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Showing posts from August, 2012

Mama Kat Prompt Day: Childhood Memories

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It's been raining intermittently today as the tail of Isaac's outer-most eastern band passed over us today. Luckily, no thunder this a.m. so I could get to water aerobics at the Y. Thundered later a bit, but sun is out now. It's one of those liquid sunshine kind of days. I'm also pleased to report, since last night, someone has purchased one of the ties I just posted in my Zazzle store! Cool beans!   Today's Mama Kat Prompt is: What do you remember most about your childhood bedroom? That's a good question and it has a pretty funny answer. First you have to picture that my 2 younger sisters and I shared one large. That by itself is memorable. It must have been at least 20' x 20' in size and the 3 of us each had a corner of it to call our own. I slept in a double bed, while my 2 sisters slept in the bunk-bed our Dad had built. He had carpentry skills and it was a huge, sturdy thing, larger then any store-bought bunk. Here's the funny pa

Wednesday Garden Pic of the Day!: Red Hibiscus

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Greetings! Tropical storm warnings were dropped this morning for everything east of the Alabama-Florida line. Last night we got a moderately heavy rain for less then a  hour, I think, last night. Then intermittent light rains during the night and into this morning. Since late morning, though, it's been a bright sun-shiny day with a bit of breeze still swaying the pine tree tops. So we re-hung the hummingbird feeders and replaced the various pots back on the patio, etc. The YMCA was planning on being closed today, but changed plans and is now open, though a life guard won't be on duty till 4 pm. Their email suggested the disruption in schedule would also disrupt life-guard scheduling, so the pool is closed till then. We've decided to wait to go at 4 pm so we can enjoy the dry sauna and a little pool exercise.   Not everything in my flower beds has hated the abundance of rain--the Hibiscus loved it. So today's Garden Pic of the Day is a very prosperous Red Hibiscus

Good Eating Monday: Basil

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Greetings in this last week of August. I live on the Gulf Coast. Guess what?  Big ol' storm. The outer most feeder bans of Tropical Storm Isaac reached here this morning, though the center is still 2 days away. It's cloudy, slightly, little gusts of wind and sprinkles of rain. New Orleans is 242 miles away from us and the far eastern edge of the storm is still over the Florida Peninsula. I noticed a lot of people buy ribs and other cook-out meat when we were at Walmart Saturday. That's what people do here. They put their grill in the garage with the door open and cook out, watching the wind and rain. Friday my husband got on the roof with a tube of roof sealant in a gun to assure everything was tight. Sunday I did a quick mow over the areas of the back yard especially prone to sponginess and puddles. Today we cleared the patio of chairs and pots and I replaced some of the stake-lines on my very tall Hibiscus and rose trellis with some new nylon cord we picked up this wee

Mama Kat Prompt: Things I Wished For

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The Mama Kat Prompt I've selected today actually was a question about "what do your kids have that you wished to have when you were a kid," but since I don't have children, I've decided to change that into: " What sort of wishes did I wish as a kid that came true ? Actually,  a number of things. #1) What I wished for then: a pine tree outside that I could decorate for Christmas. I grew up in Indiana where pine trees aren't native and apparently don't take easily either. Though, I did get a baby Blue Spruce at a flower show I attended as a kid that did grow, but it was only 6 inches tall when I got it, so you can imagine how many years that took! And I didn't really plant it in the right place for that sort of use. I remember my father had a round flower bed between the garage and the trail down to the mailbox---I wish now I'd had planted it there. What I have now :  A cedar tree my own front yard I keep relatively Christmas

Garden Pic of the Day: Swallowtails & Soggy Gardens

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I'm so excited! I found a Swallowtail Butterfly caterpillar in my pot of Flat-Leaf Parsley! I was just in time to get a couple photos, too, because he was finished eating and resting on a piece of pine straw prior to setting off for his next stage of development! Here he is!        I   put some sticks in the pot, hoping he'd stay in the pot for his crystalis stage---but no, he disappeared. I read that they seek "a secure place" to hide and transform. But---apparently he had a brother, because at the time we were looking at this one, my husband turned around and noticed a second caterpillar above the sliding door frame. He had already spun his bit of silk to secure himself there and was on his way into the   crystalis stage. He still looked like a caterpillar, though--just sort of scrunched up and stiff. I picked him off there and put him in a container topped with cheesecloth. This morning, he is entirely transformed into his greenish crystalis.  I mark

Good Eating Monday: Vintage Date & Orange Crumble Bar Recipe

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Greetings!  Another week and another rainy day. My veggie garden is a swamp. My back yard is a sponge that squishes under foot when I walk through it.  I read in the AccuWeather extended forecast a few days of little to no rain are coming! My squash seeds came up and I think I'll move them to better location in very short order. Today I have a delicious vintage cookie-bar recipe from 1967 called "Date & Orange Crumbles." I made it last Tuesday and the Air Force guys at Bible Study gobbled them up. It's going to be my favorite "recipe of the year" in this year's Christmas letter! To make it a healthier recipe I used Sugar in the Raw, which is raw cane sugar, substituted 1/2 cup wheat flour in the white flour called for and used lite butter, but you can use the recipe as is. It calls for fresh oranges, chopped dates and oatmeal! Date & Orange Crumbles 3/4 cup butter or margarine 1 cup brown sugar 1 Tbsp grated orange rind 1 3

Mama Kat Prompt Thursday: Favorite Home Cooking

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Last week one of the Mama Kat Prompts was to describe "a meal you dreaded as a kid growing up" ---but I couldn't do that one, because there was nothing put on our table growing up that I ever dreaded. The prompt this week is the opposite:  Describe a favorite meal when growing up. Since we lived too far out in the country for natural gas lines,  our gas stove and water heater ran on propane. Two 5 foot size silver tanks stood outside adjacent to the back porch under the kitchen window. To save gas usage, if our Mother was cooking something in the oven for supper, then she'd try and cook as much as the meal as possible in the oven at the same time. So my two favorite oven meals were chicken and meatloaf. The chicken menu involved: a fryer hand-cut up by Mother, then rolled in flour, baked in pieces in a 13x10 pan and baked potatoes. Very often a baked dessert was included, such as either bread pudding or pudding cake. Plus there was usually either a fresh

Garden Pic of the Day: Pink Pampas

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  My pink pampas is actually just beginning to put up it's gorgeous pink plumes---this picture below is how it looked last year! I've nicknamed it "Pink Floozy." It's far more prosperous then it's sister opposite it and a stronger pink. It must have put up over 20 heads! And she's loving all the rain we're getting right now, considering pampas is actually a desert plant . However beautiful it looked, I learned the hard way last year that letting it have that many heads is a bad idea. It made it top-heavy and the first gusty thunderstorm in early Sept blew it right over! So to prevent this little problem, I've decided to limit it to around seven fronds----enough to look pretty, but no so many to make it  top-heavy. I snipped the excess out this past Monday. Because this one and the other are so close to the property line, I take extra care to keep them neat. This means getting down under the cascading fountain of blades to trim a

Mama Kat Prompt Thursday: Top 5

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Greetings. I was hoping to finish mowing the front this morning---but, it was already raining and thundering. It's a steady, pattering rain. Not a down-pour. So much for that idea. Instead, I spent a little time fine-tuning some new electronic skins I loaded into my Zazzle store for readers, phones & MP3's. It was the first time I'd ever used the "bulk creator" and even then, I just did a limited selection. But it was easy enough to use---just needed extra fine-tuning afterwards. If you drop by and "Like" my store , you'll get email updates of anything I add new! They have featured discounts constantly, too! So on to the Mama Kat Prompt of the Day: MY TOP 5 CHOCOLATE CANDY FAV'S #1)  Hershey's Special Dark Kisses         These are my go-to favorites because they're only 20 calories per Kiss, so I'll eat two for a treat after lunch or dinner. I keep them in the freezer.  (I'm not at all tempted to eat the whole bag

Garden Pic of the Day: Rainy

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I missed my window of opportunity to mow. It was sunny, but I was diddling about on the computer. I saw it was starting to look cloudy, so I went out---and wouldn't you know it---thunder and sprinkles. I did stay out a bit edging some beds, planted a couple of fresh squash seeds, trimmed a bit of skirt the 1 pampas was developing and dead-head a couple hibiscus. My window may return later in---I could see bright clouds and a sunny blue sky to the north, beyond the storm cloud. Or it could remain stormy and gray. On the Gulf coast it's a feast or famine thing. As promised, the Garden Pics of the Day are two front flower bed shots in the rain: First up, a shot of the our parking slot. That tall, leafy plant in front of the Pampas grass is the bi-color Hibiscus. Interestingly, it's actually illegal to park vehicle on the street you see in the back ground. Though, of course, everyone parks extra vehicles on it all the time and it is a dead-end street, so no traffic. Howeve

Good Eating Monday: Misadventures & Cumin

My misadventures have nothing to do with cumin---but rather with the lawn-mower. It's a corded electric mower, which means I run it on a 100 ft cord plugged into either an exterior outlets or the garage, depending on what side of the house I'm on. It also has a surprisingly strong vacuum. Last week I was mowing around the curve of one of my flower beds and I was focused on the fire ant hill on the edge that I was intent on mowing over, yet not stepping in. The a loop of the cord was on the ground nearby, but I thought it far enough way. Apparently not. Somehow the mower vacuum still caught that loop and sucked it in----snap---my power cord was in two pieces! Fortunately, I have a spare 50 ft utility cord and added a 15 ft household extension cord to that to give me 65 ft, which I needed to give me enough reach to finish mowing the front lawn. Of course, hitting the cord also triggered the house's electrical safety thing. Took me a minute to figure that out. I plug

Mama Kat Thursday: Scary Moment

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Today's prompt: To Share a Scary Moment.       I'm going to use an often re-told scary moment story that happened when I was about fifteen. My sisters, Jane and Pat were with me and the "scary" event happened one late fall weekend.       To get a picture of our woodsy enviroment we grew up where the scary moment happened, I've attached a few pictures. The heavily forested property my family owned looked something like the photo below. It consisted of a valley with a high ridge behind it that a stony creek ran through. The house was located on 5  acres cleared land on the upper corner of the level portion of the property. Really the land approaching our house was relatively level, but just past our house, the road would dip steeply down, then run across the valley and up the other side. A view to give the general idea of how our property looked.      That forest was our life as kids and we'd traipse down the path to creek daily during summer and on

Wednesday Garden Pic: Interesting Insect Visitor

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 Hi! This was yet another Florida rain and thunder morning! Though, it cleared off and the sun came out by 10. Still, yard was too wet for mowing, but there is always plenty of garden up-keep task available! Flowers needed snipping and cleaning up. The Sky Pencil trees and the Coral Bells in the pot needed mildew treatment. I dug up and moved some plugs of grass from one spot in back to some bare spots in front. The landscape ivy along the north wall needed hedging to keep the runners out of the house siding. And, finally, I have vinca's popping up everywhere and not necessarily where I want flowers, so I was pulling the young'uns up and transplanting them to more desirable spots. They bloom till frost and make a good show of color through out fall. I mentioned before I have that beautiful purple, pineapple looking Enygro. Well, it is, indeed, a bee magnet. Lots of honey bees and a couple carpenter bees, which I'm familiar with---but yesterday I saw something that