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Showing posts from August, 2019

Mama Kat Thursday: Insect Closeups!

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I didn't find any actual Mama Kat prompts to be interesting, so instead I'm posting a couple of great shots of recently captured of a Dragonfly & a Praying Mantis! In Florida, September is the season of Dragonflies! They're flitting about everywhere, perching here and there. I saw this one out back in the late afternoon sun, landing on this and that and I went out to see if I got a shot! This is a female Slaty Skimmer. The blue eyes and brown wing spots are identifiers. Males are all blue. I was pleased just today to find this Praying Mantis on my sliding glass door and capture this shot! They're around, but their coloring makes them practically invisible unless they're out in the open like this. They're a very visual insect, turning their heads to track movement, which is why this one is looking right at the camera. He or she was watching my every move. It's still on door now, waiting I suppose for dusk an

Garden Pic Wednesday: Night Blooming Jasmine Blooms At Night!

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My sister mentioned getting some night shots of what the flowers look like, so this past week while the shrub was having a second round of profuse blooming, I got out there with my flashlight and camera. Night Blooming Jasmine During the Day: Despite it's long shape, the blooms are actually just on the tip and they remain closed until darkness falls. At Night: Once it's dark, the front end of each trumpet opens out into a little star shape and fills the air with a rich, spicy "jasmine" fragrance. A Closer View Photo Bombed by a Moth: I was holding a flashlight under my arm aimed at the shrub while taking these photos and didn't even notice I had a little brown moth visitor in the shot until I was cropping it in my photo shop just now! I wish I could record the scent. Standing out there in the humid night, it was like standing in a cloud of perfume. 

Good Eating Tuesday: Blueberry Muffin Bread

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I have two dwarf container blueberries that yielded 2 cups of berries this year, so I found this Blueberry Muffin Bread recipe on Pinterest to use them in.  One can make all sorts of baked goods with blueberries, but I wanted something I could enjoy that wouldn't be overly sweet. So, muffin bread. (Pictures are my own.) I'm giving you the original recipe, though for myself I only used 1/2 cup of Sugar in the Raw and also a mix of whole grain flour and oats in mine. Even if you plan to use fresh blueberries, it's a good idea to freeze them ahead of use, because that way they don't mush up and turn everything blue when you stir in. Blueberry Muffin Bread Ingredients: 2 cups of all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted & cooled 1/2 sour cream at room temperature  2 large eggs at room temperature 1 1/2

Mama Kat Thursday: Best Photo for August

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The Mama Kat prompt I chose today was to share a photo that best represents your August so far: This,  because Florida has been hot, hot, hot. So we all want what this Box Turtle found: a dip in the pool to cool off! Thanks for Visiting!

Garden Pic Wednesday: Holly Growth Spurt

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Today's yard task was trimming up my other Gardenia shrub. It's in the center of my front yard. I keep it trimmed in a large globe shape. It's as old as the house, but still healthy as a horse. Has large 3 inch flowers. I cut off about 16 inches around it, then clipped off a good number of joints to encourage fresh growth this year. I only do that every other year. Hopefully, I got to it earlier enough this year, it will have plenty of time to set for a good show of flowers next May. Today's Garden Pic is my Oakland Holly:  It's Had a Growth Spurt! It's been growing about 5 inches a year up to now---this year it shot this 2 foot spire! I was quite surprised. The nice thing about Oakland Holly's is they generally maintain a Christmas tree shape on their own, so I expect it will spend a little time filling in the difference. Bred for the South, they're classed as a small tree, topping out at around 15 ft. Also they're self-pollinating.  You can

Good Eating Tuesday: Beef & Broccoli Ramen

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Today's Good Eating recipe is a quick easy skillet stir fry dish: Beef & Broccoli Ramen ! I like recipes that use Ramen. The Sauce in this is really the star and I think it would benefit greatly from an additional clove of minced garlic, so I've put that recommendation in the sauce ingredients. Garlic and Ginger enhance one another. Sliced green onions is another garnish option. (photo is my own) Beef & Broccoli Ramen Main Ingredients 2 Tablespoons oil, divided 1 lb top sirloin or other cut you like, thinly sliced against grain 1 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce 1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar 3 cups of fresh broccoli, cut up  4 cloves garlic, minced 2 to 3 packets of Ramen noodles, seasoning packets discarded (2 packs will make about 4 servings; 3 packs will serve about 6) Sauce Ingredients: 1/4 cup water 3/4 cup low sodium beef broth 1 Tablespoon ginger, minced 2 teaspoons sesame oil 2 Tablespoons cornstarch 6 Tablespoons oyste

Mama Kat Thursday: Love of A Cat

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The Mama Kat prompt I chose today is to, "Share a favorite quote." I like good cat quotes and have a couple on my Pinterest "Good Quotes" board.  I like this one by Charles Dickens: "What greater gift then the love of cat?" and thought I'd share some fairly recent pictures of our cat, Sunni, who just turned 19 in April 2019. She passed on gently purring very softly in the comfort of our touches and words 15 Nov 2019 at the ripe old age of  19 years and 7 months. We will miss her. Here's Sunni peering around my computer screen at me. She's reminding me it's about time for her lunch.  Having, my husband, Dave hold her is Sunni's favorite thing .  My forearms are too short to hold her like this. She sit at Dave's feet and looks at him, asking to be held.  Her relationship to us each is unique. She like's him to hold her, but she likes me to brush her and massage her ears. \ Sunni loves to sit at

Garden Pic Wednesday: Purple Shamrocks & Rainlily

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 There's a lady around the corner from us with a beautiful yard heavily landscaped with flower beds AND a rain garden. I've thought for a long time that I wanted to stop by to say hello and an unexpected opportunity to do so came up this week when I was out for my morning walk. She was out mowing and weed-eating, so I introduced myself. Her name is Sally. She's a little older then me. It was a great opportunity to talk gardening. Like me, she wants to replace grass with flower beds. She showed me her yard, then we walked down to my house and looked at mine. We traded numbers and she's going to contact me to give me some of her purple asters later in the autumn. So that was neat.  I have two photos today: Purple Shamrocks: The camera really doesn't do justice to the depth of their dark burgundy color, but it does reveal the lighter fushia pattern on the leaves that's less noticeable to the naked eye. They bloom light pink flowers all the time. 

Good Eating Tuesday: Food Pairing

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Did you know certain foods need to be combined to be absorbed really effectively?  It's called, "Food Pairing." I'm just going to list some I thought would be easy for me to incorporate, since they're common items in my frig or pantry, but you might like to read the whole article in Eat This, Not That for what benefits each pairing offers: "32 Food Combinations Dial Up Your Weight Loss." Eggs & Bell Pepper That's an easy one. I eat an egg for breakfast daily and have frozen pepper strips in the freezer. I just added a few bits. Coffee & Cinnamon I add cinnamon to the grounds in my coffee maker daily, but you can also shake some in. Apparently cinnamon in a flab fighter. Who knew? Potatoes & Pepper Potatoes are unfairly black-listed the article points out and I agree. Not only are they a great source of potassium, but studies show they're more filling then rice or oatmeal! I love pepper

Mama Kat Thursday: Favorite Summer Recipe

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Today's Mama Kat prompt option is "Share Your Favorite Summer Recipe!" My favorite is Pineapple Fluff! It's easy and everyone loves it. It's classed as a salad, but can be enjoyed as a dessert!  Our friends rate it as tastier then Watergate Salad (green fluff) and I it's great anytime of year; not just summer, but goes really well with summer grilled meals! (photo is my own) Pineapple Fluff Ingredients: 1 small (3.4 oz) box Instant Coconut Creme pudding 1 20oz can of Crushed Pineapple 1 8oz tub of Whipped Topping 2 cups Mini-Marshmallows 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped pecans  1 cup shredded sweet coconut Directions: In  a large bowl: add Crushed Pineapple with the juice and stir in the instant pudding. Now add pecans & coconut, stir in. Finally fold in the whipped topping and mini-marshmallows and fold-in until everything is thoroughly combined and the pudding is completely mixed in with the whipped topping. Cover & refrigerate a minimum of

Garden Pic Wednesday: Assorted Photos

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Several pictures for today: One of My Black Swallowtail Guests: The late day sun was shining on him so pretty! They've got a very handsome coloration. Of course, they're all off somewhere turning into butterflies now and my parsley, bare stems.  Here's a nice shot of my Purple Bell Peppers. They are very eye-catching in the garden! And my Lady Planter, looking stylish in her succulent hat!

Good Eating Tuesday: Easy Golden Meatballs

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Today's Good Eating is a family favorite I grew up with and still often make as it's Hubby's favorite, too:  Golden Meatballs! It's  originally a Velveeta box recipe from the 60's and that classic recipe included directions for making meatballs as well as bar-boiling your carrot chunks. This updated version uses frozen frozen meatballs, matchstick carrots and even frozen bell pepper strips if you want. Also Velveeta has more variety options now and I usually use the 2% milk Velveeta. I had fresh garden bell peppers when I made the batch in the photo and used about 5 small bell peppers and we thought it was the best tasting batch of Golden Meatballs I'd ever made! ( about equivalent to 2 medium size store bought green bell peppers) It's a recipe you can really raise the veggie level by increasing the quantity of carrots, onions & bell peppers. This is a skillet meal and a bag of 20 meatballs will accommodate 4 servings. (photo my own)

Mama Kat Thursday: A Memorable Camp-Out

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Today's Mama Kat prompt is share, "A Memorable Camping Experience." I have lots of memorable camping experiences. This particular one is from when I was in college after the Air Force back home in Indiana. It was late October. The trees were orange and weather was cooling. A few of my college friends and I decided to go camp overnight. I can't remember where it was exactly, though I'm pretty sure it was a legit camping location. I remember lots of trees. One of the guys provided tents. Not modern nylon tents, but several medium large square Army-surplus canvas tents that had no floor. We threw down large sheets of clear plastic on the bare ground to serve as "flooring." Plastic is a poor insulator, let me tell you. I had a sleeping bag, but it was just the regular fiber-filled type. Everything was fun until night fall and I tried to sleep inside that tent on the cold, plastic-covered ground. I was fully dressed and still freezing! I do