in every room as well as a fan.

This is that room looking into it from the kitchen. You can look right past the living room, out the slider to the screened in porch which runs the full length of the living room. This is one end of the living room. Hard to see as the bright sun from outside makes it hard to see the inside. That is my new sleep sofa and there is a nice space behind that for the dogs large cage when I need it and a chair. It is a long room. This was the front half of the living room before I got the sofa. You can see the entertainment center they left here for me. It was so large they didn’t want to move it and I didn’t have one so it worked out great. Not a very good picture but it will have to do. You get the idea now I have two small book cases that go on either side of the entertainment center and they look as if they were built just for that. I makes a nice large room for entertaining or visiting . Going out the slider on your left you come to the screened in porch. I haven’t done anything with that yet so it is empty, this is how it looked before me. Notice how large this is and what a beautiful view you get here. The only rooms that look out onto another home is the two bay windows in the front of the house. All other rooms look out onto the greenery and preserve so you always feel as if you were in the country. As the weather cools off some I will dress up the porch and use it much more. At the end of the screen porch is the patio that looks right out onto the preserve. They left the table and four chairs. I think I can clean up the table and three of the chairs to use if I want to. I will see when the weather gets cooler so I can work outside better. There is no need to do it now as it is too hot to sit out there even just to visit. At the other end of the screened porch, along the side of the house is where I will put my garden. As long as I have it fenced in with a small little fence and take care of it, I can have as large a garden as I want. I will get rid of the sod and use heavy mulch and several of my grow boxes for my garden. Again that will be when it cools off a bit.
Now back into the house. This is what they had for the living room. The kitchen is to the left and the Florida to the right. They used the Florida room as a bed room as they had as many as 8 people in here living off and on. They had all the windows covered as well as the slider to Florida room, Just like a cave! Now I have brought light in and this is my dinning room. I regress for a moment. This is the wall in the living room looking out over the screened porch. I want you to see the 1900 picture of my father and Uncle Bing. It goes just perfect there and see all the light that those windows and slider bring into the room, they had this all covered up. Here is that cave now. Again so much light comes in it is hard to focus the camera on anything but the light. Notice I have my new freezer just around the corner into the dinning room with the hutch next to that with the microwave and my dishes on that. On the other wall is all my picture albums and another shelf with all the puzzles and games. I also am putting my crocheted animals on that set of shelves until I get all 34 done and ready to give away.
Right now my back is aching from sitting here so long so I will have to stop for now. I will be back soon to finish the tour and show you the Florida room/craft room and the two bed rooms and bath rooms. Have a great day. I hope you have enjoyed the tour. Love to you all.

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Natives Know Best

Just as we thought, the locals know what they are talking about, June is not the time to start plants in Florida. First the bugs are here in force and what the bugs don’t get the sun does. I had hoped the 3 gallon reservoir would be enough and I could water just once a week but no. She like the corn and tomatoes go though that much water each day and others like the strawberries it works fine for but the sun is still too hot for any of them. The peppers are growing fine and the herbs are doing fine but everything else is being eaten by the worms or the sun. Here is my recent crop of green beans. there aren’t a lot but enough to make a small three bean salad for tomorrows picnic. I will put these in there too. The yellow beans are just starting. Becca had a handful of the green beans last week as they get more sun so are growing faster than the yellow, but neither are getting a lot of beans on them and there aren’t many plants in a box like I am used to in our gardens in TN.
also in this dish you see a few cherry tomatoes, one radish, some chives and some parsley. then I will need some onion slices and the green bell pepper Patty picked yesterday.
I have one ear of corn starting and three regular sized tomatoes and a couple beets. The birds ate the only strawberry. Not much but at least I know now what things will grow in a box and come fall I will plant a few of the things I really want and I know will grow. Patty will keep four boxes and I will take 6. I do want one of the Boses with flowers for cutting to take into the house. By then I will be in my new digs. When I close on the house I will take pictures of it to show you where Otis and I will be living.
Have a good day.

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The veggies are coming

The motto of Organic Gardening Magazine is ” I didn’t know I couldn’t grow that until after I had three successful crops.” . I felt that way when everyone told me to save my time and not try to plant a garden here in south Florida at this time of the year. I didn’t expect to have everything grow but I wanted to give it a try anyways and the only things that were an instant flop were the things that the squirrels like to eat such as tulip bulbs and peas. Everything else have come up, some better than others but all are giving it a good try. I do have to add lots of extra water because the sun has been so hot 100 degrees plus most afternoons and not all my plants have some shade so the 3 gallon reservoir of water under each garden isn’t enough for the tomatoes or squash for those two I have to refill that every other day and sometimes every day. The others and those in some shade I only refill once a week. I give extra water from above 2 or 3 times a week and they love it. This is the squash box. Under there in the front two corners are two egg plants. Both are doing great, they love the shade they get from the big squash leaves.Patty’s big live oak tree give them some shade in the morning and by afternoon these leaves all wilt under the hot sun but perk right up again by evening as the sun does down a little in the sky. Looking under the leaves you find some female squash buds. There are lots of males and a good many females so when the flower open there should be no problem with fertilization. I don’t see too many bees so I may use a soft paint brush and play bee so I am sure they grow into nice big squash. I don’t know yet if they are yellow or green but I think by the shape they are yellow. Then pilling the leaves back you can see the egg plants. This is the egg plant and if you pull back their leaves also you see the fruit, there are two that have set. I don’t eat egg plant but Patty loves it and is waiting for these to grow up. When I finished planting all my boxes I still had not filled my tower so I tried all different kinds of seeds to see if they would grow in the tower as well. I put squash in a couple bins on the bottom hoping they would grow down and spread out on the ground but summer squash does not do that so up they are growing. Maybe next time I will put them in the top bins and let them grow way up if they don’t need something to grow on. We live and learn in gardening but they seem to like the bins and have enough room for their roots so far. These are the cucumbers and they are looking for something to grow up on so I think I will put out some bamboo stakes next to the tower for them to latch on to. My stacks are four foot tall so with one or two feet in the ground that will leave two or three feet for the plants to grown on and should be quite steady. these are best in the bottom bins. . These are the peppers. There are three different kinds and all of them are in bloom but none have set fruit yet. They got good shade in the afternoon so are growing well. At the end of the pepper box I put one Lilly and it is doing well there. These bulbs came later than my other plants so they got put in any empty space I could find. Most of them don’t like where they are planted but this one likes the peppers and one in the tower seems to like that. The ones at the top of tower do not like it and don’t seem to be making it at all. Plants know where they want to grown and who they will grow next to and you have to learn by trial and error to find out what they like. I know peppers don’t like to grown next to tomatoes so I never try to put them in the same box. The four tomato plants are all doing well. Here are a couple small tomatoes that have set. Each day I go out there are one or two more so now I have several set and lots more flowers. I was told it was too hot for tomatoes to set but again they do what they want no matter what some one says. Now we have to see if they grow big. I don’t see why they wouldn’t. I have two boxes of beans . One green and one yellow and I won’t know which is which until those flowers turn into beans. Can you see the small blossom? Both boxes are doing great and both get some shade. These were the peas but as you can see there is only one pea plant that made it past the squirrels. They dug up all the peas and ate them so I put the flower Bob gave me in this box and every day I had to put the soil back around the flower as the squirrels got quite confused and trying digging up something to eat under the flower but the flower didn’t seem to mind and now it is growing well and the squirrels have given up. This week I planted carrots and beets in here and in one other box that I had been waiting for the black berry bush which turned out to be seeds. I will plant those seeds in the buckets that hold the patio tent. If you look close you can see something coming up in the front. I also put some in the tower but those are not up yet. Going back to the tower you can see a couple of the cilantro bins. They are coming fine, I though they would and they aren’t letting me down. I started these by seeds. The parsley at the top I put in full grown plants and they are doing OK, I think I would have been better off starting those with seeds also. Can’t forget the corn! I couldn’t believe corn could grow in a box but it sure is doing it and if I can get two ears from each stock I will have some truly fresh corn in a month or so. Just below the cilantro is the other Lillie that is doing well. I guess he likes his neighbors. These are the radishes and they will be the first thing to be ready to pick. They always are and these are doing great. They like the tower but you won’t get too many in a bin!! This is one of the spinach bins. I have four or five of these and hope to get enough to add to a salad when they are bigger. Lastly are the strawberries. I think it was too late in the year to plant these. They are growing but not getting very big and most of the strawberries that set just dry up. they are supposed to go for several seasons so maybe in the fall when the cooler weather comes they will perk up. The birds are constant visitors to my feeding station. I spend many hours watching them and the squirrels. We have so many of them the dog doesn’t even try to chase them all now. When Otis wants something to do he runs out and chases them up the tree but most of the time he just passes them up.
Well that is the tour of the farm. The blueberries are getting lots of new growth so in the fall they should have another crop of berries, the bird are waiting for them. Have a good day. Talk to you again next week.

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A Gentle Visitor

Today was a busy, exciting day for Otis and myself. The day started like any other and so did we. After breakfast we went over to the cottage and worked on the family tree chart and got another generation done. At noon I stopped and we had lunch and after lunch just before I sat down for a nap I let Otis out as usual. Only it was anything but usual. It was hot and sunny and usually Otis goes out and comes right back in because he is black he does not like the hot sun, but today he didn’t come back in. Finally I got worried and went out and called to Otis. At first I heard nothing but then I heard him barking and I followed the sound. Otis was following a very large turtle. The turtle was almost as large as Otis. Otis was not hurting it but was bothering her and I was afraid Otis might try and bite her. I picked up Otis and brought him into the house and called Becca to see if she wanted to come and save the turtle.
Becca came and I got some Mellon to feed the turtle. The turtle took a few bites of the Mellon, Becca held Otis and I picked up the turtle and we took her outside the fence. She had walked back and forth along the back fence while Otis was Barking at her and could not get out so I thought that was what she wanted to do. I gave her more Mellon and the kids came over to see her. She didn’t seem to mind everyone being around watching her and no one touched her. Patty came home and stopped to see her and everyone left.
Later Becca came over to say she had let the turtle into her back yard as she was trying to get in and Becca had seen her there in the past so thought that was what she wanted.
after supper I let Otis out and I went back to the cottage to work a little longer on my family tree chart. But again Otis did not come with me so after a while I went to see where he was. This time he was not barking but he was sure interested so I went to check and see where he was. I found him by the fence in the corner, he was watching the turtle digging a hole. I took Otis into the cottage with me but he could not settle down so after almost an hour I gave up and let him out to see if the turtle was gone. This is where I found Otis. He was not barking and was not attacking anything so I got my camera and followed him. This is what Otis was looking at. The turtle didn’t move and Otis was not bothering her. She had gotten back into our yard and had dug this hole. I a guessing she was laying her eggs because when I took Otis away she then left and went back across the yard and left the way she had come in. This is the corner of the yard that she came in. This is Otis following the turtle across the yard. Otis didn’t bark much and never tried to hurt her but he was an excited little puppy to have such a visitor. This is the corner where she was leaving. She had dug a hole under the fence to get into the yard and is now leaving the yard. Otis who will not try to squeeze into any small space really wanted to follow her so I had to grab Otis and not let him go with her. I put a flower pot in the hole so Otis can not get in there. tomorrow I will put something stronger there to stop her from coming into the yard and to stop Otis from getting out but I don’t think anything will stop that turtle from coming in if she wants to again. We have seen her before, she was here last year when they were building this house. She comes in to get the ripe mangos from the neighbor’s tree but they are not ripe right now so I think it must be to lay eggs. This is the hole she dug in our yard. I don’t see any eggs in the hole but I didn’t poke around as I don’t want to hurt any eggs if there are any in there. Also she didn’t cover up any that I could see and Otis doesn’t seem too interested in the hole so maybe there is nothing left in there. This is Otis trying to follow the turtle out. From here the turtle followed the fence line under the sea grapes in Becca’s back yard on her way to where ever she came from.
Otis went out again just before we went to bed. He checked out the whole area and was satisfied that the turtle was gone and then came back to the house. He is now a sleep beside me. He will sleep well tonight, he had such an exciting day and he is happy to have cleared out his yard. The happy hunter will sleep well tonight. Tomorrow we will inspect the scene and Otis will relive his exciting day. For tonight all will sleep well. Good night, have a good night yourself.

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Stop The World, I Want To Get Off

Yesterday I spent the day with my great grand son, James. He didn’t feel well in the morning so did not want to go to school and asked if he could stay home with me. I welcomed the company for the day. It gave me a chance to face myself and finally see what I need to do to be happy again.
I was not a happy person as a youth and blamed others because I didn’t fit into this world. When I found Norman and we started a life together we each used the other as the excuse for not trying to fit in to the world. He worked with people all his life and found it a very stress filled existence. I taught school and loved it but always said I would love teaching if each student didn’t have to have two parents that went with them. I blamed other people for the stress I felt and it wasn’t anyone but myself. When we retired and we both gave up our outside jobs and we moved away from former friends and family and moved to GA, we were both happier and healthier than we had ever been in our lives but we made a big mistake there. We joined the local church and we introduced ourselves to the neighbors. It didn’t take long before we felt the pressures from without and our peaceful lives become more cluttered. Again we blamed others for what we had done ourselves and again we were trying to change the world and the world did not want to be changed, it was going along just fine so after almost ten years we sold this farm that we had put so much time and work into and found a piece of land in the middle of the wood in TN and moved again. This time we did not go to the church, and I did not meet the neighbors. Of course I blamed Norman for that. He really had always wanted to live as a hermit like his great grand father had done but I thought I needed people around me, why I don’t know, I never fit in or was happy around others. Anyways we spent the best ten years of our live, alone in the woods, making a farm out of this patch we had found and cleared. Once a week we would go to the local farmers market and talk to the local farmers but we never knew most of their names and we never tried to “make friends” with them. They were the best friends we ever had, they didn’t demand anything of us and we never demanded anything of them except a friendly smile and “how do you do” once a week. When we got too old to keep up the farm we decided to leave and come back to Florida rather than stay and watch our farm go back to nature. We found a couple who wanted just what we had made there and would love it as much as we did and we sold it to them for what they could afford, much less than it’s monetary value. We came back to Florida and tried to live here as we had done in TN but it was not possible and I think now it was because I had not face myself enough to know it was not all Norman that wanted the kind of life we had in TN but it was the kind of life I needed also to be happy.
When Norman died and I found myself alone, I could not handle it, I felt I needed to get involved with life again and set out to do just that first blaming one thing and another for my not being happy and able to adjust to the warm happy homes I was welcomed into. And again after three months returned to Florida to live with my youngest daughter. It has been a real trial for her and she has been an angel to put up with me but I finally know what I need to be happy again. So “stop the world, I want to get off.” I have all my memories, and worldly possession around me now. I have my research and hobbies to keep me busy and I can take care of myself here alone for as long a period as I want to. I have family and friends to visit or call once in a while with no demands on me and I don’t really need any one to make me happy. I love to hear from anyone that wants to talk for just a short time but don’t expect me to go anywhere. I like it right here and won’t go anywhere, I have found I don’t need Norman to run interference any longer, I can take care of myself now for the rest of my life and be happy doing it. I will keep blogging at least once a week so anyone that wants to know how I am doing can find out here, no lies and no half truths just how it is. I am going to let the world take care of itself, I hope America wakes up and becomes the great country it used to be but it will have to do it without me, I can’t help any more since I never really made a difference anyways. So instead of watching the news I’ll be watching the old movies when I want the hear a person’s voice. And Otis and I will settle into a wonderful life.
I hope I have not hurt anyone in my search for peace in my life and if I have please know I am truly sorry, but now I am getting off. Have a great day and find your own peace. God Bless you all and bring you peace.

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Farmer’s Garden

My gardens are growing well or at least most of them. My bulbs are not coming up and never will as the squirrels dug them all up and ate them. Also my peas are most gone, there are only two plants left, the squirrels pulled up all the others and ate the seeds. The other one that isn’t doing well and I bet it never will and that is the black berries. I found what I thought was a sale one a nice looking black berry bush and it came today. OH MY it was a tiny packet of seeds. I guess I didn’t read that page very good. I will plant the seeds but I don’t have much hope for them so I’ll put some carrot seeds in the box too. I will show you what I have got growing.

these are the two sides of my tower. I don’t know if you can make out what is growing but there are chives, basil, parsley, thyme, strawberries, radishes, spinach, cucumbers, summer squash, even a Lillie or two. I put every thing that I had left over and will see which things will grow in the tower. Each thing has it’s own little piece of dirt but if it will be enough we will have to wait and see if they grow.

These are my strawberries and all of the ones I planted here took well and you can see a few are even in bloom now so unless the squirrels decided they like the looks of them I will have a few strawberries.
These are the tomatoes. They are growing well but are not awfully big but all four of the plants have blossoms and three of the four have small tomatoes on them. The one standard size plant I have had to tie up to the fence to give it support. So I know I will have some tomatoes. there are three regular size and one cherry tomato. These are the summer squash. I don’t know if they are yellow squash or zucchini I had six little ones of each and five are here and the others are in the tower and I won’t know which is which until I see the fruit. So far there are bud but I can’t tell yet if they are male or female flowers so I don’t know for sure if I will have squash. I just have to wait a while. This is one of the two egg plants. They are in the corners of the squash box. At first they had a hard time because the sun was so hot and they nearly died with the heat but as the squash has grown and gives the egg plants some shade the egg plants have really taken off and are now blooming. I don’t see any fruit set yet but there are lots of flowers. Here is my fun experiment, the corn. So far it is going great and getting taller every day but we will have to wait and see if they can get big enough to have ears of corm on them. Each stock can have two ears of they have enough dirt under them, again it is wait and see. this is one of the two boxes of beans. One is yellow and one is green but which is which I don’t know, they look the same. This box the beans have little buds on them the other does not yet. It will be quite a while before the beans start to grow and not until then will I know which are green and which are the yellow wax beans. These are the peppers There are three of the four I put in. The biggest one did not survive the transplant but two of the three here have buds on them now so I should get some peppers. In the front corner where the dead pepper was I have a Lillie growing and it doesn’t seem to mind the peppers at all. Plants can be very picky about who they have to grow beside. On the farm I could never plant the peppers next to the tomatoes, when I tried it the peppers would not bear fruit until the tomatoes were done and out of there. This is where the peas were. There are only two tiny plants left so I planted the flower that Bob brought for me last week. I have had to put the dirt back around it’s roots twice as the squirrel seem to think there are peas under the flower as well. The last day they have left it alone and it seems to. be quite happy there. I am hoping it will attract the bees to my garden then I will get a better yield from the plants. And the flowers are so pretty they dress up my garden. This is the tent/car port that Patty got and built for the patio so we could have some shade. It is much too hot to sit outside without some kind of shade. It is very nice now and we can sit right there and watch the birds as they come for the bird bath and feeding station. I don’t use the fountain in the bird bath any longer. The bird love to drink and bath in the bird bath and they splash so much water out the fountain could not keep shooting. Now I just have to add water once a day so they have enough water. This is my little red oak tree. It has quite a sun burn but it is still alive and growing. I put the chair there beside it to give it some shade for part of the day. There is also a sun flower planted beside it and since I feed the blue jays sunflower seeds in that same space I bet I have lots more sunflowers growing there soon. Oh, yes in the red buckets that the car port is anchored in has cement in the bottom and then filled with dirt and we planted some wild flowers in them and some sun flower seeds so we may get the birds up close and fun to watch. This is the view of the bird bath and feeding station that we get from the patio and those are busy most of the day.
I guess that updates you on the gardens. So far so good. Have a good day.

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