June 28, 2018

Save the Mat!

     I had a perfectly good doormat faded from the intense sunlight here on Amelia Island, Florida.  You know how I like my spray paint. (Passersby want to buy my formerly old faded pink flamingos right out of our front yard because the spray can found them and they are now so randomly colorful.)
     I got to thinking, as I often do. I pulled out the paint, placed the boring mat on the grass and with the push of a spray can button, I spritzed a very light coat of dark green onto the overall mat.  Next came the white for the leaves and vines, followed by the pink and peach for the roses.  It took less than five minutes to enhance the mat and I think it turned out pretty well.  It's by the front door now, offering a silent greeting that says: "The people inside this house are zany!  Prepare yourselves!"  (Someone described me as zany recently, and I've never had a happier compliment in my life!)

June 23, 2018

Glory in the Morning plus Goodbye Lie Diaries- Breelan

Present Day
Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida

Jane Marie writes: I had never seen morning glories in this particular area I frequent. But, poof, there they were, in all stages of blooming from buds (look at the lower right of the top photo) to full-blown blossoms.
     A memory from childhood, I recall them climbing on our backyard fence and I thought how pretty they were.  When they wilted, I'd pluck away old blooms to make room for more.
     As I stopped to take these pictures, I thought about the name, morning glory. How simple and wonderfully sweet. The way they open their faces in the a.m. in greeting to a new "glorious" day, well, they are aptly named.  đź’®
     I did a quick search for info and found they are poison to ingest, so don't. They come from South American and have made their way here. There are 500 varieties! They are a vine and will climb on anything vertical.  They are often considered a weed. In Victorian times, they represented either love or mortality because each bloom wilts after one day. They also stand for tenacity because, although their vines twist and turn, they are tough and don't quit climbing.
    So, there are a few tidbits about morning glories, an old-timey flower that deserves appreciation.

Late 1880s
Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida

Breelan Dunnigan writes: I am not noted for my gardening abilities, more my writing, but I do love flowers. Peeper mentioned morning glories one time while talking to herself.  I do not believe I was meant to hear. She said something about how she would love to sit back and watch while they "growed up Aunt Noreena's legs, fat body and around her neck.  Since they are knowed ta chock out plants," she figured they might choke the blather out of her next-door nemesis.  
Breelan Dunnigan
     Those two are always at it. I think they secretly adore the other. Well, not adore, but like each other. Hmm, no. I don't know which one hates the other more. The only good thing to come of their nasty shenanigans is it gives mama an example to tell the little ones about how to NOT behave, and the adults think it's funny. 
Breelan Dunnigan is the heroine in The Goodbye Lie series,

the first in the historical romance novels set on Amelia Island in north Florida. A cub reporter for the Florida Mirror, Bree learns while she lives, appreciating all things that may spark a short story or an article for the local newspaper. Her curiosity is known to cause her trouble and her trouble is her family's trouble ... 

June 20, 2018

A Brother's Gift

     Just look at the very cool T-shirt my sweet brother, retired Navy Chief Bob Harkins, sent me for my birthday.  He knows me so well!  (Insert big smile here!) Thank you,  Bobby!

June 15, 2018

My Father

     Thinking about our precious father, I realize I have a smile on my face.  That sums it up.  His love for his children, grandchildren and great-grandchild, all the days of our lives, is the most precious treasure a human being can expect on this earth.  And his every action, with regard to us, reinforced that love.  
     My siblings and I have been blessed beyond words, measure and forever, having been born into the family headed by such a gentle, feisty and good man as Leo Michael Harkins. May the Lord continue to hold Daddy in the hollow of His mighty hand. May the flutter of angels' wings keep time to the beat of Tommy Dorsey's orchestra playing background in an eternity of laughter and joy as Daddy stands beside the woman he loves, in the presence of our saving Lord, Jesus Christ. Thank you, God. Amen.

My hope is that each of you enjoys the tender care of a father-figure. Be it a lifetime or a momentary touch of a strong arm about your shoulder, take it into your soul, feel that love and let it warm you always.  

Happy Father's Day to All
on earth and in Heaven

June 12, 2018

Beneath a Reading Tree


     To me, the title of this post sounds like you should expect to read a poem.  Not this time. It's more for those who like/love to read novels because this image screams, "I want to be the girl nestled under the tree holding the book." I found the picture at Free Trinkets and Treasures blog. http://freetrinketstreasures.blogspot.com/ . Visit them and email  a thank you for allowing us to use this picture. 
Notice the white heart carved into the tree. Ahh ...

Purchase The Goodbye Lie series here,
in E-book and Paperback. 
Each novel stands alone and features one of the grown siblings in the Dunnigan family from Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida,
in Victorian times.

June 1, 2018

Lazy Gardener's Lush Flowers

Some may call this simple idea lazy.
Others may praise me for my economy of time.  I like the instant gratification of it plus the beauty.  You have curb appeal and you never have to use a shovel or gloves or get your hands dirty! 

What is it? Go to the garden shop and buy a flat of, in this case begonias, which are annuals.  Without counting, I think there are 24 plants in one of three flats I took home and perched on my front landscape timber. My method? Leaving each flat intact, place one or all in a location according to the required light instructions on the growing card which comes with the flowers, remember to water them and there you have your instant flower garden!  I heard once there is fertilizer in the container dirt already, so no need to pay for that.  Naturally, you can dig a hole and insert each plant into the earth, like *Miss Ella and **Peeper do.  After all, this is still America.  But if you haven’t the time or you don’t want to strain your back,  try my easy and tested method of gardening.  The pictures prove it works.  This is two months worth of growth, by the way.  Should the plants get too leggy, I may be forced  

to bring out the scissors and give them a haircut.  Even this lazy gardener will make that effort, if necessary.

In addition, I bought some moss roses (not pictured here), also known as portulacas or purslanes.  I think there are six to a flat. I cut them into 3s and placed them at the base of a rose bush and another section on a large yard rock.  I love moss roses because they don’t require much water at all in this Florida heat.  They will get leggy, but either pinch them back or cut them back, saving the pieces.  Toss the pieces on dirt/sand and they often will root on their own, making a patch of brilliant ground cover for you.  Happy flowering!  

*Miss Ella and **Peeper are prime characters in The Goodbye Lie series set on Amelia Island, Florida. Miss Ella is a respected rosarian in town and Peep likes her hydrangea bush aka her door step plant. Catching Aunt Noreen clipping a stem to root makes Peeper happy because Noreena couldn't grow a weed if she smothered it in manure and spit tobacco juice on it.