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Showing posts from March, 2018

Friday Finds: Hand Exercises!

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Flexibility in my hands is something I practice often, so today I'm sharing a simple chart of hand exercises and also  link to a video from  WebMD of more---all easy to do! Who'd think just playing with Playdough, rolling balls and making snakes is great exercise! Also: This WebMD Hand Exercises Video Other Tips: #1) For older hands, simply washing dishes in nice warm water with some Epsom Salts added is fantastic! Do take time to spread hands flat on bottom of sink to lengthen all those hand and finger muscles! #2) Hot/Cold Therapy, dipping hand between a bowl of comfortabl y hot water with Epsom Salts and a bowl of icy cold water, with more time in hot and shorter time in cold.

More Yard Projects 2018!

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No Mama Kat today---instead more spring yard projects that I got accomplished today! Straightened up the blocks around this bed: This bed is directly opposite my front door.The new neighbor cut back the huge Crepe Myrtle tree on the other side of that fence, so maybe more sunlight will reach this bed, though it does get a fair amount of western sun. Added This Stone Channel to Direct Down Spout Rainwater Better & Planted Grass Plugs Previously, rain spout water spread across from the side walk to the gray blocks before meandering on it's way and that spot has been totally bare sand for years, devoid of anything but most resolute bits of stubborn grass or weeds. The quantity of pine tree roots, the heavy shade and run off from the roof shingles play a part in keeping it that way. I added some Miracle-Gro Garden Soil to even the rest of the area out and dug up "glass plugs" from along other beds needing edging. Tomorrow, we have an elect

Garden Pic Wednesday: Spring Projects 2018!

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Spring projects abound this year! One of my larger projects is adding a pattern of blocks along the border of this bed. This bit of yard is in front. it's a 10 x 10 corner between the paved driveway, the neighbors property and the gravel parking space apparently too hot and dry for grass to thrive. Most of it died. So I decided to take advantage of situation to rework the area: The plan is: 1) Dig up excess Liriope in the border next to the gravel drive spot. (That's the grassy looking stuff.)  Try to kill off what's wandered into the driveway. 2)  Make generous use of landscape plastic where I don't want the Liriope to come back. 3)  Arrange the blocks with spaces between for planting. 4)  Spread mulch over bedding area and between blocks. 5) For area outside the blocks: remove any grass, rake smooth and prepare two spots for ground cover Creeping Thyme plants due to arrive in the mail very soon. They'll get landscape plastic and mulch arou

Garden Pic Wednesday: Holly Tree Blossoms!

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Today's Garden Pic is a nice shot of my Oakland Holly Tree in bloom that even includes a little Honey Bee! This was in Feburary. The Bees loved it. Hopefully that will mean berries for the birds later on! You can see the new pretty lighter color shoots of growth!

Good Eating Monday: Easy Peanut Butter Cookie Bars!

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Today's Good Eating Recipe is my creation:  Peanut Butter Cookie Bars! I'm not so good with baking cookies---I either get busy or forget and miss the timer going off, so my cookies end up being a little on the dark side. That's why I prefer "bar cookies" in a 10 x 13 pan. So I decided to figure out how to turn two packets of Betty Crocker Peanut Butter Cookie Mix into a 10 x 13 pan of bar cookies. Peanut Butter Cookies are, in themselves, a fairly dry dough, since you roll them into balls in your hands to make them.  To make them work in a 10 x 13 pan as bars meant increasing the liquids called for on the cookie mix packs just enough to make the mix spreadable in a pan, yet not so much to make them cakey. They need to retain that peanut butter cookie texture to be just right as a bar. So, it took me 3 tries to get the right ratio. The first try was too thick, but tasted perfect; the second try was too cakey and the final try was just right. You'

Mama Kat Thursday: Homosassa, Florida

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The Mama Kat question of the day is, "Where do we plan to travel next?" Homosassa Springs, Florida. Hubby has relatives trying to put together a clan gathering in Homosassa. They tried to get together there last October, but the hurricane situation forced a cancelation. Then again this past week, but 2 feet of snow in Boston, kept Brother Bob's plane from getting off the ground. These relatives are Hubby's half-brothers and sisters, whom he never even knew existed until around 2000. They contacted him. The long and short of it is, Hubby's Dad had many children; not all of them with his legal wife.   Anyway, the oldest half-brother, Bob, is 80 and he and Hubby have a great relationship and Bob very much wants to meet up in person. One of the other half-brothers lives in Homosassa, Florida, which is why that locale was chosen, plus another sister lives in Florida as well. So everyone is converging on Homosassa next week. Just myself and H

Garden Pic Wednesday: My Favorite Azalea!

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Today, in the morning, I went shopping for "garden stuff."  Got a new mailbox---plastic this time instead of metal. The old one was metal and it's leg has rusted nearly clean through! Plus I got the stick-on lettering and numbers to use on it---pretty gold and black. (In the past I've painted my own lettering on, but decided to save time with stick on.) Also fresh one Chocolate Mint, one German Thyme, 2 Lantana & 1 pack of mixed color Petunias.  So, this afternoon I did some planting. The Petunia's were spread among several container gardens. The Garden Pic is a nice shot of my favorite Azaleas! I love these! Large pale pink single type blossom with all that adorable medium pink dotting on the upper petal. I looked up the color pattern and these are called "George Tabor Azaleas."  They're a sun hardy, drought resistant variety--basically perfect for my locale.

Good Eating Monday: Slow Cooker Chicken

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Bake your Easter chicken in a Slow Cooker! I tried several months ago and it works great, though I decided this is more of a "company's coming" or "Sunday dinner" kind of recipe when you might want a whole hen. For Hubby and myself, I'd rather cook just chicken breasts or thighs that are already cut up. Just easier. But for something fancy, I recommend this! This recipe is for a 5 to 6 quart size slow cooker. The photo is from recipe blogger No. 2 Pencil, who devised this recipe. Slow Cooker Chicken Ingredients: 1 whole chicken about 5 to 6 pounds  (For a I used a roasting hen that size) 1 Tablespoon Paprika more or less to taste 2 -3 Tablespoons or to taste your favorite seasoning such as: dried Rosemary combined with minced garlic or a bottled seasoning like steak seasoning,  lemon pepper, Tuscan, any McCormick Grill Mate flavors, etc Salt & Pepper to taste Directions: 1)  Remove any insides and rinse chicken inside out, then pat dry.

Mama Kat Thrusday: 3 Best Tricks I Learned from Pinterest

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Frankly, not every idea in Pinterest works out, but here's 3 of my favorites thatDo work and I use ALL the time: Don't take that blender apart to clean it! Just add a dab of dish detergent to blender, fill half to 3/4 full tap water, whirl, rinse, then dry. (The spin makes dish detergent very foamy, so don't use alot!) Use A  Refillable Brush Wand for cleaning the tub/shower unit! Really---I don't bother filling it, I just think using the handled wand makes cleaning the tub more convenient versus a sponge in my hand or something. I found the wands too leaky to keep filled, but perfect for a scrubbing tool without!  I just squirt a bit of Dawn directly into the tub and scrub away with the wand! Saves me from having to reach or bend so far! Cook Butternut Squash in a Slow Cooker! Make soup easier! This is genius! I love Butternut Squash soup and this method pre-cooks the squash and makes it a breeze to cut, peel and seed! All ready to make into so

Garden Pic Wednesday: Beautiful Azaleas!

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My Azaleas are looking so spectacular this year!  It's been a good year for them---no late freezes. This particular one is at in the back yard. I just grabbed this photo this afternoon. Pretty in with the back glow of sun. I also snipped a bunch of longer branches with just buds and made this vase last Sunday: Azaleas actually perform  quite well in a vase---however, the secret is cutting branches of suitable length with mostly unopened buds, so they'll open slowly, gradually.

Mama Kat Thursday: Pinterest Try: Taco Pasta!

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My most recent Pinterest recipe I tried is called,  " Easy Cheesy Taco Pasta." It was really good---our two guests gobbled up every last bite! This dish can be prepared in one pot on the stove. I only have three recipe adjustments I'd recommend: 1) Use the whole 16 oz box of pasta.  The original recipe calls for just half a box and that didn't look like enough to feed 4 hungry adults who might want seconds. I made it the whole box. 2)   It was just meat, pasta, taco seasoning & cheese.  It could really stand more veggies for color: A can of diced tomatoes or sliced grape tomatoes, red or green bell peppers, corn, sliced black olives---or even some frozen peas & carrots! 3)   I used a whole 16 oz jar of salsa instead of the 1 cup originally called for and the pasta absorbed it easily. Adding a can of diced of tomatoes would not be a problem. (The photo is my own.) Easy Cheesy Taco Pasta Ingredients: 1 lb box large shel