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Showing posts from September, 2012

Mama Kat Thursday: Fall Leaves!

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Today's blog prompt is: Write a post inspired by the word: "leaves"  Pretty maple in Terre Haute, IN I grew up in the rolling hill country of southern Indiana, surrounded by deep woods. We had quite a variety: beech, hickory, sassafras, ironwood, ash, tulip, red maple, silver maple, dogwood, red bud, red oak, white oak, pin oak, swamp oak and sycamores that all turned rich colors of yellow, orange or russet come fall. Autumn was a gorgeous time, but it isn't just beautiful color I remember. Thinking of leaves also reminds me of the hours of fun my sisters and I had playing with them! Of course, jumping in a leaf pile is customary. We had an abundance of oaks near the house that dropped ponderous  quantities of large leaves, so it was easy to rake up a big, fluffy pile for jumping.  Another thing we'd do is create "playhouses" with leaves. We'd rake them into rows forming walls, rooms and doorways, then we'd play dolls in our "l

Garden Pic Wednesday: Coleus

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I've spent the past couple days following butterflies around with my camera and actually did get some good shots! September is butterfly season in North Florida. It's also dragonfly season. I see them flying around in pairs often, which I guess is part of their courtship ritual. The type of dragonfly particularly common here is called the "Eastern Pondhawk." The males are the prettiest baby blue color. Because they tend to perch and just sit, I find them occasionally willing photo subjects. I captured some very find pictures of a young male Pondhawk yesterday "perched" on the top of an old day lily stem. (Young meaning not full grown in size.) I also have the biggest toad I've ever seen living in my front gardens. I startle him occasionally out of wherever he's hiding--from under the gardenia a couple days ago. My husband has seen him, too, out on the front sidewalk at dusk, under the outside light.  He's at least 3 inches in size from head

Good Eating Monday: Rosemary!

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Rosemary is one of the easiest, most carefree herbs to grow. The common upright variety does grow into a fairly large shrub, so you'll want to plant it appropriately---whether in an in-ground location with room for a 4-5 foot wide shrub or a fairly large pot.  It makes an excellent landscape shrub that is hardy in most zones.  There are a couple different varieties: the upright shrub and a low-growing ground-cover type. The upright has the longer, more pungent leaves. It does have a pretty bloom. Upright shrub type Rosemary Health-wise, rosemary is a super antioxidant! It's good for your skin, liver, bloodflow and apparently the scent can enhance thinking and memory as well as lower stress. Feeling stressed? Add a sprig to your steamy bathwater and take a long soak! Most noteably, rosemary kills HCA's, so ideally you should give any meat you plan to grill, broil, fry or smoke a generous sprinkle. I've read you can snip some sprigs and put them on the grill

Mama Kat Prompt Thursday: 6 Word Memoir

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The Mama Kat Writing Prompt challenge for today is:  "Add an image to your own 6 word memoir on any topic." So here's mine.  It's on the topic of creativity.   Too many ideas. Not enough time.      

Wednesday Garden Pics: Autumn

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I have good news about the Mole Cricket battle---it's at least in general finished. At this point, I'm letting the pesticide products do their work. I really don't prefer to use pesticide on my yard and generally don't need to, but as it turns out, not only did I have the cricket problem in front, I had a flock of web-worm moths flying out of the grass in back. Luckily, the same pesticide works on those, too. My real concern about the mole crickets really isn't "pretty" grass; it's water shed control . By mole crickets eating the grass roots, the grass dies, turning the effected area to dirt, then it rains, and since I live in Florida where it rains a lot and have  sandy  soil, the rain water has nothing to hold it or slow it down, so it absorbs. Instead it pours across the soil unrestrained. So, for me, managing the rain water is the main issue. I really care little for nice looking grass. It's tedium to mow, which is why I have so ma

Mama Kat Prompt Thursday: Sounds

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Welcome to blogging prompt day ! Last week I told a story about being "scolded" by a customer wheile working at a flower shop. That elicited numerous comments of similar consumer abuse experiences. Even my mother recalled being harangued over the phone years ago as a young woman working in a store by a lady dissatisfied with the lack of timely delivery of whatever she ordered.. Mother said she said something like, "Now you get on a bicycle right now and get that over here," during her tirade. I didn't ask the era, but guess 1940's sometime. Unfortunately, some things never change.   This weeks prompt is: "Listen to the sounds in your house for 5 or 10 minutes. Write about what you hear."   What sounds do I hear in my house? I took a walk around to listen. In this room, where my computer is, the ceiling fan, which is a cheap small size fan we installed, has never run quietly. It's has a noticeable creaking sort of hum that's leas

Wednesday Garden Pic: Mole Cricket Hunting

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I suppose you've been waiting with baited breath to see a photo of what mole crickets can do to a lawn?  Mole crickets turn a lawn to dirt because they eat the roots of grass, particularly the centipede & St.Augustine grasses that frequent southern lawns. Two pictures below: The damaged area as it looked after a cricket infestation a couple years ago and a picture of the same area from the year before they I had such a terrible problem. What mole cricket damage looks like. Reduces grass to dirt. Side view of same exact area last year full of grass. I think there was a double whammy that effected this particular area: first too much rain, so maybe some mildew weakened the grass, then secondly, a rash of mole crickets and still too much rain for me to be able to really do anything about it. Mole crickets tunnel just below the surface of the soil leaving a "trail" of a raised tunnel line of dirt that is easily recognized in any area of exposed soil

Good Eating Monday: Ginger!

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Today's common spice topic is: Ginger It's sold as either a ground spice in the spice section or as a fresh root in the produce section. Both types are equally good. Ginger is a fantastic cold fighter. I like to keep some kind of ginger tea on hand during cold season. It helps the body fight the cold basically. I like the ginger-peach combination whenever I can find it. Also you can grate a touch of fresh ginger into your own tea mug and get the same benefit. So, if you feel a cold coming on, break out the ginger tea. Ginger is also a good treatment for motion sickness & sea sickness. Just buy some gingersnap cookies and have them on hand when your travel or take sea trip or ride that wild amusement park ride. A few cookies and you'll feel fine. I know this because I was on a local boat trip in the Gulf and I was horribly sea sick, but the crew kept gingersnaps on hand and after eating about 6 or 7, I felt TERRIFIC! It made me feel human again! Ginger h

Mama Kat's Prompt Day: The Scolding

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Today's prompt topic is: "Write about a time you were scolded…as an adult ." A dozen horrible memories from my flower shop days of "scoldings" immediately popped into my head. There was a doozy in particular I'm going to share. First, I have to explain a couple things for you to get the proper picture of the rules floral designers live by. The flower shop I worked in was a Teleflora member. That means if someone anywhere orders a Teleflora arrangement, whether online or from a book in a store, I, as the floral designer, had to make exactly that arrangement, as closely as my supplies and flowers would allow. A member flower shop can be heavily fined for not keeping this rule.  Many times the receiver of said Teleflora design wouldn't like it---because people tend to pick pictures based on their own tastes, not those of their friend or relative. It was shop policy, though, to replace any arrangement with something the customer preferred of equal v

Garden Pic Wednesday: Hen & Chicks Flower

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 It's been rainy over night, so it looks wet outside this morning. Can't mow, but perhaps I'll be able to walk around and pick up the cones and branch clutter left over from Isaac's wind. I have sad news about that Swallowtail Butterfly crystalis I had in a container to watch. It did hatch--about 3 days earlier then expected. However, the wings didn't form properly. It was crippled. I was heart-broken. But I've seen that before in the insect world. It happens. I've seen it happen in the human world, too---I used to work in labor & delivery while I was in the Air Force---not all "butterflies" come out properly formed. That things work that way now doesn't mean they ought to work that way. I was reminded of Romans 8: 20-21 that says, " For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from it's slavery to corruption in

Good Eating Monday: Coffee Mug Cake!

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Today is our Wedding Anniversary! 30 years strong! So, we're having a day of celebration at a local water park! Today's topic is a coffee mug cake recipe. First, I'll give you the  original recipe, followed by suggestions for how I make this quickie dessert a little lower fat:   Chocolate Coffee Mug Cake   Spray the inside of 1 regular mug with oil spray. In a small bowl combine: 4 Tbsp sugar 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour 2 Tbsp cocoa 1 egg 3 Tbsp milk 3 Tbsp oil 3 Tbsop chocolate chips                                                         Dash of Vanilla   Mix the above ingredients together, pour into a regular, oil sprayed mug and cook in a 1000 watt microwave exactly 3 minutes. Cake will rise out of mug during cooking, then will sink again once done. Pour into a dish an enjoy---or split with a friend. Serves 1 or 2.     The Lower-Fat Version 4 Tbsp Splenda 4 Tbsp wheat flour 2 Tbsp cocoa 1 egg (or substitute an equal amount of Eggbe