Sunday, June 28, 2009

A few flowers!

A few flowers seems to be all that is left in my yard. The number of blooms is diminishing with the stifling heat and no rain! As much as I love gardening, the heat is keeping me indoors most of the day. Above is my shrimp plant. I got my start from my Mom's shrimp plant.
This is a Desert Rose. It was a gift from a good friend. It is a potted plant. I think I am hooked and want more colors. I have also heard that you can graft several different colors of plants to one main plant. That sounds awesome. Has anyone ever tried it?

I was told that this plant is called a Night Blooming Cereus. I took this photo shortly after sunrise.
The cactus looking plant is the Night Blooming Cereus. It is definitely strange looking.
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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My guys or a T-shirt Ad?

Hmmm, what is today? Wednesday? Already? This was taken on Father's Day. Boy am I behind. Here in this photo, we have Coca-Cola, This Dad Rocks and Hurley otherwise known as Dustin, David and Brian. The first one is pretty much whatever is clean, the second one is VERY partial to black t-shirts and likes skulls, the last one loves anything Hurley, hence the cap, shirt and belt.
I have been staying busy-weeding and watering,doing laundry, cleaning, errands and sewing. I am working on Casserole Totes for my Bunco prizes. I hope to take some photos and do a tutorial in a few days. I've also been working on learning some of the clogging dances on the Texas Dance list. So far I've learned the dances to the songs, Amos Moses (Jerry Reed) and Bad Moon Risin' (Creedance Clearwater Revival). After I learn them, we work on them in our clogging group, along with practicing dances we've already learned.
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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fluttering Flowers!

First of all, I noticed this growing near my compost bin. It looks like wheat. I don't know how it got there.
I've noticed the Gulf Fritillaries fluttering all around my Passion Vine. I started inspecting the vine and noticed this. I think it is a butterfly egg.

I also found several caterpillars. They start out so tiny I can hardly see them. I would love to find a chrysallis but no luck there YET! I will keep looking.

I caught one of the butterflies egglaying. She looks like she's had a rough life with those tattered wings. If you want butterflies in your garden, I strongly suggest planting host plants and not just flowers for nectar. I have noticed many more butterflies now that I have Cassia (a.k.a. Candlestick plant), Dill, and Passion Vine. Cassia is the host plant for the Cloudless Sulphur, Dill is a host plant for Black Swallowtails, and of course the Passion Vine is for Gulf Fritillaries.
Ya'll Come Back,

Friday, June 19, 2009

Our local newspaper has a weekly food section and it recently had a Cherry Pie recipe in it. It called for fresh cherries which I had never used. It sounded really yummy, so I decided to give it a try. I bought some cherries on my last trip to Wal-Mart. I looked around the kitchen section, but I could not find a cherry pitter. Oh well, I'd worry about that later!
When the time came to worry about pitting the cherries, I decided to google it as I do many questions. I found a suggestion for using a chopstick! Wow, I actually had some of those. I held the cherry in my left hand with the end opposite the step against my thumb and forefinger-making a space for the pit to emerge. I held the chopstick in my right hand and pressed it through the cherry. It worked very well. I did have to wipe some cherry juice splatters from the backsplash and later scrub my stained fingers!

We cut it while it was still warm and a bit runny, but it was oh so good! I will have a difficult time going back to cherry pie filling now! The strange pattern on the pie crust is a result of my getting distracted by my sweety and forgetting to dot the filling with butter BEFORE putting on the top crust! So I cut little holes to slip in the butter. I love pie crust to I just folded it over instead of removing it! If anyone has any suggestions for keeping the crust from shrinking from the sides of the pie dish, I would love to hear them or is this normal? I haven't really noticed it on other folks' pies.
Recipe from Myra Starkey in the Victoria Advocate
Pie Crust
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter (chilled and diced)
1/4 cup ice water (very very cold)
In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and then cut in butter pieces until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water, 1 Tbsp. at a time until the mixture forms a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours before rolling on a floured surface. Remove from plastic wrap and roll a little over half the dough to fit a 9-inch pie plate. Place crust in plate. After filling, roll out the second crust and place over the first crust. You can brush edge of crust (on bottom) with egg wash before placing top crust, then flute edges to seal crusts together.
Fresh Cherry Pie
1 pie crust
4 Tbsp. instant tapioca
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
4 1/2 cups pitted cherries
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. butter
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place foil over a cookie sheet to use in case of spills while baking. Place bottom crust in pie dish. In a large bowl, mix tapioca, cherries, salt, sugar, and extracts. Allow to sit for 30 minutes. Pour cherries into pie crust and dot with butter. Place other crust over cherries and flute edges. Cut vents in top to allow steam to escape. Brush crust top with egg wash (egg beaten lightly). Bake for 50 minutes and then allow to cool before eating.
I mixed the cherries etc. together and let it sit while I rolled out the pie crust. Also, I don't really trim off any of the crust. I folded it over and smushed it together. I have also just folded it over like a tart when not using a top crust. Like I said, I can't bear to waste that yummy crust. My mother-in-law makes pie crust cookies out of her extra crust. She sprinkles the pieces with sugar and cinnamon I think!
Ya'll Come Back,

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sunny Sunflower!

My first sunflower is blooming! I wish I had planted more now! I was lucky to catch a visiting bee!
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Monday, June 15, 2009

Painting Frenzy!

I finally finished painting the chairs and the table. As you can see, I went with the Acadian green color. The birds have already initiated one of the chairs! (White blob in upper right of left chair) I may have to move them a bit out from the tree to avoid the bird "bombs".
Sadly, I will have to work on the door more! When my sweety went to remove the tape from the door's window, some of the paint also came off! Bummer!
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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Busy Garden!

My garden is a busy place. Not only are plants producing veggies, but they are nourishing critters. Some are wanted and some are unwanted. The above and below caterpillars are welcome. I don't really use my dill for anything since I don't put up pickles, so I am glad to share it with them.

Bees are definitely welcome in the garden!

The Gulf Fritillary is one of my favorite butterflies. I love the silver markings that are under their wings. They really love my zinnias.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Paintbrush Compulsive Disorder!

It all started with the simple job of painting the new back door we had installed earlier this spring. When I get a paintbrush in my hand, I start contmplating painting everything in sight! I decided to paint the adirondack chairs. The lone footrest has yet to get it's paint. I love the new look.
Now, this is my potting shed a.k.a. "barn". The trim is Aurora Brown (Sherwin Williams). The shutters are Acadian and the main color is Windsor Greige.(also S.W.) Our house is a brick similar to the Aurora Brown with trim in Windsor Greige and front door and shutters in Acadian.

The question is--Should I paint this table the Acadian or Windsor Greige color? Or should it be the same as the chairs?
I am leaning toward the Acadian "green" color. My sweety just rolls his eyes about the whole business!He does NOT like to paint.Please leave a comment and let me know what you think! Of course, I may still just do as I please!
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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Baby bat rescue!

The other day I noticed a baby bat hanging on the fence under the bat house. Last spring, I found baby bats under the house every day for about a week. I spent lots of time climbing the ladder with little gargoyle-like baby bats. This one was older than the bats I found last year.Its eyes were already open and it had fur. I put it back into the house two times! I've been checking under the bat house each morning now. So far so good!
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What is in the garden?

Do you know what this is?

I can show you what THIS will be!

This is an eggplant called Rosa Bianco. This is my first time to try growing eggplant. Some critters sure liked to nibble holes in the leaves.

Ya'll Come Back! Maybe I'll have another photo to answer the question!


Monday, June 8, 2009

Picked peas!

Hooray! I picked my first bucket of peas. I also found some tomatoes hiding in the middle of a bush. The plant was labeled "Celebrity", but I am not sure if it is correct.
MMMMmm, peas ready to cook!

I'm not sure what else I will cook, but we WILL be having peas and a salad with tomatoes.
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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Celebrating with Cherry Crunch!

When I asked my sweety what kind of cake he wanted for his 45th birthday, he requested "Cherry Crunch". It is not really a cake, but it is definitely yummy! The other big plus is that it is EASY! It is also called Cherry Dump Cake in my Cake Mix Doctor Cookbook. I can remember my Mom making it often. My method is to melt 1 1/2 sticks of butter and spread a little in the bottom of the 9 x 13 dish. Next, I dump in 2 cans of Cherry pie filling. Top this with the cake mix and sprinkle the 1 cup of chopped pecans over the top. (Sometimes, I add a little coconut.) Lastly, drizzle the melted butter over the top. I baked it for about 1 hour in a 325 degree oven. Serve with vanilla ice cream! YUMMY!
Here it is all assembled!

Just out of the oven. It smells wonderful! Time to get out the ice cream!

My sweety with our boys. Gee, I wonder what they are contemplating?
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Friday, June 5, 2009

Fun In Fredericksburg!

Yippee! I'm out of school for the summer! My room is all packed and ready for summer floor waxing. Last year, we took a trip to Fredericksburg for several days. Brian was clowning around in the General Store. Ain't he purdy!
From "rodeo princess" to "James Dean wanna be". He found candy cigarrettes in Dooley's Five and Dime. His Dad rolled the box up in his sleeve.

One evening, after a full day of shopping and touring, my sister-in-law and I took our sons to climb Enchanted Rock. It is a climb best for cooler weather! The VIEW is worth the effort!
Whew, I made it!

On our way home from Fredericksburg, we visited Luckenbach. It was our first time to visit. I went back last January for "Luckenbach on Taps", a clogging workshop.
We don't have any plans for this summer yet. I do have a list of projects to work on though!
Ya'll Come Back!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Summer Memories!

Today was the last day of school for students in our district! Teachers have to work on Thursday to pack our rooms. I love the beginning of summer when I have the whole summer in front of me! Last year, we spent a couple of days at Goose Island State Park near Rockport, Texas. Texas Spiny Lizards are pretty plentiful there!
He blends into the tree pretty well!

Goose Island is a great place for bike riding and crabbing from the pier! Pop (my Dad) and Brian caught one!
Watch out for those pinchers!

Howdy, Mr. Crab!
Oh, Sweet Summertime!
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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Blooms and a Butterfly!

This little plant was a sweet surprise. I bought one last summer and planted it. It must have self-seeded. I know it as Balloon Flower.

The Balloon Flower now opened!
I have had many Black Swallowtail and Gulf Fritillary butterflies in my garden the last few days. I managed to catch this Gulf Fritillary on a zinnia.

I made a trip to our local HEB Plus for some groceries and found this white Canna. I love the pink specks!

Ya'll Come Back!


Monday, June 1, 2009

Houdini Hens!

I have added to the height of the fence and clipped flight feathers on their wings, yet they still get out. I think I have Houdini Hens! I guess I'll just feed them well and hope they get too fat to fly!

Yes, I am talking about YOU!

Ahh, it is the lure of bugs that you find so tempting!
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