Plants – Coleus – The Secret of Vibrant Colors


My favorite coleus is one I grew from seed several years ago. I call it Raspberry Twizzle. A progeny of several years of cross-breeding coleus in my garden, Twizzle is vibrantly hued, rippled, and boasting scalloped edges. The beautiful color is not guaranteed. The plants in the photograph above are all from the same mother plant. The reason for the lackluster color of the middle coleus: the wrong light conditions. Coleus grown indoors must have very bright morning and early afternoon light. If they are grown in too much shade their colors will fade, even though they retain their fancy frills and ripples. Strong afternoon light will have the opposite effect, and make for faded color.


Coleus root in plain tap water. This cutting is only a few weeks old and is ready for planting. If you have coleus growing outdoors, bring a few sprigs in and keep your plants alive for planting out next Spring.

Photograph – Boundaries/Delaware Bay

Photo Challenge @ WordPress “This week, let’s explore the creative potential of limits, borders, and dividers of all types.”


I love this simplistic view of the Delaware Bay. Each ebb and flow of the tide carves new designs into the boundary of sand.

The photograph was taken in July of this year. Those of us who live near ocean waters return to them with a bit of trepidation each Spring and Summer, almost afraid to lay eyes upon what the N’or Easters and other storms have wrought upon the shoreline. Early October has already brought us a strong hurricane, thankfully, passing by out to sea. The boundaries are in place, but at some point, all shoreline boundaries are broken and changed.

Perspective – Become Like Children

We recently celebrated two birthdays in our family with a picnic. While we sang “Happy Birthday,” I took photographs of everyone as they enjoyed the fellowship of our time together. After I downloaded the photos, I noticed in the background of a photo, what for me has become one of the best moments of the day: my youngest grandson beaming with pure happiness as he watched his grandfather blow out the birthday candles. Although the distance causes his image to be a bit blurred, his JOY in the day is contagious, and fills me with happiness when I gaze upon his sweet face.


My grandson’s expression is exactly how I want my Father in Heaven to see me as I gaze toward him. Eyebrows raised in anticipation, my hands outstretched, my face beaming with happiness. You know folks, if I do nothing else on this earth I want to SHINE for Jesus. A blessed Sunday to you. Amen.

“And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.…” ~ Matthew 18:2-4

Projects & Phavorites & Phlipping – Flea Market Flip/Vintage Formica Table

I love the how-to show Flea Market Flip. Recently, while walking through a local town, my husband and I passed a small red formica table. I loved it, and knew I had to have it; the price was right, only fifteen dollars. The table is about the size of a TV tray.  It is perfect for crafting, a computer table, eating, etc. Another advantage is the table is lightweight. I can carry it up and down flights of stairs, outside, and all over the house. Wherever it is needed the table goes.


I liked the aged look of the wood on the table, but the edges were a bit jagged and rough. Since I use the table for crafts, I decided yard sticks would be a quick and easy cover, useful, as well as decorative.


I measured the table, sawed, sanded and attached the yardsticks with Aleene’s Tacky Glue.

red table collage one jpg

I’m real pleased with the finished table.


Check out Flea Market Flip!


Pots & Pans – Quick and Easy Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Drizzle Icing


This quick and easy bundt cake can be created with a box cake mix. Pillsbury Perfectly Pumpkin is available August through January in most larger grocery stores.

Pillsbury Perfectly Pumpkin Cake Mix
4 eggs
1/2 Cup oil
1 Cup Water
1 pkg Instant vanilla pudding
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla

Combine ingredients well. Mix until blended, 2-3 minutes.

4 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 cup chopped nuts,  (walnuts or pecans are good choices)

( I leave the nuts out as we have a grandchild with an allergy to tree nuts. The cake is just as delicious without any nuts in the topping)

Grease and flour (I used Pam instead) sides of bundt pan and sprinkle 1/3 of topping in bottom of pan. Add 1/2 of cake batter. Sprinkle on rest of topping and the rest of the batter. Bake 50-60 minutes at 350 degrees. The cake is delicious without any added icing. Freezes well.


I used this Pumpkin Bundt Cake as a birthday cake and wanted to dress it up a bit, but was very short on time and energy. I used a can of Duncan Hines Creamy Vanilla Icing as a drizzle by heating it in a glass bowl in the microwave for 5-8 seconds, stirring, and then heating for 5 seconds more. I added a bit of food coloring and the icing was ready to drizzle over the cake. This can be done by allowing the icing to drip from a spoon, or you can do as I did and place the icing in a small zip top baggie, clip a very small hole at one corner and squeeze the icing out through the opening. This technique is much more controlled than just letting the icing run off the spoon.

The cake was pretty and festive, and best of all, becomes even better tasting a day or two after it is made. Here’s a clip about a bundt cake from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” The funny thing is I look very much like the poor woman trying to explain the “bundt” cake. Funny!

Projects – Welcome October

I’ve posted several projects over the past four years while blogging on WordPress. Today is a rerun of several of my favorites. Most are easily duplicated without instructions. I’ve included links back to the original posts for the project ideas that are a bit more involved. Happy October to All!

Jack O Lantern Choir

I love Jack O’ Lanterns. They are a favorite of mine in the Autumn.


Several years ago after seeing an idea on how to make Oyster Jack O’ Lantern ornaments on Pinterest, I created several. They have held up for years and today I will be decorating my Norfolk Island Pine tree with these adorable pumpkins.

jack o lantern tree

You can find full directions here:
Jack O’ Lantern Tree Part I
Jack O Lantern Tree Part II

jack o lantern tree 2

These playful glasses were certainly a hit with my grandchildren and trick-or-treaters who came to our door.

My experience and the link to Martha Stewart’s directions for the glasses can be found at Martha’s Halloween Glasses

halloween glasses

Finally, although I didn’t make this snarky sign based on the Wizard of Oz, I love the quote. I only wish I could keep a straight face long enough to use it when someone “bugs” me, but I know I would dissolve into laughter before I could get out two words. Enjoy the season, and remember, “I have flying monkeys, don’t make me use them.” Teeheehee!


Photograph – The Bone Yard


Autumn has brought out the beauty in the “Bone Yard” of my garden as my blossoms turn into seeds.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Change.”“This week, show us a change in progress. This can be done in one or multiple photos — we’ll let you decide!”


Pic-Monkey is a terrific site for adding special effects to photographs.

Pots & Pans – Applesauce


Apples are plentiful at this time. I thought I would try to create a bit of applesauce with a few that were becoming a bit mealy. I peeled and sliced the apples. Instead of sugar, I added about five strawberries I had on hand for flavor and sweetness. I added a bit of water, about a 1/4 cup, and a squeeze of some type of citrus. I brought this to a boil and simmered lightly until the fruits were soft and on the verge of falling apart. A hard stir, and just like that I had my applesauce. It is absolutely delicious. The applesauce will keep for about three days in the fridge. A sprinkle of cinnamon is also nice.


Perspective – A Grateful Heart

grateful heart

Today I don’t want to take for granted any good thing from my Father in Heaven. I have been saying thank you to God out loud throughout this morning for his love to me and the many blessings he has bestowed upon my life. Take a moment today to dwell upon all the blessings in your life. Thank God for everything large and smile. (I meant to type, and small, but liked the way large and smile sounded, so it stands as is.)

Amazing Love

People and Praise – Tasha Cobbs

For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against persons without bodies—the evil rulers of the unseen world, those mighty satanic beings and great evil princes of darkness who rule this world; and against huge numbers of wicked spirits in the spirit world.”
~ Ephesians 6:12

Are you in a battle? There is a great message in this song. A reminder to rely upon THE ONE can break every chain. Hallelujah!

There is power in the name of Jesus! Amen.

“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” ~ I John 4:4

Perspective – Rewinding

I think most of us in the blogosphere remember VHS tapes, and the stickers on most rentals that kindly asked us to rewind by saying…

be kind

Today I’ve altered that now obsolete catch-phrase into a thank you to those who will understand why I have nothing else to give in my blog post today.


I am scattered, with too much too do, and some pressing concerns that are pecking at me like a chicken scratching for grain. I think many of us feel that way throughout the week, and even more so on the weekends, when there are isn’t enough time for all the tasks we must accomplish, let alone the time to fulfill our dreams. So…my advice… be kind to yourself today…rewind, relax…and relinquish your worries to the Lord.

“Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” ~ Psalm 55:22

Phavorites & Phun – Throwback Thursday – Birthday Song

I had a good time visiting Birthday Jams. You enter in your birthday, and they tell you what song was #1 on the charts that week in the US. The drop down menu also allows you to check out what was #1 in the UK, Top Dance Tracks, and Alternative Hits. Number one on the US charts when I was born, way back in 1957, was Elvis Presley singing “Jailhouse Rock.” Give this fun site a try…I would love to hear in the comments section what was number one when you were born. Number One Song the Week You Were Born.

“Diana” sung by Paul Anka, was number one in the UK.

Plants & Phavorites – Sunset Runner Bean Vine


I’ve been very pleased with my Sunset Runner Bean Vine this summer. The vine sprouts easily, grows quickly, and is soon exhibiting lovely snapdragon-like clusters of flowers. The spent flowers develop into pods, and the pods develop beautiful black seeds with purple blotches. I purchased these seeds from one of my favorite seed sources: Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

The seeds are beautiful.


After the pods dry to a tan color, the seeds are ready to harvest. I like to display mine in a jar throughout the winter.


They are a good reminder of the promise of a new spring, and flowers to come.

Plants & Phavorites – Lemon Grass

Summer is at an end. I thought it would be good idea throughout this week to take time for some reflections on the garden…successes and failures, and make note of what I want to plant again next year.


At the top of my list is Lemon Grass. I found this plant in my local Amish Market. I must have planted it in the perfect spot this year for it has thrived and grown to about a thirty inch height in the afternoon sunshine.

I found some terrific information on WebMD on the benefits of Lemon Grass.

“Lemongrass is a plant. The leaves and the oil are used to make medicine.

Lemongrass is used for treating digestive tract spasms, stomachache, high blood pressure, convulsions, pain, vomiting, cough, achy joints (rheumatism), fever, the common cold, and exhaustion. It is also used to kill germs and as a mild astringent.
Some people apply lemongrass and its essential oil directly to the skin for headache, stomachache, abdominal pain, and muscle pain.
By inhalation, the essential oil of lemongrass is used as aromatherapy for muscle pain.
In food and beverages, lemongrass is used as a flavoring. For example, lemongrass leaves are commonly used as “lemon” flavoring in herbal teas.
In manufacturing, lemongrass is used as a fragrance in soaps and cosmetics. Lemongrass is also used in making vitamin A and natural citral.

How does it work?
Lemongrass might help prevent the growth of some bacteria and yeast. Lemongrass also contains substances that are thought to relieve pain, reduce fever, stimulate the uterus and menstrual flow, and have antioxidant properties.” ~

There are some side effects and dangers when using Lemon Grass –
LEMON GRASS IS UNSAFE DURING PREGNANCY – It can start menstrual flow.
From my own experience I can caution you to be aware of the sharp edges when you gather the grass. I experienced a painful cut, pretty much like a deep paper cut while picking the grass to use in tea.

“Lemongrass is an aromatic storehouse of essential nutrients providing a wide array of health benefits. It is a source of essential vitamins such as vitamin A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin) B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), folate and vitamin C. It also provides essentil minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, manganese, copper, zinc and iron, which are required for the healthy functioning of the human body. It offers no harmful cholesterol or fats.” ~

I was astounded by all the benefits of this plant as I researched facts for this post. Lemon grass is widely available as an ingredient in herbal teas. Check out the labels in the tea section and drink more tea this winter!
Benefits of Lemon Grass

Before the grass falls victim to Autumn frosts, I plan on gathering and drying more of the grass to use throughout winter. I have had great results harvesting the grass, gently washing off any garden debris, cutting into 1/2 – 3/4 inch lengths, and drying for a day or two in the heat of my car.

Place – Conservatory Gridlock/Longwood Gardens

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Grid.” This week, let’s take the humble grid out of the shadows, and make it the star.”

When I think of grids I think of conservatories. My favorite public garden is a perfect subject for this week’s Daily Post photo challenge. Most often, the flowers and plants are the stars of my visits to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. This post features the bones, or the grids, that hold the thousands of glass panes in place.


You will find grids and grates wherever you look in the Longwood Gardens conservatory. The fragility of the flowers and foliage is protected by the strength of the metal, while the glass panes let in the life-giving light.


The view looking up reveals even more grids and glass.


Grids are used outdoors also as a support for vines and other plants. This is a row of spectacular clematis vines that were on display this year.


Steel grids and cement are the base for the reconstruction of the fountains that is going on at this time. Take a look at the Online Fountain Exhibit at Longwood Gardens.

Planting – Terrarium Creation

This is a re-post from a few years ago, but well worth repeating once again. If you have small outdoor plants you want to save from winter weather, they are the perfect candidate for placing in a terrarium.

1. Select Container/Add a layer of pebbles.

2. Add a layer of charcoal.

3. Add a layer of humus/soil.

4. Add plants and mosses.

5. Add lichens, rocks, and small statues. (Mine are elephants from Red Rose Teabag boxes) Water sparingly, rinse excess dirt off of sides. Cover with lid of some type. Enjoy your beautiful terrarium.

Care of terrariums: Mosses like gentle sun, morning light exposure is best for a terrarium. Try to lift lid each day to give terrarium fresh air. Your terrarium will self-water, if it develops a look of dryness water sparingly once again.


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