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Showing posts from July, 2016

Friday Finds: Wekiwa Springs State Park!

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Today, another hidden Florida State Park gem! Wekiwa Springs State Park! Wekiwa State Park is located somewhat northwest of Orlando in Apopka, Fl. (All photos shown here are from park website) A Brief History: The area was originally known as Clay Springs until 1906 when the name was changed to Wekiwa, which means "spring of water" & Wekiva, which means, "flowing water," in Creek Indian. In 1941, the Apopka Sportsman Club purchased the land from the Wilson Cypress Company, who was lumbering the area for hardwood. The Club used the area for hunting & fishing until they sold it to the State of Florida for use as a State Park in 1969. The Wekiva River along with several other Florida rivers are protected under the National Wild And Scenic Rivers System, which was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson in 1968 to preserve them for the enjoyment of present and future generations. Wekiwa State Park Offers: *Swimming & snorkeli

Mama Kat Thursday: Throwback Thursday!

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The challenge today was to look over photos from last July and pick one to write about. I discovered on nearly this exact date in July 2015, I featured this photo of one of my melons growing in my garden: It's an Amy Melon, which is basically a Golden Honeydew. The outside turns bright yellow; the inside is white. Of course, I had seeds left to use again this year: Here's my 2016 Amy Melon! It's quite pretty in the late day sunlight and quite a bit plumper then last year. Because I have pests that will bore into the melon from the ground underneath, I put old cat food or tuna cans under my mine. This one is actually sitting on a large tuna can. It got too big for the cat food can, LOL. And a bonus Melon photo: My sister, Pat, who lives in Indiana, set up a whole new veggie garden space and yesterday sent me a pretty shot of two Cantelope's coming along nicely in her bed: **** So, what's growing in your neck of the woods? Thanks

Garden Pic Wednesday: Dark Lady Tiger Swallowtail!

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Hubby and I make a weekly hobby of reading the Police Blotter that comes in the free local Wednesday paper to see what weird things are going on in our town:   Here's a couple highlights from this week: * A guy riding along on roadway on his bike reported several unknown persons in a gray van chased him, attempted to take his picture, asked for his I.D. and tried to block  him,  he continued to ride away until he crashed on Cedar Dr.  (He crashed ? That's it? But there was nothing more in the report.) * Police responded to a local Tom Thumb Convenience Store where a woman was reported yelling and creating a disturbance . Police arrived, spoke with her. She then got into her vehicle and went on her way.  (One is left wondering what there was to yell about at a convenience store?) **** Today's Garden Pic is a lovely shot of a female dark-form Tiger Swallowtail: You may not know that about Tiger Swallowtails, the showy, typically yellow and black butterflies yo

Good Eating Monday: Double Chocolate Muffins!

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Today's Good Eating recipe is another favorite from my little Country Crock cookbook: Double Chocolate Muffins! Dark & rich with cocoa & chocolate chips--what could be better! This recipe can be easily adjusted, if you want to use a sugar substitute or replace the oil with a banana or applesauce or use a combo of flour & rolled oats in your flour measurement. This recipe is for a muffin pan with 2 1/2 inch cups to make 12 muffins: if you use muffin pan with small cups you end up with 18 or so. (Photo is a general one from Pinterest for illustrative purposes.) Double Chocolate Muffins Ingredients: 2 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour 1 cup Hershey's cocoa 1 cup sugar 1 Tablespoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 large egg 1 cup Milk (not less then 2%) 1/2 cup melted butter or margarine 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate mini-chips Options : 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon or use 1/2 cup sugar & 1/2 cup coffee for mocha flavor or add nuts if

Mama Kat Thursday: My Favorite Childhood Game

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I my growing-up era was the 60's and early 70's. I had two younger sisters and one of the many things we enjoyed doing was playing board games. We had a closet full of games to choose from, but one of my personal favorites was my "Barbie Queen of the Prom," game! It was a little like Barbie Monopoly. The game was for 4 players, who moved around the board earning money to buy a prom dress, earn a school club pin, get a sweet-heart ring and choose a boyfriend. Whoever got to the final "Prom" space with all 4 items won the game. The thing was, how fancy a dress you got or which boyfriend you got was first come, first serve. The first player, of course, could pick the best dress and best boyfriend (which was Ken). The last player usually got stuck with freckly-faced ol' Poindexter for a date and who wanted that? It's funny I was just thinking about this very game today, how much fun I got out of it. I remember was generally particular about th

Garden Pic Wednesday: My Favorite Daylily!

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It's so hot outside! Yesterday I waited until dusk to mow the back yard. That means spraying myself up for mosquitoes, because dusk is when they're out looking for a snack! Today's Garden Pic is my Favorite Crimson Daylily! I have two clumps now, since I divided it some years ago. It's a very pretty specimen and the white lines & lime-yellow middle really set it off! Stop back tomorrow to see what I do for Thursday this week!

Good Eating Monday: Cereal Bran Muffins

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Today's Good Eating Monday recipe is my favorite muffin recipe from Shredd's Spread Country Crock margarine. Years ago, they offered a free recipe book (back before the age of personal computers, when everything was still just printed), which I ordered and got. It's a small booklet full of muffin recipes for both sweet & savory types. Some are good recipes; some not so great. But of the ones that are really good, this Cereal Bran Muffin recipe is one of them! It's also very flexible and substitutions or additions can be made easily. You can augment the flour measurement with wheat flour or oatmeal. You can add raisins or nuts or chocolate chips.  You can also switch out the margarine for applesauce or real butter and use whatever sweetening medium you prefer.  Just keep in mind the moisture to dry ingredients ratio--because you can easily end up with a mushy muffins if the quantity of moist ingredients out-balances the dry! For this recipe, choose any healthy

Garden Pic Wednesday: Rose Queen

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I had a chance on Monday to do some needed tasks while it was cloudy, threatening a storm and tolerably cooler, but it did little more then sprinkle. I mowed, put down some Bug-B-Gone just in the front yard to keep mole crickets out (they sometimes cross the road and burrow into my lawn in late summer), then sprayed it in with a weed & feed lawn spray. It may have sprinkled on my side of town, but it poured cats and dogs on the Air Force base. Hubby came home drenched. That's how it is in Florida. Rain one spot; nothing much elsewhere. Today's Garden Pic is Rose Queen!   Cleome is it's more technical name. It's other nicknames include "Spider Flower " or "Grandfather's Whiskers, " because of it's wispy looks. I've never grown it before. I just saw the seed pack on the rack at the store and decided to give it a whirl because it likes hot summer weather, full-sun, is reasonably tolerant of drought and attracts Hummingbirds,

Good Eating Monday: Caprese Pasta Salad

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Today's Good Eating recipes is a delightful side-dish for all your summer grilling: Caprese Pasta Salad! (pronounced kuh - prey - zey )  It's originally from Pinterest and I've found it so tasty, I've made it twice now! I love it! It's a great recipe to use your abundance of summer garden tomatoes in! And, if like me, you have tons of fresh Basil growing outside, great for that, too!  I didn't know that I like fresh Mozzarella until I tried this recipe, but now I love it! The soft cheese absorbs the flavor of the pesto! The recipe comes from a cooking blog called Pip & Ebby I make my own Basil Pesto by adding to a mini-chopper 1/2 cup Kraft Red Roasted Pepper Italian Dressing (just 30 calories per 2 Tbsp), 3 or 4 Tablespoons olive oil, 1 clove of garlic & a gob of fresh Basil leaves. Pulse this well chopped, then pour over the tomatoes & mozzarella & stir to combine and set aside until pasta is cooked, cooled and ready to add! Or

Friday Finds: De Leon Springs State Park

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De Leon Springs Sugar Mill overlooking the natural spring water! In looking for another interesting Florida State Park, De Leon Springs State Park caught my eye because this park features features a replica of an 1830's Sugar Mill that originally occupied the location where you can cook your own pancakes right at your table!  Now, how great is that? Like many so Florida State Parks, the area was originally a privately owned tourist franchise. This one got it's start as tourist travel destination in the late 1800's. It was called, "Ponce De Leon Springs" and the name of the spring itself was changed from "Garden Springs," to "The Fountain of Youth." The property continued operating as a private recreational park until 1982, when the State of Florida & Volusia County purchased the land. De Leon Springs State It's located on Highway 17, north of Orlando and west of Daytona. De Leon Spring State Park is a day park (no camp

Mama Kat Thursday: The Summer Without TV

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The Mama Kat blog writing topic for today is to, "Trouble I Got Into One Summer." It wasn't a bad sort of trouble. I didn't even cause it. It was just an inspiration our parents had that didn't quite work out as imagined. I think it was around 1972.  The television had gone on the fritz in the spring, just before school let out. I'm quite sure it was an older model with vacuum tubes and all. We always had "adopted TV's" that our Dad would be home from work because customers would often choose to give up a TV rather then fix it. He was a professional TV repairman. It's what he did and he could have easily fixed our TV. However, he and Mother Mom decided we 3 kids should have a summer, "without TV." That sounds like a good idea, right? Get the kids outside, less time in front of the tube.  We lived way out in the country anyway, with lots of woods and a creek, so there was plenty of adventure to be had, plus we could

Garden Pic Wednesday: Golden Tomatoes!

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It's the first week of July! So hot and humid out, yesterday I waited until 3:30 to work outside and mow. I put melon rinds outside in a spot under the shade of our old wooden picnic table for a box turtle living in my backyard someplace.  I've seen him come out to munch on rinds before and I find anything I put out demolished every day. I put some watermelon rinds out today and lunch and when I looked again a couple hours later, they were eaten to the skin. Putting rinds out for him to munch helps keep him out of mischief in my garden, because it keeps his little belly full. The day I didn't put rinds out, I found the bottom of a low hanging tomato eaten. I've since brought all the large, low hanging tomatoes into the house to ripen, because I want to be the one to eat them! Today's Garden Pics: First ripe golden tomato! My pretty first tomato of the season! We had this one on several BLT's and it was sooo delicious!  Yellow tomatoes are sweet