Posts

Showing posts from June, 2018

Garden Pic Wednesday: Funny Mr. Toad

Image
I have a bee-watering station set up in a shady flower bed opposite my front door. It's a plastic tray with two mini-containers of Lantana cuttings and dish of rocks. I walked out the door yesterday morning and saw this: A big toad sitting in the dish of rocks! He blends in nearly perfectly. My first thought was he was cooling off--it's been a blistering sauna outside everyday and no rain. ( I haven't seen any bees using it.) He's a huge toad and I often see him in the flower beds in the vicinity of my front door. Probably because he can dine easily on the insects the porch light draws at night. ( A couple days ago I accidentally scared him out of his hiding place under Asparagus Fern that hangs over the block wall nearby when I tossed a handful of grass-cuttings  under it. Here's another closer picture: A different smaller toad has taken up residence in the veggie garden. Toads are great insect hunters, so they're a plus in the

Good Eating Monday: Pasta Myth Busting

Image
I love pasta---and there's a surprising number of food myths surrounding the eating of pasta that simply aren't true. So today, I'm going to bust those myths and also explain the truth about Gluten. Myth #1  Pasta will make me fat: False  Pasta alone will not make you fat---it's consuming more calories then you're burning that causes weight gain.  One serving of pasta is 2oz which = 200 calories and that's only a fraction of the calories you need to be eating for lunch or dinner and paired veggies and/or lean meat, you have a healthy meal. How much dry pasta = a 2oz serving of cooked? It actually varies by shape: go HERE for a handy chart from Barilla providing exact measurements for every kind of pasta! Myth #2 I should avoid eating carbs: False. According to the USDA, carbs should make up 45% to 65% of your daily intake. Carbs provide a sustaining level energy you body needs, provide a satisfying sense of fullness and the fiber your intest

Mama Kat Thursday: Good Ol' Days Lake Swimming

Image
The Mama Kat blog writing prompt I chose today is to, "Tell about a lake I used to swim in as a kid." Growing up in rural Indiana, lake swimming was definitely a thing. There were two lakes we swam in as kids:  Patton Lake and Lake Shakamak. Patton Lake was close to where we lived and I remember going there with our 4-H club at least once. I also recall my Dad taking me there once to teach me how to "cast" a fishing line.  Patton Lake is actually a reservoir with a public park portion and the swimming area there was typical for a lake: brown sandy beach with a designated swimming area roped off. On the 4-H trip, Mother, who doesn't know how to swim, bravely donned a suit and got in the water with us. Floating on the water to play on was this giant tractor tire inner tube everyone was sitting on. I think it was near a short wooden pier, which is how we could get on it without having to walk through the water. I can remember Mother perched on that inner

Garden Pic Wednesday: Showy Hibiscus!

Image
Today's Garden Pic is my huge showy red Hardy Hibiscus! This one is out front in the corner bed behind all the 4 O'clocks. It's unusually tall for a Hardy Hibiscus---7 feet. Plastic Owl On Squirrel Patrol Out Front: A couple weeks ago I noticed squirrels were digging up my brand new Purple Shamrocks and nibbling off the bulb tips at the bottom of the stems. Just the ones in the front beds. And they were eating the whole bulb. So I replanted any I found out of the ground and got my old owl to put out----but he was falling apart and faded from years in the sun, so we got a new owl. It appears to have stopped the problem. The trick with plastic owls is you have to move them every couple days minimum, so Owly here gets shifted back and forth across the yard to stand guard over my beds. Box Turtle Feed: I put watermelon rinds and popcorn out for the Box Turtles nearly everyday now. They come out to spot in the afternoons expecting to find a meal--some

Good Eating Monday: Sunday Eats

Image
This was what was for dinner Sunday Night: Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan served over colorful Rozoni Healthy Harvest Italian Trio Pasta Dole Pomegranate Bagged Salad Fresh Slices of Hot Garlic Bread **** The Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan recipe is here. It's just basically spaghetti sauce with a freezer brand of breaded chicken added the last hour of cooking, then topped with a whole block of Mozzarella slices for a thick gooey topping. It's the breading that keeps the chicken moist. I use the recipe often, but this time I tried T yson Naturals 100% Whole Grain Breaded Chicken Breast Chunks. They were the perfect size! And delicious. I noticed Tyson has a Naturals Gluten Free, too. (I'm not affiliated with Tyson)

Garden Pic Wednesday: Blue Borage!

Image
Garden Pic of the Day:  The delicate blue star-shaped flowers of Borage, an editable herb plant & garden flower. I've never grown it before, so it's a new addition this year.  It has large seeds and sprouts readily when planted. The flowers & leaves are edible, but I wanted it for it's blue color and to attract bees. Honey bees, Bumble bees and all sorts of bees are supposed to love it! The leaves must, indeed, be delicious, since snails were devouring them on several plants when they first came up.  I had to put down snail bait in the vicinity and spray the plants with Neem oil---but all survived to leaf again and bloom. They're about 24 inches tall and some stand straight up, while others tend to flop over. They need a little staking.  Here's a Borage bloom in a vase in the house: A stem broke off while I was staking some this morning. You can see how pretty the star shape is.  Borage is also called: Star Flower, Bee Bush, Bee Bread an

Good Eating Monday: Make Your Own Taco Seasoning!

Image
My Eye Doctor, whom I've been seeing for the past 32 years, is finally completely retiring! He did my exam for the last time this month and gave me a sweet thank you card for being his patient so long. He's been semi-retired for about 5 years now, keeping his hand in and working just 2 days a month as a way of getting used to being retired. Now he feels ready, he said, to give up the business entirely.  He took on a business partner a good number of years ago and sold his half of the business to her, so she'll be my Eye Doctor from now on. She's been doing Hubby's eye exams for years. So, today, we stopped by Walmart and I picked out new frames for the new prescription, which involved just one slight change in the distance vision for my left eye. Everything else was the same. Today's Good Eating recipe is for making your own jar of taco seasoning! I've been meaning to do this for a while. It would save money in the long run and be healthier. I cou

Friday Finds: Simple Face Exercise

Image
Today's "find" is some simple exercises for firming up facial muscles! Muscles lose tone as we age, even in the face, so simple exercises like these can help tighten those muscles up! Essentially, it's "face yoga."  Easy to do while sitting at your computer at home or just sitting in the movie theater waiting for the previews to start or anywhere you have a little time to fill when no one is looking. (Otherwise, you might look a little weird.) Satchmo and Smiling Fish Face are two of my favorites! Remember, just smiling is good exercise, too! Another chin-tightener is to fold your bottom lip over your upper lip, then slowl y raising then lowering your chin back to level for 10 repetitions. (too fast and you'll make yourself dizzy.) This can help prevent or firms a "double-chin." 

Mama Kat Thursday: Fashion Trends I Won't Do

Image
The Mama Kat prompt I chose today is actually from the expanded June list of prompts:  " Fashion Trends I just cannot do ." Purple Hair? Not me. This trend doesn't necessary look that cool on a woman of 60. I can't say I've observed even one purple-do on anyone of any age, around town here, that actually looked good on the person wearing it. Wearing Socks with Sandals? No way.   Super Short Cut-offs with the Pockets Hanging Down: Not a chance.  This is a stupid look, even on the young. Totally classless. Jeans with More Holes then Fabric This, too, is a dumb look---and people actually pay for brand new jeans some designer added holes to! Sometimes to they're shredded to the point of barely hanging on.  If I get a hole in my jeans, I patch it with old jean fabric I have on hand, then add touches of embroidery.   To me, that looks so much cooler. ***** So what fashion trend is on your "not a chance&quo

Garden Pic Wednesday: Garden View

Image
Todays Garden Pics: A Showy Front Corner: It's all the 4 O'clocks that make this corner bed showy! I took the picture when the Easter lilies were in bloom back in April. Since them, some of the young 4 O'clocks in front of these others have matured and today I was adding young Vinca's along the outer edge of the bed in front of them and other places--- I have dozen's of Vinca's volunteers and they transplant readily. Glad & Gardenia Vase Because the Gladiola's fall over, I usually pick them as they bloom and fill vases with them. This is a nice hi-style arrangement I made with 3 Glads and a Gardenia low in front.