Posts

Showing posts from December, 2012

Bananas Thursday: An Odd Conversation

Image
     I wasn't trying to be funny. Really.      But it was just a very odd conversation.      It happened in the ladies dressing room at the YMCA. I was alone in the room and, having just finished the water aerobics class, was putting my shoes and socks on, when a lady I know from the base chapel came in. I often see her in various Y classes as well, sometimes even water aerobics.        She asked me if I knew so-and-so, who'd recently died.      I said I didn't.      She said so-and-so used to be a regular in the water aerobics classes.      Well, for one thing most of the ladies who attend water aerobics, aside from myself, the instructor and one other gal, average  between 65 and 80. Secondly, I don't know their names. Now if she'd shown me a picture and said "this is so-and-so," I would have said, "Ah, I now recognize her."      She then proceeded to tell more details. So-and-so's husband had come home and found her flat dead

Garden Pic Wednesday: Winter Arrangement

Image
Goooood morning and welcome back!  Almost a new year! Last full moon of 2012 will be this Friday! Did you have a good Christmas? The yahoo poll on that same question today was highest for Christmas being "as expected." I specifically asked for a fuzzy feeling new bathrobe, which my husband got for me and he needed a new belt. He also likes ankle socks---the kind that have a low rise of ribbing that go up the ankle 1 1/2 to 2 inches. And he prefers colors, but that's a challenge in that type of sock. Being a class of sport sock, they tend to be either black or white. Joe Boxer does make a set of red/blue/gray ones, but the color on them disappears inside the shoe, since the ankle ribbing on all 3 is plain black. However, I was lucky to encounter a different brand that had a visible stripe of color in actual ribbing. It was a set of 3, each with a different color stripe in the black or gray ribbing. He was quite pleased.   As for the garden---well, we had a light

Good Eating Monday: Pumpkin Cake!

Image
  Greetings! It's Christmas Eve---the night of magic, when "visions of sugar plums" will be dancing in everyone's heads! (And because Mama Kat's Prompt this week is "Share a Holiday Recipe," this post is doing double-duty!) Today's favorite holiday recipe from my recipe box is: Pumpkin Cake But don't let the name fool you---this is actually a dutch pumpkin pie done in a 10 x 13 cake pan--thus the name "cake." It's great for feeding a crowd, since you cut into 24 cake-size squares! Plus no messing around with pie crusts and less work, since you can feed dessert to 24 with one pan! And it's soooo delicious! It's best made one to two days in advance and just stored in the frig until the festive serving occasion! My sister sent me this recipe years ago and it's my go-to holiday dessert for Thanksgiving & Christmas! The recipe calls chopped nuts. I prefer the flavor of walnuts in this recipe, but y

Hear About the Mysterious Indiana Jones Journal?

Image
Actor Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones  Yes, an authentic "appearing" journal seeming to belong to "Professor Abner Ravenwood," concerning the Ark of the Covenant, which mysteriously arrived at the University of Chicago's Admissions Department addressed to one, "Henry Walton Jones, Jr." (i.e. Indiana Jones).  http://uk.news.yahoo.com/indiana-jones-journal-sent-university-211150623.html http://herocomplex.latimes.com/2012/12/14/indiana-jones-mysterious-mail-arrives-at-university-of-chicago/ After much speculation, it turns that this "journal" was a very well hand-crafted replica belonging to an eBay seller, which, while on the way to Italy from Guam, got lost by Post Office in Hawaii. Apparently,it lost some of it's address labeling and the post office ended up hand-writing a zip on it, sending it to the University of Chicago.     Because the journal is so well done, several University departments have expressed interest i

Garden Pic Wednesday: December Blooms

Image
   Welcome back!    I'm sitting here with a cup of coffee and a snack size Mounds bar. (My favorite!) My husband got me one of those boxes of 8. I keep them in the freezer and have one after lunch, maybe every other day or so, depending on what I eat for lunch. I've discovered coconut milk creamer and love that in my coffee now! Only about 5 calories for a cupful and so full of good-for-you stuff! (It doesn't taste like coconut!)   We had a good rain the past couple days and today I went around with my watering can of Miracle-Gro just now to the broccoli and various blooming or bulb flowers. I have ever-blooming southern strawberries that like to start blooming now, but I've decided to nip their blooms thru January, because the berries only freeze. For pictures today I have broccoli, red saliva & button mums!   First up, because it's so Christmasy colored, is red Saliva! This one is in a front bed pot. There are 2 pots, both with one. Tho

Good Eating Monday: Chocolate Peppermint Crinkles!

Image
  Christmas is only one week away! According to a news bit I saw, today is the busiest mail day for the post office, too! Is your mailing & shopping done? Today's Good Eating Christmas Cookie Recipe is: Chocolate Mint Crinkles Sometimes called  "Black & Whites." (Photo on card  to left are some I baked last year! ) They became one of my annual Christmas cookies after I planted some Chocolate Mint in my herb garden a couple years ago and they give me a way to use it! Even so, I usually I still have to add about 1/8 teaspoon of mint extract, because dried mint is not as strong as extract. I'm not a big one of for anything mint, but I find these cookies delightful, despite that, probably because the mint in them isn't overwhelming. Chocolate Peppermint Crinkles Ingredients 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1 teaspoon peppermint extract 2 cups white sugar                                    2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour

Best Christmas Lights Show 2011!

Image
I saw this Christmas light show featured as among the top 8 best---and thought I'd share it! It is quite good! It features a montage of Trans-Siberian Orchestra Christmas music---certainly among my favorite Christmas albums! This particular light show home owner used it to raise money for a particular charity last year. I often wonder how the neighbors handle it. Of course, I've read many such house display operators check with their neighbors first and get their okay, which is wise.   I used to live next to a lady who did a Christmas display---though, not an outside light display to music you can listen to in your car, like this.  No, hers involved an interior display set up in every room of her home, full of moving Christmas figures AND a lighted exterior pathway through more themed moving figures through her yard. Then she'd allow people to tour her home inside and out throughout the season from Thanksgiving through New Years for free with an optional

Mama Kat Thursday: A Trend I Can't Stand

Image
That's today's blog prompt topic: "A trend you can't stand"   There are a number of fashion faux pas trends I can't stand:   #1) The Super Skinny Trend :    This look is NOT beautiful. And it's definitely NOT healthy. I don't think the "Nazi death camp survivor look" is a cool image. It's also become quite trendy for actors to lose excessive amounts of weight just to attain an under-nourished look for some role. That can't be good for a person.       #2)  Too Low Cut Tops Trend I see this exposed clevage look all over and, to me, it's just soooo unclassy---an unnecessary. I don't want to see that when I'm walking around the mall.         #3)  Using Leggings Like Pants Trend This, too, looks sooo unclassy and generally  unflattering. Leggings are supposed to be worn under something like a long sweater. I hate the whole "pornification" trend in women's and girl'

Garden Pic Wednesday: Winter Gerber Daisy!

Image
 Seasons Greetings!   So have you got your Christmas cards out? I love sending and getting Christmas cards. It's an old fashioned thing to do, but, hey, texting and emailing aren't the same--nor a good substitute.  A card is like getting a small personal gift in the mailbox!   I was just snipping some Chocolate Mint to put in my dehydrator for drying. It was starting to hang over the pot and I don't want it to root in the ground and spread. It smells sooo good! Just like an Andes Mint. I'm planning on using it in my Chocolate Mint Crinkles.   The Garden Pic I have for today is of a very pretty gerber that popped up this week. It's a bit unusual in color--a pale pink with a soft yellowish-pink tint on petals surrounding the center. Before it opened, I thought it was actually going to be yellow. Then seeing it, I remembered this one is usually a true light pink. It's so lovely, I'll probably bring it in to add to my vase of Christmas gree

Good Eating Monday: Chocolate Clouds

Image
  Welcome to another Good Eating Monday of my December baking series! I've just made some Norwegian Christmas Bread and letting it rise while I do my blog today. However, instead of loaves, I plan on making individual buns with a biscuit cutter and muffin pans. Easier to serve that way. Sometimes it's just fun to knead & bake bread dough the old fashioned way! Today's featured recipe is: Chocolate Clouds!   These are basically a chocolate meringue cookie, similar in appearance to those in this picture, though I don't even try to make a curl on top on mine! It makes a melt-in-your mouth chocolate delight! Chocolate Clouds   3 egg whites, at room temperature 1/8 teaspoons cream of tartar 3/4 cup granulated sugar (no substituting on this one; must be sugar!) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 Tablespoons Hershey's Cocoa 2 cups (12 oz package) semi-sweet chocolate chips (or Special Dark ) Directions: Heat over to 300 degree

Oddities In The News & Comments About Them

Image
It's time for another inane bit of news and the witty comments it generates! This time the article is "5 Reasons We May Live in a Multiverse." http://news.yahoo.com/5-reasons-may-live-multiverse-205118857.html   As a long time Stargate SG-1 fan, this is a concept I've heard oft explained by Amanda Tapping's character, Colonel Carter.  In theory, it's the idea that an infinite number of parallel universes co-exist along side our own, yet are developing along different lines. These are alternate earth's where some versions of you might be very simliar as you are here, while in others you might have married someone different or followed a wildly different career path. Variations in history could occur, such as the South winning the Civil War or the Civil War never happening.   Sliders  Imagine a parallel universe where John F. Kennedy wasn't assassinated or the Titanic didn't sink. Or perhaps, in some alternate earth, there really are s

Mama Kat Prompt Thursday: Learning Gyoza

Image
Welcome Back! I had to mow up the leaves in the back yard before I could sit down and write! I have a Maple and a couple Bay Laurels that are real leaf litter bugs! I also pulled out my stash of Christmas cards. (I buy them on sale and have quite stockpile!)  When I looked in my storage closet, I was pleasantly surprised to discover I'd already cleverly marked with post-it's the ones to be used for this year, saving me the trouble of hauling them all out to sort through! That was a rare stroke of genius!    Today's Mama Kat Prompt is: "Something you learned in college."   Now that took something thinking, considering it's been so many years---but I finally came up with something, something I still use today! After 5 years in the Air Force, I went home to Indiana to attend Vincennes University. At the time, Vincennes was just a 2-year school. I lived in the dorms the first year---but being 25, quickly decided I hated that! So the next year

Wednesday Garden Pics: Miniature Rose!

Image
  Today's Garden Pic of the Day is one of my miniature roses! Just took this shot a couple days ago. I have 3 of them and the dark pink are loaded with buds! I also saw a Gerber putting up a blossom and I have a couple Hostas that get winter sun daily and one of those is putting up a blossom stem! The rest of the Hostas are on the shady north side of the house have retired for winter. And while I was photographing one of the little roses,  a Gulf Fritillary Butterfly landed next to me on the marigolds! So I grabbed this shot as well. December in north Florida isn't like December anywhere else. My broccoli is also looking quite handsome and I should have fresh broccoli somewhere between Christmas & New Years!     Come back tomorrow for Mama Kat Thursday!   The topic will be "something I learned in college."

Good Eating Monday: Banana Walnut Fruitcake!

Image
             Welcome to the first week of December! "Are you ready for Christmas?" seems to be the question on the tip of everyone's tongues! Every Monday this month I'll be featuring a Christmas baking goodie--favorites I use every year! First up, my favorite Banana Walnut Fruitcake recipe! I think fruitcake in general has a bad rap. Unfairly so. Historically, the most traditional form of fruitcake was a whiskey, bourbon or rum-soaked fruitcake. This is the one that has the reputation of being petrified and is the butt of fruitcake jokes. It involves making the cake 6 weeks in advance of Christmas, usually with an Old English mix of all candied fruits types and nuts. Then wrapped in cheese-cloth, it gets a weekly dousing  with a cup of bourbon, whiskey or rum. It packs a taste bud wallop, no doubt. Having had bites of this as kids is probably why a good many adults are turned off to fruitcake. My recipe today doesn't feature alcohol-s

USS Enterprise Retiring!

Image
    Uh, not the Star Ship---the Navy Aircraft Carrier. LOL. The Enterprise is notable for being the world's first nuclear powered Aircraft Carrier. She is destined for scraping, however, because removing the nuclear stuff will require knocking large holes in her. So a retired to the life of a floating museum is impossible. A time capsule including memorabilia and bits of scrap will be put together and stored until a new "Enterprise" carrier is built and that will be handed to the new captain at the launching ceremony. A new USS Gerald R. Ford and USS John F. Kennedy are slated first. In Star Trek IV, which was about the whales, Uhura and Chekov are detailed to find a nuclear source for recharging their Kinglon ship's dilithium crystals. Thus the famous line of Chekov asking a police officer with his Russian accent, where to find "Nuclear Wessels." There can be no mention of Star Trek IV without some Trekker immediately quoting that line! In an