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Showing posts from April, 2014

Garden Pic Wednesday: Beans & Lush Front Bed

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It's a sloppy day. Over the past 48 hourse here in North Florida we've had something in the range of 24 inches of rain. That's bad. Pensacola, which is 50 miles away, is suffering flooding on streets in low neighborhoods, roads washed out, drivers stranded in vehicles on watery streets, etc. G overnor Scott just arrived to assess their situation. Schools are closed. Our fitness center said no classes today. It's a mess.  It was a cold-front inspired storm last night that clashed into the warmer Gulf air resulting in a violent lighting storm with wind and rain all night long.  My back yard is a swamp again, particularly in the rain garden corner---but, that is as it should be. It is very slowing draining and is just pooled due to the bulk of water. Actually, the rain garden was just perfect after the first day of rain. It was the second day that was a bit much. Even so, all that rain water successfully drained away from the house, which is exactly as it should.

Good Eating Monday: Frozen Convenience Food Favs!

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Greetings my excellent friends! Last week of April! We had the good time at our retreat this past weekend (April 2014) and there will be pictures on Thursday this week as a "place recently visited" topic for Mama Kat! For today's Good Eating I have some frozen convenience food favorites to share, because sometimes we all just something quick and easy to fix for supper! Cheesy Kielbasa & Broccoli A super easy meal: just buy your boxes favorite mac & cheese, enough for the number you're feeding. Make up the mac & cheese in pot large enough to accommodate both the pasta & later the Kielbasa & veggie.  Cut up a head of broccoli, put in a large frying pan or wok & saute. While that's cooking, slice up your favorite flavor Kielbasa & add it to the broccoli. You can also add chopped onion or minced garlic if you like. Once Kielbasa and broccoli are hot, add to the mac & stir in until well combined. (If you're not a bro

Garden Pic Wednesday: My German Iris

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Today, I mowed the front yard and put down some top soil in a couple places that needed it. I also planted the two Million Bell plants (latin name: calibrachoa) that I  purchased about 10 days ago. I'm trying a different location then in past years. They seem prone to mildew if overly wet from rain or watering, but I have a one pink one that keeps coming back year after year and even survived the 16 degree freeze. So they can be a very good investment for the perennial garden.  I also noted my Queens Tears Bromeliads that lost all their greenery to this winters deep freeze are showing signs of new growth along their root bases. (Mine live outside in a dry, shady location. The girl who gave them to me kept them in pots outside as well.) Shows just how tough a "tropical" plant can be! Today's garden pic is a rare & lovely picture of one of my German Iris that decided it wanted to bloom this year: Gorgeous! This one has been a no show for at least

Good Eating Monday: Freezer Favorites!

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Greetings! Another week of April! My back yard has turned into a marsh! It's because we've had some heavy rains about once a week without adequate break between for the ground to dry out. I was working back there today, digging grass out of my projected rain garden area. I was slogging around in a mud pie.  I really need galoshes or rubber garden shoes. I saw a funny thing this evening as I looked out at the bird feeder. It's got a grill around the feeder in the middle to keep squirrels out. Larger birds won't fit--generally. But I saw Mr. Red Cardinal was sooo determined to get to the that primo seed, he wedged himself right through the bars to enjoy it! I sat watching through the back door to see if he could get out okay and he did. Smart bird. We're looking forward to the new Spiderman--lots of humor in it and we like this actor playing the part. Hated the other guy. We saw "Heaven Is Real."  Greg Kinnear did an excellent job. It's a very en

Mama Kat Prompt: The New Ceramic Cat

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Today's Mama Kat topic is:   "Something I bought this month that I love." I really love the various pieces of "garden art" I have scattered throughout my various flower beds and pots.. About 3 years ago I happened upon a blue and white ceramic cat at a thrift shop that I just absolutely fell in love with. I had to have him and he became the central star of my large front pot garden. He wintered over fine out there before, but this year it was unusually cold and I didn't realize my little ceramic cat had a solid clay face. Temps here in northwest Florida dropped to 16 degrees and my treasured ceramic cat's face blew off! His ear, too. I just loved him too much to discard and super-glued him back together, kept him in the garage until spring, then put him back in his special spot.  Even so, I felt I should keep my eyes peeled for a replacement,  though I didn't expect a ceramic cat suited to yard art that's neither larger nor smaller then

Garden Pic Wednesday: Roses, Oregano & Amaryllis!

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Ano ther day of yard work!  It was in the upper 30's last night, cool enough I had to wear a turtle neck to the Bible study we do on base! First time I've ever worn one this late in the spring! But temps went back to normal the next day. To day I planted several shrubs I bought last week: A Bridal Veil bush, which is also called Spirea (such as pictured to left)  and 2 new Lantana: a dark all-pink and a orange/red. All are in the back "woodsy" area, which I can see out my back sliding glass door. In general I'm trying to improve my view with various flowers, shrubs, hostos & ground cover. First up for Garden Pics today:  Pretty red roses from my new rose topiary tree arranged in a vase with a Flag Iris and Pin Cushion flowers:   Next, my lovely Greek Oregano on the side wall: This is such great stuff! Not just because of flavor, but it's an extremely durable perennial, that comes back yearly.  It's prime for cutting and dryin

Good Eating Monday: Home-made Guacamole

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Greetings!  I'm late on posting today, because I spent most of the day outside, working in the yard & flower beds ahead of an expected overnight rain storm.  I was putting down topsoil in water-pooling problem areas and planting purple Petunias & Red Salvia in several pots and the new back bed. My Rain Lily bulbs arrived in the mail today, too. They're for the in-progress rain garden in back, but I'm waiting for the other item I ordered to arrive before planting those. What's neat about those is they bloom when it rains. Perfect for a rain garden where water pools! ****** We saw the new Captain America: The Winter Soldier movie this past weekend and enjoyed it. We've been watching Agents of SHIELD on television, which is following the same story line about Hydra infiltrating SHIELD, so seeing the movie made  the story more complete. There are some witty moments mixed in with the action, as usual. Also, as in previous Marvel films, there are TWO scen

Friday Finds: Funny Baby Pics

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I didn't like any of the Mama Kat options this week, so we're going directly to Friday Finds: hilarious baby pics from Pinterest! Look at the kids faces in this one: Enjoy!  Come Back Monday for Good Eating!

Garden Pic Wednesday: Spring Flowers!

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When we drove up to Indiana at the end of March 2014, it was still winter. It even snowed, though it melted away the same day. When we drove home to Florida again, the further south we drove the greener things got. We arrive home to find spring fairly exploding and everything coming to bloom, the grass rich and green and the trees leaved out. Below is one of my Azaleas: this one is in fuller bloom this year then any of my others! (They're unpredictable that way.) Next: Ever seen a green scallion in bloom?  Here you go. I have a pot full of green onions that have been in there a couple years and this year they've bloomed! Pretty. And Last: my yellow Flag Iris: These like a boggy, wet area and bloom profusely in spring. perfect for rain gardens. They also come in purple. I cut some to mix in with my purple Dutch Iris and they perform okay in a vase, though each blossom only lasts one day, but each stem contains 2 to 3 more blossoms that bloom in turn as

Good Eating Monday: Fabulous Dining on the Road

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Greetings! We've been away visiting family in Indiana for 2 weeks and now I'm back! Since I haven't been here to do any cooking, I decided to feature some of the great places we had meals at in Terre Haute and our favorite Alabama steakhouse for this weeks Good Eating! We were in Terre Haute Indiana, home of the Clabber Girl Baking Powder plant, museum & bakery. (They also make Rumford Baking Powder, which is a different formula then Clabber Girl. Who knew different brands of baking powder have their own unique formulas?) My 92 year old Uncle was visiting, so we took him, ourselves, my Mother and met up with sister, Patty, and neice, Caitlin, at the Clabber Girl Bakery for brunch. They have a delightful menu of breakfast and lunch options and served Rex coffee, which they roast on the premises. I had a classic baking powder biscuit with egg & cheese, but Mother and hubby had a Sunshine Breakfast featuring wholegrain toast, plain yogurt with granola