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Showing posts from August, 2018

Mama Kat Thursday: Fall Memories

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The Mama Kat prompt I chose today is to write a post inspired by the word: fall. I grew up in central Indiana, that part that's more trees and hills.  Our property was heavily forested and the area around the house full of trees with large leaves: White Oak, Pin Oak, Red Oak, Red Maple, Silver Maple and Tulip Poplars, to name a few. In Autumn, all of them would turn vivid yellows, oranges and russet red and drop there leaves thickly on the ground, which necessitated raking. So, we'd do what kids always do with fall leaves when they have to rake them: make big piles and leap into them! Us and the dog, too. Dry fall leaves have a crisp fragrance all their own. We'd also use those leaves for playing house with our dolls. We'd rake those colorful, crunchy leaves into narrow rows in the outline shape of the dimension of a "house" with 2 or 3 rooms and  doorways. We'd identify which room as living room, bedroom, kitchen and so on. Then we'd pla

Garden Pic Wednesday: Mango Calla Lily

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Today's Garden Pic features one of a new addition to my garden landscape this year: a "Mango"Calla Lily. I just got it this spring and this was the first bloom. The bloom starts out yellow and gradually turns this pretty Mango color over several days. This particular Calla is in my large container garden out front; I picked it for it's spotted greenery to serve as contrast among the other greenery in that container. Here in the South, they're perennial and can be left in the ground; in the colder climates with ground freeze, they must be dug up and stored for winter. Something to keep in mind. The colored part of a Calla we think of as "the flower" is actually a modified leaf and the flower is the upright spike in the center. I noticed when the flower spike was finished, the orange part turned green like the rest of the plant.

Good Eating Monday: Southwest Tortellini Salad!

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I spent the length of one Murder She Wrote today recycling greeting cards we've received in the past into new birthday, anniversary and blank note cards--if the front design lends itself to that. I have a box of 4 x 6 color folded card stock and I glue the resized card fronts on.  Here's a photo of what the card stock and results generally look like.  I was doing Christmas cards with this particular set. Today's Good Eating recipe is another new pasta recipe from Pinterest I tried out called, "Southwest Tortellini Pasta." I chose to use just a regular tri-color pasta instead of Tortellini when I made it.  It calls for Avocado, too, but I skipped it because Hubby dislikes it, but pasta salad ingredients are flexible so you can add or omit according to your own tastes.   You make you own dressing that's got a spicy garlic lime flavor. Our dinner guests thought it was tasty. (photo is my own) Southwest Tortellini/Pasta Salad Ingred

Mama Kat Thursday: Best Recent Recipe!

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The Mama Kat blog writing prompt I chose today is to share a recent recipe I've tried. I'm always trying out Pinterest recipes. One of the most fantastic of recent recipe tries was this one for Greek Tortellini Pasta! I used the fresh Tortellini in the refrigerator section for this recipe and thought it more flavorful then the dried. Either way, you have to boil it to prep it for the salad. (photo is my own) Greek Tortellini Pasta Salad Ingredients: 1 pound cheese Tortellini pasta (fresh or dried, cooked according to package directions) 1 1/2 cups sliced grape or cherry tomatoes 1 large cucumber, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch chunks 1/2 red onion, diced 1/2 cup crumbled Feta Cheese 1/2 cup canned or jarred Artichoke hearts (or substituted one Bell Pepper, chopped) 1/2 cup Kalamata olived (sliced or whole) 1/3 cup packed fresh Basil leaves, finely choppped Greek Dressing: Combine in small bowl and set aside: 1/2 cup extra virgin olive o

Garden Pic Wednesday: Dragonfly on Basil!

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Today's Garden Pic:  A Dragonfly on a Basil bloom! I just snapped this shot today, a few minutes ago.  I was just looking out the sliding glass door at the Hummingbird feeder, where a Hummingbird was sitting, when this large Dragonfly swooped in and landed on this  Basil flower that's in a container on my patio. I ran for my camera.

Good Eating Monday: Bread Machine Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

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In summer I prefer to not bake in the oven, but I have a bread machine and decided to try out some Pinterest sweet quick bread recipes for bread machines! The bread machine does all the work, baking up a cute little Banana Chocolate Chip loaf! It is helpful, while the machine is first beginning to mix the ingredients, to open the lid and, with a rubber spatula, scrape the edges down. You need a Bread Machine model with a "Quick" setting on your machine and "Light" crust .  And it's helpful if it also has a " Bake" setting in case your bread takes a little extra bake time.  (I have a new Black & Decker model that does.) Your bread should come out looking like banana bread, as in the photo.  Do make sure your bread machine has a setting to make quick breads. Some older machines don't. The recipe book that came with it will include a banana bread and cake recipes if it has those settings. (photo is my own bread) Bread Machin

Mama Kat Thursday: The Rules of Camping

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The Mama Kat Thursday prompt I chose today is to write a post inspired by the word "Camp." Camping is what my family did when we traveled. Tent camping. It was cheaper then a motel and certainly more interesting. We had some our most memorable family adventures camping.  Then after I married, Hubby and I camped in tents for many years, mostly just for long trips. It wasn't anything he'd ever done before he met me, but he adjusted readily. Turns out there's some unexpected rules that come with tent camping: 1)   Evolution Comes With Experience: Hubby and I started out with just a pup-tent, but there was no way to stand up inside it. So, we evolved to a pop-up dome tent, but the  air mattress took up the whole floor, so when it started leaking, we got a more traditional square tent for actual standing space. (Ever tried putting pants on laying down?) Sleeping on the ground in that first pup-tent was uncomfortable, so we evolved to queen size ai

Garden Pic Wednesday: Pink Pampas Blooms!

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Last week I posted a photo of my white Pampas Grass blooms. This week: Pink! The Pink and White are parallel, on either side of this part of the yard, which borders my neighbors property. The White is taller. They're so pretty in autumn! ***** We had our annual termite inspection with the company we've been with for years and years and we got a clean bill of termite free health. It's pretty much an essential  here in Florida.  It's one of those "ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," sort of things. One of our neighbors across the road hadn't been with any termite program for years and just few weeks ago discovered unpleasantly that the whole front wall of their house by the front door and the adjacent garage wall on that side so infested they had to have them completely replaced all the way to the interior sheet rock---all at their own expense. Luckily, our neighbor next door knew a structure repair person, who's do

Good Eating Monday: Tropical Pineapple Coconut Bars!

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I like bar cookies and am always looking for an interesting recipe. I found this one for "Tropical Pineapple Coconut Bars," on Pinterest and gave it a try this past week, since pineapple and coconut are some of my favorite things! They're good. Not hard to make. Recipe has a crust portion and a filling batter portion. Flavor of both pineapple & coconut is very mild and these bars are surprisingly less sweet tasting then you'd expect for something with 2 cups of sugar and a whole can of crushed pineapple! If I made them again, I'd add nuts both in filling and in crust. Maybe chopped maraschino cherries might be good. Definitely I'd add coconut to the filling because I like more coconut flavor. All the coconut the recipes calls for goes into the crust. Chocolate chips might be fun. If you'd like a fruity bar cookie, you should give this recipe a whirl! Though, the favor is best if you make it a day or two ahead of when you want to serve them

Mama Kat Thursday: High School Friendship

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The Mama Kat blog prompt I've chosen today is to, "share how I met my best friend in High School." It was 1972 and I was in 9th grade, the era of bell bottoms, platform shoes and long hair. The Vietnam war was still in full swing, but no one talked about that. The high school needed more space, so they'd added temporary buildings in back, outside to provide 3 additional classrooms. These looked like small houses on mobile-home type frames, called "Re-locatables." I was taking a class called "General Business" being held in one of those Relocatables the semester I met Cheryl, who later became my best bud. We were in desk chairs side by side and struck up conversation, I guess.  I knew who she was. I'd seen her around school. She was in both Marching and Jazz Band, always on the high honor roll, in the Sunshine Club, in the National Honors Society and a volunteer in the school office for an hour daily. Quite the busy. I, on the other

Garden Pic Wednesday: Feathery Plumes Against the Sky

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Today's Garden Pic: The first feathery plumes of Pampas Grass against the sky, pale gold in the sunlight!  The sun was hitting them so pretty that day, I had to get a shot. Also, there's actually a lot of electric wiring running from pole to house on the other side and it was very tricky keeping that out of the photo! The pink pampas is putting up plumes now, too, so I should have a shot of those next week!

Mama Kat Thursday: Retro Dairy Queen Memories

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The Mama Kat prompt I chose today is related to ice cream: "How has my favorite favor changed?" Growing up in rural Indiana, there was only one ice cream place to go to: Dairy Queen.  The closest one was in Martinsville, about 30 minutes away. I remember, after dinner on many a long summer evening, Dad or Mother would say, "Let's go to Dairy Queen!" and with a cheer, we'd all climb in the car and head for a frozen treat! The Martinsville Dairy Queen in the late 60's & early 70's looked very much like this photo, though I'm not sure it had a neon sign on top. The kiss shaped logo plaques, such as the red ones on this DQ wall, were in vogue at the time, though our DQ had multi-colored ones: red, blue & yellow. It was a drive-in only Dairy Queen, just like this one,which was common in that era, though  many were just beginning to be remodeled for dining in. It had a one long, white wooden bench against the wall on either side

Garden Pic Wednesday: Lavender Buddleia

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Today's Garden Pic:  One of my new Lavender Dwarf Butterfly Bush's first blooms! I just planted it last fall. I was just looking up how best to prune it. Best recommendation I've read for my zone is to wait until spring to trim, but otherwise just dead-head to promote blooming. I got this Dwarf variety because I thought it would be less trouble to maintain, since your average Butterfly Bushes run somewhere between 6 to 12 feet. I used to have a regular one that I was sorry to loose a couple years ago. I think it was too shady where it was and my rainy climate often contributes to root-rot in lots of things. Or it could've been just old--I think it was something like 15 years old.  I had it since it was a tiny munchkin.  It had such pretty lavender flowers with bright vermilion centers and narrow blue-green leaves, though!