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Showing posts from November, 2017

Mama Kat Thursday: The Decision

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Every high school grad reaches the point of having to decide, "What's next?" Just get a job? Go to college or trade school? Join the military? My year of decision was 1975. At that time, Vietnam had only just ended a couple years earlier. The country was in a Recession, so jobs were hard to come by. Plus I lived out in the country. Town was a fair distance away and I had no real job skills. As for College, I just wasn't crazy about the idea of more school. I didn't know what I wanted to aim at and it was so expensive, I wasn't going to waste good family money just stabbing at it. That just left military service. Luckily, recruiters were trauling the high school for interested applicants on a regular basis. I recall my 10th grade science teacher allowed the Army Recruiter to show our class an Army video. It was kind of neat---he had a video playing device in his briefcase. When he opened it, a 15 inch screen popped up to show us the video on. Prett

Garden Pic Wednesday: Last Touch of Summer

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I took this photo a couple weeks ago. It's the last of the Pampas Grass fronds still standing, the last touch of summer.  The rest were bent and broken by various summer storms. This is the Pink Pampas out front. I have one of these---a smaller one in a vase on the kitchen counter. (Just the fluffy portion is 20 to 24 inches. Pretty big.) 

Good Eating Monday: Time for Holiday Baking!

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It's Holiday baking time!  Fruitcake is one my my personal baking favorites!  Pictured are some I made just before Thanksgiving in  3 x 6 gift giving size! They're fun to decorate with candied fruit & nuts! I'm picky about my candied fruit myself. I only use candied pineapple and green and red cherries usually in combination with raisins and dates.  Here's my two favorite Fruitcake Recipes: Banana Walnut Fruitcake (Pictured) Brownie Fruitcake Or for something in the fruitcake family that's not exactly fruitcake, but has that festive fruity quality, I recommend these: Orange Dream Cake This one is an orange bundt cake made with a box of Orange cake mix, instant Vanilla Pudding, Sour Cream, Oil, Eggs and Candied Orange Peels. Add nuts or chocolate chips if you like. Orange Slice Cake This one is a Southern take on fruitcake that calls for candy Orange Slices instead of traditional candied fruit.  Makes 1 bundt cake.

Mama Kat Thursday: Fav Thanksgiving Dessert!

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T he Mama Kat blog writing prompt today was to share, "A Thanksgiving dish I look forward to making." I love to make Pumpkin Cake for both Thanksgiving and Christmas! It's not actually not a cake per se, but really a Dutch pumpkin pie in a 10 x 13 pan. It's one of those things that gets better tasting every day, so I recommend making it two to three days ahead. It's absolutely perfect for a gathering of people and so much then making pies. Hubby loves it! (Photo is of my own Pumpkin Cake as it looks freshly baked.) Pumpkin Cake   Ingredients : 5 Eggs 1 large 29oz can of PLAIN packed Pumpkin 1 can Evaporated Milk + enough water to fill a measuring cup to 2 cup line. 1 cup Sugar 1/2 teaspoon Salt 4 teaspoons Cinnamon 1 box Yellow Cake mix (any brand) 1 stick Butter Or Margarine 1 cup chopped Walnuts (or Pecans if your prefer) Optional : 1/2 cup shredded Coconut Directions: Prep a 10 x 13 baking pan by spraying with oil coo

Garden Pic Wednesday: Around the Neighborhood!

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I took some recent photos of what's blooming in my neighborhood at this time of year: Winter Cassia: Several neighbors have this in their landscape. This shot is across the street kitty-corner from my house. These gorgeous yellow flowers bloom from Sept well into winter. Also called Christmas Cassia.   The flowers are lightly fragrant I noticed when I walked over to take a picture!  Mulhy Grass Sometimes called Purple fountain grass. This is frilly pink stuff is everywhere in autumn around here! So pretty. It's a super popular as a landscape plant because it's drought tolerant and carefree. I walked down to the corner, turned right to get this shot. And Overhead----tons of Pine Cones! Pine trees are everywhere in my neighborhood. This particular one I photographed is behind a neighbors house two doors down. several. When the builders built houses here, they only cleared what was necessary to build each house and nothing else.  So ever

Good Eating Monday: Best Baking Powder Biscuits

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It's almost Thanksgiving and if you're looking to use your Slow Cooker to cook something smaller like just a Turkey breast, thighs or legs or even a 5-6 lb roasting hen, then you'll love this recipe for Slow Cooker Cranberry Wonder Sauce! T oday's Good Eating recipe is my favorite I use for making  Rolled Baking Powder Biscuits! The secret to a really good baking powder biscuit is two things: 1)  Gently kneading and folding the freshly mixed dough a few times before rolling it out. 2) Being careful not to roll the dough out too thinly!  A good thickness is just a bit more then 1/2 inch. Thicker the dough, thicker the biscuits. With a 2 inch biscuit cutter, this recipes makes about 10 -12 biscuits; less with a larger cutter. If you have a 3 inch biscuit cutter, double the recipe. The photo is of my own recent batch that came out just right! Best Baking Powder Biscuits Ingredients: 1 3/4 cups shifted all-purpose Flour 1/2 teaspoon Salt 3 teasp

Mama Kat Thursday: Monsters Under the Bed

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The Mama Kat Thursday blog writing prompt I chose today is, "Write a post inspired by the word: monsters." Once when I was very young, not quite school age, I had a dream. It was one of those dreams where you dream you're awake while really asleep. In this dream I was laying on the floor, with my eyes open, looking under my bed. The light under the bed was grayish, light enough I could see little, hairy gray creatures that walked upright on two legs walking back and forth along the back wall. It must have frightened me because, all of a sudden, I woke up. My eyes popped open only to realize I actually was laying on the floor with my face looking directly under my bed! It was pitch black, of course, and I saw no little monsters, but I was so horrified to find myself actually on the floor looking under the bed , I sprang up and jumped back into bed and hid under the covers!   What sort of things does the word "Monsters" conjure up for yo

Garden Pic Wednesday: Drying Basil!

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Here in North Florida, our autumn begins in mid to late November as soon as temps cool enough to cause deciduous trees turn orange, yellow and burgundy! It's also time to harvest Basil and dry it before a freeze comes along! This is colander full is what I harvested today! It's a mix of Sweet, Thai and Red!  Basil will self-sow readily, if you let them go to flower, so I plant the spring volunteers in beds and containers everywhere. Here, they bloom well into the cooler weather as long as it's warm and sunny during the day and feed the bees until a freeze comes along. This is what  prepping it for drying looks like: The dryer has 5 trays. I filled 3. It's a basic model that's on when I plug it in and off when I unplug it, so I prefer to do drying while doing laundry, since it's out in the garage. That way I'll remember it's on!  The garage is sooo fragrant right now! Because Basil freezes, I have to dry it. I like to dr

Friday Finds: Random Funny Thoughts

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Bad Photographer Wanted Nowadays, to all our great aggravation, you've seen these reCAPTSHA things you have to click on in order to sign-in to places online, right? I've decided being a photographer for them would be the perfect job. Imagine. Just wandering around taking pictures of whatever. Pieces of signs. Parts of buildings. Random parked cars. Sections of highway. No worries about framing or lighting or clarity. If it's blurry, that's even better. Imagine a reCaptsha company want ad: Wanted: Bad photographers. Photograph anything. We'll pay $$ for nonsense. ****** Are Your Eggs Hammered? Google has a "translate" feature so if you come upon something  written in a foreign language you want to read, you can simply click "translate," and get it in your language. But I tell you, using this feature to translate things to American English can have really amusing results! Once upon a time I clicked on a Pinterest recipe

Mama Kat Thursday: Messies

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  The Mama Kat blog prompt today is to write a post inspired by to the word, "Messy." Years ago, back in the mid-80's when I was newly married, when I felt I needed some tips on keeping the handle on house clutter and general cleaning, I read a book called, "The Messies Manual: The Procrastinator's Guide to Good Housekeeping" by Sandra Felton. Keep in mind I'm just recalling highlight points that stood out to me back then: First she defined the term "Messie"---- which, spelled this way with "ie" in no way implies dirtiness or uncleanness.  She used the word "Messie" to describe someone with a tendency either by personality or procrastination or both to be simply dis-inclined about dealing with the build-up of clutter that comes with life and family and have a struggle managing that.  Then Sandra Felton goes through and describes how there are, in fact, different types of "Messie" personalities, each wi

Garden Pic Wednesday: Autumn Glow!

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Today I gave my garden plants a fall feeding with water-soluble fertilizer in a watering can. That way I get exercise walking about. (This also helps them prep for a good bloom in spring!) Picked up another 100 pine cones and cobs and pulled up any white Vinca flowers. They reseed themselves and I prefer the pinks. Today's Garden photo of the day is this shot of  Dwarf Marigolds highlighted in the last rays of the setting October sun! I took this photo last week.  So pretty! These Marigolds fill my veggie bed like a sea of bronze and will keep all the bees buzzing with joy until frost!

Friday Finds: New Year Family Photo Calendars!

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Everyone has a smart phone FULL of photos! Why not turn those photos into a fun calendar for yourself or as a gift for friends and family? I've selected 3 to show you, but you can see tons more Photo Calendar options HERE . Choose from 3 calendar sizes, 16 interior appearance options and 7 coil colors! Colorful Pattern Personalized 18 Photo Template Calendar! Cheerful patterns adorn every page! Just personalize the year & family name & add your photos! See more creative ideas by this artist here . Navy Watercolor Stripe Photo Calendar! A simple elegant layout that just takes 13 photos! A great way to show friends and family all the special moments of your life! See more wonderful ideas by this artist here . Scrapbook Style Photo Memory Calendar! A beautiful one-of-a-kind calendar! Every page unique! Holds 16 fun family photos plus has an optional space for jotting down a "memory" for each photo, a`la scrapbook style! Just pers

Garden Pic Wednesday: Fall Gerber!

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It's a nice day here in Florida. Sunny and warmish-cool. A good day to finish mowing the last third of the yard that wasn't done yet. And pick up about 50 pine cones. Today's Garden Pic of the week is my Pink Gerber, which has bloomed this past week. It actually has a second head up since I took this picture. I applied a black and white focal effect, which shows off the flower and mutes the background! Also, I brought in all my indoor plants: These particular ones sit on the island in my kitchen in front of the window.