Cement mixer !!

Unpacked six bottle things

Temperature when project started


SunshineIt was a reasonably nice morning (a reasonably nice day)!! Yours truly was very anxious to prepare a cement base for another Bottle Tree (it’s a gift). The thermometer was “deceiving” because a rather cold wind blowing, and occasionally fifteen or twenty sprinkles of rain. It’s weird (I know) but I enjoy the strenuous task of stirring the concrete.


Getting ready to mix concrete


Empty eighty pound bag

Temperature near end of project

Project completed

Size of bottle treeWhen the concrete hardens, I’ll spread the branches slightly and spray on a clear protective coat of Rust-Oleum. When third section is added, total height of Bottle Tree will be over six feet. Sadly, only twelve “branches” for twelve bottles.


Temperature when Lorraine went indoors

Bottle Tree close upI said “sadly” because forty “branches” on my Christmas Bottle Tree. (The $5.00 “display rack” converted to a Bottle Tree.)


Lorraine gets a ride on a tandem bike.Second thoughts





I’ll “rob” the other Bottle Tree of the third section so I can add fourth section to enlarge this “tree.”


If you are considering a unique purchase for your garden, check the large variety at Hopfrog Market. I’m impressed with the quality of the products–and (imho) they are less expensive than other vendor websites I’ve visited. Tell Mr. Dave that Lorraine sent you?!

Saturday info

AccuWeather at five AM

Temperature at five AM


woman-sleeping-with-zzz“Concern” about temperature(s), and plants, makes me exhausted!! I went back to bed and, gratefully, slept until 8:45. ~~ Hard to believe, we’ll see seventy degrees before the weekend is over!!


Approaching nine AM

Sunshine beyond my patio


Temperature at nineIn preparation for the next freezing weather, I’ll buy a heater for the tarp shelter. I’ve now documented numbers indicating under the tarp shelter is as cold as outdoors. Furthermore, actually colder when the sun is shining.

Today, I’m questioning my sanity: “Why am I involved in so many physical and mental projects?”

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Postscript, Saturday afternoon: Lowe’s was one, of several, stops during  a few hours away from home. This heater was inexpensive but appears very durable.

Tarp door needed

New heater

Temperature in greenhouse

Temperature at two

Matching number, temperature at four

Temperature at five

No frost, no freeze !!

AccuWeather at two-fifty

My thermometers at three AM

AccuWeather at five-thirty

My thermometers at five-thirty

AccuWeather at seven AM

My thermometers at seven AM

No frost at seven AMYours truly is so grateful to report no freeze so no damage to my plants.



AccuWeather at nine-fifty

My thermometers at ten AM

Temperature in greenhouseNow, this is very confusing!! Is it actually eighty degrees inside the greenhouse?? It is in full sunshine so **possible** but looks strange to me!!


AccuWeather at eleven

My thermometers at eleven AM

Likewise, confusing: Why are my numbers different from AccuWeather’s numbers for Livingston??

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Temperature in greenhouse at twelve noon“Curiosity killed the cat, satisfaction brought it back.” For comparison, I put another thermometer in the greenhouse and expected identical numbers.

Matching numbers

Temperature in greenhouse at one

New batteries

Finally, matching number for greenhouse at two


Outdoor temperature forty-seven degrees

AccuWeather temperature at four-thirty


Watching the temperature plummet

Today, I repeatedly checked temperatures and documented the drop in temperature. At 6:40, the meteorologist said “Freezing from midnight ’til nine.”

Ten day forecast


Temperature at two AM

Temperature at six AM




Temperature at eleven AMJust before eleven, I walked outdoors, into the woods, to take several pictures of the porch and ramp in their “final resting place.” burr-3I was wearing a coat and hat but got chilled to the bone!! I checked the covers–over the plants–and many need more clothes pins to hold the sheet (or tablecloth) in place.

Temperature at two PMAccuWeather says Real Feel is thirty-eightAccuWeather says “Real Feel” is thirty-eight degrees.

Temperature at four PM

white-stick-figure-with-a-thermometerEven indoors, with the thermometer reading seventy-five degrees, I’m COLD!!

Temperature at six PM


Wind chill temperature at six AM Friday

Covering the large plants…

…prior to freezing temperatures.

livingston-weather-dec-8-at-eight-thirtyYESTERDAY, before the “colder” temperatures, I covered the large plants. I’m so “wimpy,” I didn’t want to approach the task with the temperature in the forties!! (Forty-three degrees outdoors, at 8:30 AM, as I prepare this message but “Real Feel” is thirty-seven.)


Mexican Petunia blooming in December

Yellow Butterfly Vine


Mexican Petunia et all

Turk's Cap, Mexican Petunia, et al


Outdoor thermometer



Mandevilla, Cape Honeysuckle, et al

Impatien probably will not survive

Jim & Roger at work !!

smiley-face-with-cameraYESTERDAY, I took pictures while the guys dismantled the porch and ramp, and hauled it to the “graveyard” of old porches and ramps. I paid for the remodel, in September 2015, so felt like “my” porch and ramp was going “bye bye.” (These are barely a few of the dozens of pictures taken.) This explains why I was too tired to prepare this blog yesterday. Not that “picture taking” is so strenuous but time-consuming– plus the task of covering the plants.

Preparing to move the ramp

Porch and ramp useless to new neighbors

Sheer genius

Moving a section of the ramp

Two heads are better than one

Ready to roll

Just off the highway (1)

Lunch was delivered through the window

CARE Center in the background

Traveling on our right-turn lane

Just off the highway (2)

Headed for the graveyard

Destined for the burn pile?

Graveyard of old porches and ramps

Awesome improvement

An elevator to assist

They will return



Good, better, best…

…never let it rest, until your good is better, and your better best.

Wind blown Yellow Butterfly Vine

Yellow Butterfly Vine covered

Recovering Mexican Petunia and Yellow Butterfly VineIt felt so cold but I was determined to secure the coverings over the plants.

“Good” wasn’t good enough; I had to do better. I felt like an icicle… but had/have the satisfaction that coverings are (temporarily?) secure.

Because the heat lamp bulb does not appear to warm the tarp shelter, I covered some of the plants.


Heat lamp is not warming the tarp shelter

Texas Lilac and Purple Shamrock covered

Before misc. other plants covered

Miscellaneous plants covered


Walking Iris covered

Hen 'n Chicks under covergood-better-best“Never let it rest, until your good is better, and your better best.”  Do you know that old saying?

Thanksgiving Cactus & Christmas Cactus on display

Without flash

Thanksgiving Cactus


Steve's Thanksgiving CactusAbove is a piece of Thanksgiving Cactus that survived–and thrived. I hope, and pray, I can keep it alive for another year (or two) so I’m rewarded with a plant like the “mother” or “grandmother” plant (right).

Because the weather is so cold, I didn’t want to leave it in the tarp shelter. I brought it into my trailer home.

Below, Hazel’s Christmas Cactus now receiving admiration in the CARE Center dining room,

Hazel's Christmas Cactus (1)

Hazel's Christmas Cactus (2)