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Showing posts from June, 2014

Good Eating Monday: Hobo Potatoes

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Odd fact: hair  doesn't  turn gray evenly. Last fall I started getting my hair colored with a non-ammonia color at my local salon to cover this oddity.   My right side is grayer then the left and I actually have a rather strong skunk stripe on my right front hairline, giving me a rather one-sided Rogue look.  My hair used to have a red-tone, but in the graying process, the red is the first thing to go as each hair strand takes on a darker ash brown before ultimately turning gray. So, I selected a natural looking golden brown and found the initial process interesting, since I'd never done it before. I like looking for the various hair swatches close to my natural hair color for what I like best.   Today's Good Eating recipe is Hobo Potatoes! When we grill out, which is a lot in summer, this is my favorite thing to put together! Hobo Potatoes is just thinly sliced, seasoned potato wrapped in a foil packet and put on the grill. I prefer red potatoes, so my recipe

Mama Kat Thursday: 4-H Clubbing

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Mama Kat's blog prompt this week is, "Talk about a club from my childhood that I belonged to." 4-H. That was my club. I was about 10 when my Mother took me to the Wilbur Community Center to be part of our local "Wilbur Shamrocks" 4-H Club back in the mid-60's. There was a mix of boys and girls ranging from my age to teenagers at the monthly meetings. We'd sing, discuss club business, play games and eat snacks. Club members held official positions like President, Vice-President, Secretary and so on. Minutes were kept and read. All very official. Eventually, I worked my way to holding several such offices. Everyone in the club had to sign up for at least one "project," such as "Foods" for example, and I'd spend the summer cooking various things, learning about nutrition, learning proper place setting and so on. There was also a workbook with a list of requirements and space for noting accomplishments that I would fill out. Th

Garden Pic Wednesday: Giant Hardy Hibiscus!

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I'm very excited today---I captured a fantastic photo of a adult Eastern Pondhawk Dragonfly! He was poised on a stick in the back yard near the back fence. I was looking out the sliding glass door and saw him land he stayed there until I walked back their to take his photo! (That they perch to rest is something they're known for.)  I'm pretty sure it was a male, which has a blue back, but he was in the sun with his head facing me, so mostly his black-filigree wings and large blue green eyes were prominent. Also, I discovered I can take a pretty good picture of a bird right through my sliding glass door!  I got a really good shot of a Blue Jay today, eating a piece of popcorn on the nearby fence! (He was about 12 to 15 feet away.) I'm still getting used to my camera's capabilities! Today's Garden Pic of the Day is my giant Red Hardy Hibiscus in the front yard! This thing is towers slightly more then 8 feet tall! I have an 8 foot stake in the middle I

Good Eating Monday: No Bake Cherry Yum Yum!

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I caught the neatest snapshot this morning!  I throw popcorn out for the birds. (We have this microwave plastic bowl for popping corn that I use to pop a handful of kernals.) Even if it's dried up or rained on, the birds still eat it. This morning, looking out the sliding glass door, I saw a Box Turtle happily munching away on yesterday's old popcorn.  So I grabbed my camera and got several fantastic shots! He saw me standing on the patio, of course, and froze. Box Turtles seem to have pretty good eyesight. He just watched me without moving until I went back in the house, then he resumed eating. In one shot, he froze with a kernal of popcorn in his mouth. Hilarious. Also, I decided to look inside that birdhouse I so often see tree frogs on at the hole, since it has a tiny back door. I was wondering whether they just sit on the front or were they actually living inside? I peered inside the back door and pretty much scared a family of tree frogs living inside to death.

Mama Kat Thursday: A Taste Of Florida Summer

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Today's Mama Kat blog prompt is: "A taste of summer..." I live in north Florida on the Panhandle . I want to emphasize "north" because everyone not from Florida tend to think everywhere in Florida is somehow next to Disney World. The truth is, I'm so far away from Disney World, I'm in another time zone! So, let me show you a taste of "Florida summer" in my neck of the woods: Florida Summer is  Cooking Out, Even in Drizzley Rain : Summer means the Hubby does more of the cooking! Funny thing, right after I snapped this shot that beach umbrella got a hole and that was the end of it.  Flordia Summer Means Melons Aplenty! We buy a watermelon at least weekly, though my fav is honeydew. Hubby likes the cantelope, which I can't stand.  Florida Summer is Mowing. Lots of Mowing.  Because It Rains. This is my electric mower. I do all the yard work. It's part of my weekly exercise program! Florida

Garden Pic Wednesday: Shades of Blue

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It's getting to be sweltering in the early afternoon, so I headed out  by 10 a.m. to get when it was still below 80 to mow the back yard.  I did a little clean-up on spent day lily stems and my Cannas with diluted Neem to give them a little protection and being further devoured by Leaf-rollers. (The lavre of Long-tailed Skippers!)  But it's been long enough; they should be done now. I saw my first butterfly today, a Gulf Fritillary!  lenty of Pondhawke dragonflies about, though I haven't caught one on camera this year--yet! (These are one of the few dragonflies that will perch and rest long enough for a picture!) I've got a pair of Thrashers, which is type of large brown bird, eager to pick up any popcorn or chips I throw out on the ground! Plus, I was delighted recently to see the courtship ritual of not just one pair of Cardinals, but two! He offers her a seed. She accepts and that seals the deal for one nesting season! Today's featured pic is a collage I p

Good Eating Monday: No Bake Twinkie Cake

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Last night, being Sunday, we have a small group Bible Study for some of the Air Force guys and girls who serve as leaders for our larger Tuesday group. One of the guys is named Sjon (pronounced Shawn). He's six feet tall. When he walked in the door, Megan said, "My, but you're looking tall today, Sjon." That quickly led to a discussion about how tall he was and about height in general. Megan said that, according to studies, all of us are taller when we first get up in the morning and that we shrink slightly as the day goes on, due to gravity, so we're shorter by evening. I looked at Sjon. "So in the morning, Sjon is a tall, but turns into a dwarf at night?" That resulted in a roar of laughter.   Today's Good Eating recipe is one on my list to try, though I haven't made it yet: No Bake Twinkie Cake! Though this calls for a box of Twinkies, thawed & sliced frozen pound cake can be substituted for Twinkies, if Twinkies aren't availabl

Mama Kat Thursday: A Good Laugh

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The Mama Kat prompt topic for today is: "What was the last thing that made you laugh?" My big laugh this week came from making a friend of ours, Evan, laugh. Now Evan is one of the young Air Force guys who attends our weekly Tuesday Bible Study at the Airman Center on base. He's a clean-cut, straight-laced Christian guy of about 22. He doesn't swear, smoke or drink. He's an expert on everything mechanical in a vehicle. That's his job in the Air Force as well as just something he loves to do.  He's also really into fitness and lifting weights, so if you could turn Hugh Jackman blonde and shorten him to 5-6, he'd be Evan.  But the most notable thing about young Mr. Evan is his laugh. He loves to laugh. He's even proud of his laugh. It's a boisterous, loud, explosive laugh that rises to a shrill crescendo that everyone can hear from every room in the Airman Center! He just recently came back from a six-month deployment, so there's

Garden Pic Wednesday: Gardenia Topiary!

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A friend asked me recently how do I keep up with all the weeds? At the time I didn't have a good answer to actually, because I've never really gave it any thought.   So, I've been paying attention and what I notice is I weed as I go, while I'm doing other things. For example, all the spent day lily stalks need cutting and, as I cut them, if I see any weeds, I pull them up as I go. My friend is just establishing mulch beds around her home, so she has pre-existing weed seeds still popping up. It will take a whole season of mulch build-up to eliminate that problem. (The heat and darkness mulch provides does that.) My beds are all years old with deep, well established mulch. Still, one cannot ever totally get rid of weeds, except by a layer of landscape plastic, which is practical where you don't plan on making additional plantings that will require digging thru it.   I like my flower beds free to be adjusted and I like volunteer flower sprouts, so I don'

Good Eating Monday: Watergate Salad

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Sometimes I enjoy "puttering chores" around the yard and flower beds and that's what I did this morning. "Puttering" includes watering, putting up a clothes line again (for like hanging out blankets to dry and so on), planting remaining grass sod, cleaning out and refilling the bird-feeder and picking blueberries and blackberries.  Today's Good Eating recipe is Watergate Salad! This is a great, very easy summertime salad/dessert!  The basic recipe was introduced by the Kraft Corporation in 1975 as "Pistachio Pineapple Delight," to promote their new Jello Pistachio pudding. How it came to be called "Watergate Salad" remains something of a mystery.  Some claim it was an unnamed Chicago food editor who coined the name in her column, but no proof of such an article has ever turned up. Some say the name came from the Watergate Hotel, after the Denver Post published their recipe for "Watergate Salad," in 1976.  Others

Friday Finds: Funny Father's Day!

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Since Father's Day is quickly approaching (June 15) here's a few funny Father's Day's gift ideas: Worlds Greatest Farter...I Mean Father STAND BACK!! Dad's Cooking  Apron MEAT FIRE GOOD  Mug Proud Head of the HOUSE OF CHAOS  Mug Well, hope you found some inspiration for Father's Day! Have a great weekend!  See You Monday!

Mama Kat Thursday: Pinterest Recipe Rescue

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Actually, I found this recipe and pinned it on Pinterest myself, which to me is close enough. I was interested in it because it was a no-bake cookie bar. A pan of No-Bake Rocky Road Bars sounded delicious! And easy. Well as it turns out, it wasn't quite so easy. Nor did it work as expected. There was too much graham cracker crumb and not enough evaporated milk called for in the recipe.  The picture attached to recipe Plus, the pic attached to the recipe wasn't even the correct one. This is it. A fancy 3-layer bar. (And there's even coconut on top!) How the bars should look This pic is what the bars should look like, since you're not layering anything, but just clumping all the ingredients together in a bowl, then pressing them into a pan! Mine didn't come out looking like this--not quite. A mere 3/4 cup of evaporated milk mixed into 12oz of melted chocolate chips DID NOT make the chocolate thin enough to adequately saturated 4 cu

Garden Pic Wednesday: Working Rain Garden!

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Welcome to my continued adventures in Florida gardening! Today's Pic of the Day is my hard working rain garden! This shot is about 9:30 in the morning after a pretty good rain. You can see the standing water.  By about 5 pm, all that water was gone. You can see the ruddy leaves of my Giant Red-Leaf tropical lily in the center and, behind it, the similar colored Chocolate Elephant Ears! With all the lilies in bloom, it looks rather stunning! Also, I have two shots of recent vase arrangements I've had in the house I arranged from what was blooming outside: I was a florist for 17 years, which helps. Last week: White Easter Lilies! (Trivia: Lilies last longer if you snip off their stamens before putting in a vase!)  This week: Blue Hydrangea's & Purple Gladiolas! Trivia I've recently learned about Hydrangea's: They should not be trimmed back later then July, if at all. Snipping on them in the fall ruins their spring bloom! (f

Good Eating Monday: Jello Strawberry Pretzel Squares

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We visited friends in Pensacola this past weekend. They live in housing community that surrounds a lake. There's an upside and downside to living by a lake. The upside is it's pretty and has ducks. The downside is lake water invading your living room after a sudden drop of 26 inches of rain! Luckily, our friends house was just high enough to avoid this, though a good many of their neighbors were not so lucky.  Our friends observed, "a disaster is a good way to meet your neighbors."  (They helped quite a few of them pull stuff out of their homes.) Here in Florida, we're entering our summer rainy season that involves hit and miss spots of rain,  mostly due to evaporation from the heat.  I'll have a pic this week of my rain garden at work. It's always gratifying to do something that works. Today's Good Eating Recipe is another no-bake gelatin dessert: "Strawberry Pretzel Squares." However, I don't recommend trying to ma