Posts

Showing posts from March, 2014

Mama Kat Thursday: A Favorite Childhood Book

Image
Today's Mama Kat topic is: "Your favorite children's book."     My grade school lacked a formal library. Instead, they had a make-shift library set up in the principal's office. It was a set of wooden shelves loaded with books. I don't think it was there when I was in earlier grades, but I definitely remember using it when I was in 6th grade. That's where I discovered "The Black Stallion" youth series by Walter Farley.      I had a passion about horses, but was destined to only read about them in books.      The Black Stallion story  begins when a young boy, Alex, suffers a shipwreck along with a huge black horse. The pair survive, Alex holding onto the horses tail while he powerfully swam, eventually awakening on a deserted island beach. Eventually horse and boy become friends, are rescued and return to civilization.      Each story would climax in at least one horse race.  I know they did a couple films based on the books, but I found

Garden Pic Wednesday: First Dutch Iris!

Image
Greetings! Another lovely spring day on the Gulf Coast! I've had a lot to do today: put houseplants out, replant the Wandering Jew, plant my two baby tomato seedlings and finish planting 2 trays of grass plugs! My houseplants spend all summer under the shrubs at the back of the north side Hosta bed, where they can get fat and happy again after surviving my somewhat negligent water schedule.  The Wandering Jew spends winter in a vase of water in my kitchen, then summer as a display plant in a pot in a front bed. The two baby tomatoes needed their spot "prepped" for planting with garden soil and fertilizer & poles driven in to tie them up on later. I had to put them in the far back bed this year, where I normally put squash or melon, this year because apparently tomatoes don't like being next to cabbage!  Who knew? Guess what? The whole middle of my veggie garden is occupied by red cabbage! I'll have to plan that better next fall! (Actually a lot of thing

Good Eating Monday: Tortilla Casserole

Image
Happy St. Patrick's Day! Many ladies in the Zumba class this morning were wearing green shirts. I never bother. I lost interest in St. Patrick's Day years ago, back when I was a kid in school, when forgetting to wear green resulted in pinching. It didn't find that tradition very much fun. There was a down-pour over the weekend. Perfect for checking water flow and pooling in my yard. Sometimes, it's helpful to work with the problem while the water is present, so that was what I was doing today. Also I had herb seedlings that needed planting. Today's Good Eating recipe is one I make often in winter during baking and Cilantro season: Tortilla Casserole.  It's great for a crowd or a family and easy to double for more then one pan. This recipe can easily be made vegetarian by just omitting the meat and increasing beans from 1 to 2 cans. Really, this recipe is basically a Mexican style lasagna. It calls for picante, but if you have salsa on hand feel

Friday Finds: Falkor & Patrick

Image
We have a singles Bible Study on Tuesday nights for U.S.Air Force kids on base and a couple weeks ago the opening trivia question was: "If you could have a dog, what kind of dog would you choose?" One of the guys answered, "Falkor. " Falkor is famous dog-like Luck Dragon from Never Ending Story. Who didn't want a Falcor after watching that? I thought that the best answer I ever heard! Falkor, by the way, is a Norse name that means "Guardian of the People." This second picture just cracked me up when I saw it on Pinterest! (Patrick the Starfish added to this scene with Pepper and Tony Stark from first Iron Man.) That's all the finds for today! Have a great weekend!

Mama Kat Thursday: 10 Fav Snacks

Image
The Mama Kat prompt selected for today is: "My Top 10 Favorite Snacks As A Kid." I had to set the Way-Back Machine for the late 1960's and journey back in time to those simpler days to even remember what snack enjoyed in my kid-hood. We'd have treats sometimes, like a candy bar or something, but that wasn't my favorite snack. Favorite snacks were usually readily available in the cabinet or refrigerator at home. So, here's my list of my favorite snacks growing up: #1)   Peanut Butter on Graham Crackers with A Glass of Milk . I used to like dipping them in the milk so they'd get a little soggy (and still do, though I rarely have grahams on hand, mostly because I like eating them too much !) #2)   Bran Muffins with Peanut Butter.  These were home-made usually with raisins from an All-Bran cereal recipe. #3)   Plain Catsup Sandwich. I'd just spread a little catsup on wiener bun. Did I mention I absolutely love catsup? #4)   Frosted

Garden Pic Wednesday: My Drainage Fix

Image
I've often spoken about having drainage issues around my house that I'm working on here and there, but you may not be able to picture actually what I'm talking about.  Below in one such example: This is a picture of my Hosta bed on the northeast side of my house, adjacent to the garage after an ordinary, fairly heavy over-night thunder storm: The water pooled largely because the ground on the outside of the bed is low and, during a down-pour, water also spills over from the corner rain gutter above. (It does disappear overnight generally!) Because my property is lower then the property on either side of me, it often takes some imaginative engineering to over come such issues. Next: The "After" photo: I created a pea-gravel filled drainage channel bordered by brick pavers, then raised the soil level on the other side of the pavers. It actually rained after I first finished putting this in and there was no pooling after a moderate

Good Eating Monday: Dill Weed

Image
Today was nice out, so I devoted much of the day to spring clean-up in the back yard: mowing up leaves, edging beds & laying in some pine bark mulch. (Often just along outer edges of larger beds that remain largely mulched with pine needles.) Today's Good Eating topic is a spice profile: Dill Weed. Probably because I've sprouted some seeds that are nearly ready for moving into the garden! This feathery savory herb gets it's name form the Norwegian word "dilla" meaning "to soothe."  (As medicinal herb it has been used to soothe digestive troubles.) In the herb garden, it's also a fav food for Swallowtail larva! Health Benefits of Dill Weed include:     * Being an antioxidant with  dietary fiber, that can help control blood cholesterol levels. * Being rich in folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin-A, vitamin B-carotene & vitamin-C.  ( Use Dill fresh for the most vitamin-C benefit.) * Being a good source of minerals

Friday Finds: Star Wars & Princess Bride Humor

Image
Uh...Should We Answer? May the Force with You...and Other Stuff! Have a great weekend!

Mama Kat Thursday: Pinterest Inspirations

Image
The Mama Kat topic for today is "Pinterest Inspired!" So here are some Pinterest inspired ideas for the yard & garden that I'm giving a whirl: Adding copper pennies to my bird bath to keep algae out. The copper has a chemical interaction against the algae, so pennies must be dated 1982 or earlier for adequate copper content. I dug around in my coin jar and found several pennies from the mid-70's, including one for 1975, the year I graduated! Into the bird bowl it went. (I can't say this works 100%. After awhile the algae seemed to build back up, but it was less severe.) Banana Peels For My Roses: I actually started chopping up banana peel and digging it into the ground around my various roses a couple years ago, ever since someone told me that "Roses Love Banana Peels." What I'm going to try that's new is : mixing used coffee grounds with chopped banana peel and mixing that concoction into the soil before I plan

Garden Pic Wednesday: Summer Snowflakes & Winter Jasmine!

Image
I have things in my garden I don't know the names of, but I like to. So, I spent this morning searching the web, trying to figure out what these flowers I have are: Let me introduce you to Summer Snowflakes! These are a member of the Snow Drop family of early spring bloomers. There is also a "Spring Snowflake" that performs better further north, according to what I read, but the "Summer Snowflake" is best for the deep south. It looks something like a giant Lilly of the Valley, with a row of 3 to 5 white bells with the little green  markings.  It's sort of an old fashioned heirloom flower obtained by passing from gardener to gardener. I've never seen it in garden catalogs. It's a bulb which I got from extensive, but abandoned garden, that was behind the flower shop where I used to work. (The lady who used to own the flower shop lived in an apartment behind the business portion and cared for the garden until she died.) She liked sharing

Good Eating Monday: Slow-Cooker Pork Chops & Apples!

Image
Welcome to a new week in March! Today's Good Eating recipe is one from Pillsbury. I signed up for 30 days of slow-cooker recipes from them, though I have to say this one for "Pork Chops & Apples" is the only one that struck me as interesting. And it is delicious! Pillsbury recipe users always leave lots of comments on recipes, so I read through those before trying the recipe. (always a good idea with Pillsbury's stuff.) There were a few good pointers and I've included those suggested revisions in the recipe (like not cooking apples for whole 4 hours or cutting them too small!) Slow Cooker Pork Chops & Apples: Ingredients: 4 to 6 center cut, bone-in loin chops, (depends on how many come on a tray at your grocery.) Do not trim off the fat because, in a slow-cooker, that helps the meat be tender. Salt & Pepper to season chops with. 6 Tablespoons brown sugar 1 teaspoon ground ginger 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon red pepper