Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tackle called off, due to rain (Tackle-it Tuesday)

Well, the plan was that for this week's tackle, because I am so woefully behind in this project to start with, was to plan and plant a butterfly/hummingbird garden in the yard just outside my kitchen window. While the mister gave the lawn its second mowing of the season, I *did* de-weed the little bushes which are already there. I'm not certain of the kind of bushes they are, but they produce delicate, white blossoms in the late spring, which the butterflies just luv!

Since the MIL gave me both a beautiful feeder AND the seed shaker for this Christmas passed, and my backdoor neighbor has offered me cuttings from her garden as well, I thought this week would provide a perfect opportunity to share my progress here, at Tackle-it Tuesday.

Mother Nature, it seems, has other plans for me, as today looks overcast and cloudy, with the weatherman calling for rain throughout the day, and so I am relegated to the typical Tuesday household chores, which for me include laundry, making dinner and sweeping the floors.

So, what does this Tuesday have *you* tackling? For your own participation, or just for inspiration, head on over to 5 minutes for mom and join in the fun. Until next time,
May all your tackles be productive ones!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Hibiscus blooms

Another weekend come and gone, and nary a blossom to be found at our cottage; either they are just budding, or past bloom, save my lime tree, and I guess you all are sick of seeing those from me! So, I opted to share some older photos (last year) of our fancy red hibiscus (actually, I'm not sure just what variety these are, but I did find this great website for future reference!) that grow near our front patio, in perfect view from our dining room window...

Flowers... are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty out values all the utilities of the world. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

To find more beautiful blooms, or to post an entry of your own, visit Today's Flowers

Chicken on the Menu

So, it's Monday again. Last week, we really didn't adhere much to our menu (we ate leftovers a couple of nites & had dinner at the SIL's over the weekend), so we have a few 'holdovers' in this week's lineup.

Mo's menu for March 30 - April 3

Monday: pot roast w/potatoes, carrots & onions (hold over)
Tuesday: soft tacos, re fried beans (hold over)
Wednesday: ravioli, garden salad
Thursday: chicken supreme Dijon*, rice, Brussel sprouts
Friday: pizza

The chicken Dijon is a new recipe for me, so I thought I'd share it here;
What you'll need: (makes 2 servings)
1 whole, boneless chicken breast, split
2 Tbsp. butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 small onion, minced
1/4 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

To make:
In skillet, over med. heat, brown chicken in 1 Tbsp. butter on both sides, until done; remove from pan (keep warm)
In same pan, cook garlic, onion and mushrooms in remaining butter until tender.
Stir in heavy cream & mustard; simmer, stirring constantly, until sauce is slightly thickened.
Add chicken; turn to coat in sauce.
Serve over rice.

So, what's on YOUR menu this week? For participation (AND inspiration) head on over to I'm an Organizing Junkie and see what's cookin' in the kitchens this week...

Friday, March 27, 2009

Blue Skies Ahead

Well, it looks like a beautiful start to a wonderful spring weekend! We're looking forward to temperatures in the high seventies throughout the weekend (with a chance to see the low eighties on Saturday), but they're calling for showers on Sunday afternoon. Right now, it's seventy-two, the sun is tryin' to shine, but its a bit cloudy and overcast this morning. These shots were taken while I was out in the yard, earlier this week; as you can see, we've had nothin' but bright, blue skies all week long; did I mention how very much I *LUV* spring?! Have a great weekend, everybody!

Nothing discernible to the eye of the spirit is more brilliant or obscure than man; nothing is more formidable, complex, mysterious, and infinite. There is a prospect greater than the sea, and it is the sky; there is a prospect greater than the sky, and it is the human soul. ~Victor Hugo

To see other sky watchers, or to play along yourself, visit
Crazy Working Mom

Multiples in Five

Wow...this week seemed to fly by - I can't believe its Friday already. It must be that the warm, spring weather; It seems there's more time in the day to get things accomplished, yet there's still not enough of it to get EVERYthing done!

a place to come on Friday's and think back over your week and just post about 5 favorite things from your week. It can be anything that tickled your fancy over the week. Favorite quotes, posts, happenings, scriptures, recipes, pictures, etc., etc

This past week included not one birthday, but two! My precious, sweet niece turned 6-years old last Saturday, and the littlest angel just turned two, yesterday. Tomorrow is the big birthday bash for us 'ol fuddy-duddies to attend, but Sweet Girl's "party for the little people" was, apparently, a smashing success!

My beautiful niece and her two loving brothers

2. Not one, or two, but THREE new-to-me books came to my house this week! While we were at the grocery store, I found the next installment (for *me*) of Evanovich's Plum series ("Lean Mean Thirteen") in hardcover, for $6, so I added that to the cart! Then, I received a bookcrossing RABCK (Random Act of BookCrossing Kindness) from a generous reader who saw it ("Blasphemy" by Douglas Preston) on my wishlist, and was kind enough to share it with me! And finally, I received another GoodReads author giveaway ARC book, entitled "Land of Men" by Edward Muesch. From what I gather reading the previews, its a sort of sci-fi historical thriller; can't wait to crack THAT one open, either! (Oh, BTW, I *did* finish reading and reviewing "American Rust" - the last GoodReads title I told you all about - and if you're interested, you can read my review,here.)

3. Speaking of the grocery store, we got THE best Italian five-grain wheat bread from the Publix deli this week...OMGosh! it is soooo good!! In fact, I'm having a toasted piece with my coffee, as I type this! YUMMY!!

4. My neighbor friend has gotten some good news this week. See, she's been dealing with a serious medical condition for over a year now. She needs to undergo surgery (again!), and so she just underwent tests on her heart and stress-levels to determine if she IS a candidate for the surgery. This week, those test results came back positively, and now she can get back on the road to full recovery...I'd say that qualifies for a Friday Fave!

5. And finally, I am adding the fact that I washed/cleaned ALLLL the window treatments in our house this week, PLUS I washed the windows in all the living areas (still need to do the ones in the bedrooms...) including our ten pane front door - inside AND out!! The window washing part isn't the fave, obviously. It makes my list because I am ever-so-thankful that *that* spring-cleaning chore is out of the way!

So, how about YOU??! What are your Friday Fave Fives?? Be sure to check in with Susanne's at Living to Tell the Story, and see what favorites made the lists this week! Jump on in and add your list, too...its a great way to start the weekend. Until next time,

May your week be filled with all of your favorite things!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Garden Talk in March

Well, here we are at the tail end of March, and what should be happening in my little N Florida garden?

Well, the lawn has already had its first cutting of the season.If you have St. Augustine grass (like we do), now is also the time to begin fertilizing the yard (first in March, then again in May, July and Sept.) if you are prone to doing so. Remember, we have new state fertilization guidelines and restrictions, now: No more than 1lb. nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft., and no more than 1/4 lb. phosphorus/1,000 sq. ft., each time you apply fertilizer. The total amount of nitrogen cannot exceed 4 lbs. per year; phosphorus, 1/2 lb. per year. Be sure to read the fine print on those bags, carefully!

All the dead grass and leaves should be removed from the lawn and composted by now; As usual, we're a little behind on that particular chore. But, the banana trees are all trimmed back, all the citrus trees are de-weeded and fertilized, I'm happy to say, AND my lime tree is blooming!! (yeah, I know YOU know, but I'm beyond excited about that!!) Palm trees should also be fertilized this month, as well as the azaleas when they've finished blooming (this is also a good time to transplant those, if you've a mind to do so.)

Prune the cold weather damaged plants now, after the new growth appears; doing so beforehand can cause you to remove too much, and the plant will take longer to recover. Heavy pruning of the hedges should be done anytime after Mid-March, as well; For more bushy growth, prune just below the bud swells. To retard growth, prune just after growth flush, once the leaves have fully expanded.

And, if you've turned your beds at least two weeks in advance (hahahah....yeah.), now is the time to start planting those tender annuals and vegetables.

Some of the veggies to plant this month: snap beans, lima beans, carrots, celery, corn, cucumbers, lettuce, peppers, potatoes, summer squash, and tomatoes.

Annuals to plant: begonias, coleus, dahlias,daisies, geranuims, impatiens, kalanchoe, marigolds, salvia, periwinkles, phlox, verbenas, and zinnias.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sweet rewards

Yesterday, while I was blowing off taking a break from windows and washing, I took time out to make a batch of Peanut Butter Blossoms to reward my sweet tooth hard work. I suppose just about everyone already has a recipe for these, but I thought today, as my participation in this week's Midweek Morsels, I'd share mine (I *would* say this was another of grandma's recipes, however I was informed this week that my orange cookie recipe actually comes from my mom's kitchen, and I don't want to give 'false credits' for this one! So...this one started either with mom, gram, or great-grandma, all of whose recipes are blurred together in my recipe files!!)

What you'll need: (makes 2 doz. cookies)
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 cup vegetable shortening (Crisco)
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. milk
1 egg
1 3/4 c. flour
24 Hershey's chocolate kisses, unwrapped

to make:

In large bowl, cream together peanut butter & shortening.

Add egg, milk and vanilla ; Add sugar and brown sugar; beat until all ingredients are thoroughly blended.

GRADUALLY add the flour & baking soda, and beat until dough is light and crumbly.

Roll dough into small (quarter-sized?) balls, roll balls in white sugar (a small bit on a plate) and place on un-greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes, then remove from oven.

Firmly press one Hershey's Kiss in the center of each cookie; return to oven for 2-5 minutes more.

If you want to find some more great recipes, or to include one of your own, be sure to head on over to Kristina's Favorites for her Midweek Morsels; Keep on cookin', folks!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The view thru my windows (Tackle-it Tuesday)

Okay, so I admit it, folks; my tackle this week is the SAME ONE that I began to tackle last week; to clean all the windows and the window treatments. Now, I give myself some slack here, because I *do* have 13 double-hung, weighted windows, each with 12 individual panes to clean. Yes, the one in the bathroom is of a slightly smaller scale, but it too has 12 individual panes; and, that doesn't even include the two sets of Florida windows in the kitchen (which I hate, by the way, and would just luv to replace those with a nice garden window, but I digress...) or my 10-pane front door...plus, I figure there's more to life than doin' laundry and washin' windows, don'tcha think?!

BUT... I have got quite a bit of it tackled; I've finished the front door (see; you can see clearly now - no dog snot at all!), both inside AND out( please ignore all the leaves that have blown onto the front porch - it's been a windy week) , and have cleaned the inside of both the living room windows and the two in the dining room (but, obviously, they need some severe outside cleanin', as well!); I've got all the "exterior" curtains (swags?) washed and ready to hang back up, but, I'm currently soaking the sheer under-panels, that - obviously - must be hung first. And, I still have to do the kitchen, bedrooms AND bathroom windows yet -- including the shutters in there; I *hate* cleaning those shutters, but I do like the way they look, so....a gal's gotta have her priorities!

So, what are *you* tackling this Tuesday? Need some motivation? Be sure to head on over to 5 minutes for mom to get some inspiration, or to add a tackle of your own.

~ May all *your* tackles be productive ones! ~

Monday, March 23, 2009

What's for Dinner this week?

Well, with nearly 400 participants, I guess I'm not telling anything "new" here, but I'm an Organizing Junkie hosts Menu Planning Monday every week, for those of us who want to try and stay on point with our menus, and find some new additions to our recipe repertoire. And, so, since I need all the help I can get, I've decided to play along, myself!

Mo's menu for the week of March 23rd

Monday: meatloaf, mashed potatoes & green beans
Tuesday: ravioli w/hot sausages, garlic bread, garden salad
Wednesday: Swiss chicken, white rice and vegetable medley
Thursday: soft tacos & re fried beans
Friday: pot roast w/onions, potatoes and carrots

Now, since this is only my first post here, I really don't have many recipes yet to link to; I promise tho, once I get the hang of this one, my posts will get more interesting... I hope. However, there are a TON of recipes to be had - just click HERE, and you'll find 'em!!

Blue Blossoms

Well, again, there isn't much new blooming in my yard this beautiful spring morn; the rain is coming tho, so I imagine it's just a matter of time...
These are some of my favorite garden dwellers; not sure what they're called, but they sure are pretty!

Can we conceive what humanity would be if it did not know the flowers? ~Maurice Maeterlinck

To find more beautiful blooms, or to post an entry of your own, visit Today's Flowers

Friday, March 20, 2009

Ostara Sunrise

Well it's a beautiful morning here at the beach on this, the first day of spring! Right now, its about 60 degrees, with high's near 70 all through the weekend. I was up bright and early this morning, so I snapped these two photos from my front patio, looking east, toward the new day...

The year's at the spring
And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hillside's dew-pearled;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn;
God's in His heaven -
All's right with the world!
~Robert Browning

To see other sky watchers, or to play along yourself, visit
Crazy Working Mom

Simple things

Here we are at the end of another week, and its time once again for

a place to come on Friday's and think back over your week and just post about 5 favorite things from your week. It can be anything that tickled your fancy over the week. Favorite quotes, posts, happenings, scriptures, recipes, pictures, etc., etc

Spring has finally sprung, and I'm looking forward to the weekend! I hardly ventured out of my own house this week, but I am feeling healthy again after having some bug last weekend, so my 1. favorite thing this week is that I FEEL GOOD! (...said in my best James Brown voice...)

And, since the warmer weather seems to be here for the duration, my little tootsies needed some TLC to be 'presentable' to the world, and so, coming in at #2. this week is my little tube of True Blue Spa "Shea it isn't so" shea butter foot cream. As I am true to my hillbilly roots in the summer, and I spend as much time barefoot as possible, this stuff is my friend! 3. On that same note, we can't be walking around barefoot with BARE toes, so I've painted my little digits with Sally Hansen's Hard as Nails "champagne frost".

4. The mister brought me home a package of Pepperidge Farm Orange Milano cookies, just because they're kinda hard to find around here and he knows they're a favorite...I'm counting both the cookies AND the mister as one of my "faves" *wink*

5. this week I was honored with not one, but TWO different awards for my blogs- one here, by Susanne herself (our wonderful host for this FridayFaveFive!), and one on my other space, from my friend Thorne at Eclectic Witch. So, my fifth Fave Five this week is a nod to all my blogging buddies, who's beautiful photographs, witty posts, thoughtful introspection, helpful hints and tips and funny words all help make MY week just *that much* better!

May your Friday, and every day, be filled with your

Thursday, March 19, 2009

'Priciate it!!

Ms. Susanne over at Living to Tell the Story has honored me with this wonderful little award:

The rules (aren't there *always* rules?!) are to list 7 things I love and then to tag 7 people to do likewise.

Okay, so this part is pretty easy:

1. The Mister
2. The Mother
3. The Hounds (does that count as two?!)
4. The Manx
5. the sunrise
6. the moonlight
7. coffee

Now, seven folks to play along??! ...

Tink *~*~* @ My Mobile Adventures
Dianne @ Do You See What I See
Linda @ Are We There Yet?
Gayle @ The White House
Tish @ CrAzY Working Mom
Kristina @ Kristina's Favorites
Fran @ Toad Haven Annex

Ladies, this one's for YOU!! (And, Thank You Susanne, for thinking of me!)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

From Grandma's Kitchen

This week, the mister brought me home a package of one of my favorite store-bought cookies: Pepperidge Farm Orange Milano...oh, how I luv these! They're not too sweet, and they have just that *right* amount of orange flavor. Very yummy. But, they got me thinking about some of my favorite homemade cookies, more specifically, my grandma's orange cookies. Ohhh...how I luv those things even more, so even tho I haven't made them in awhile, I thought I'd share the recipe here with you, for my Midweek Morsels

What you'll need: (makes 3 dozen cookies)
2 1/4 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. shortening
1 egg
juice from 1 orange
grated peel from the orange
1/2 c. milk

To make:
Cream together sugar and shortening; add milk, egg, orange juice & peel.
Mix dry ingredients and add to wet mix.
Drop on cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 10 min. let cool. (These are best, when covered in a simple powdered sugar glaze...yummm-my!!)

If you'd like to participate in this weekly recipe round-up, or want to see what others are posting, head on over to Kristina's Favorites.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Erin Go Bragh

~ Happy St. Patrick's Day ~

Let the Sunshine In! (Tackle-it Tuesday)

Although the nice spring temperatures look like they're here for the duration, it's rather cloudy and overcast today, and it looks like we may get some much needed rain. BUT, it *is* spring...and since today is a normal laundry day at my house, I thought I'd take the opportunity to take down all the window curtains and give them a good spring-cleaning, as they could certainly use it. And, since they will already be "curtain-less" for a time, I suppose today would be as good a day as any to wash the windows, as well (well, the inside of them, anyway). With two hounds who love to press their noses to the panes, all of my lower windows look as though they've been glazed (eeww)! So, if I expect to accomplish that task, I suppose I ought to get a spring in my step, huh?!

What about YOU? Are you tackling something today?? Be sure to head on over to 5 minutes for Mom to see what others have planned for the day - Until next time,

May All YOUR Tackles be Successful ones!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day (Mar '09)

Well, as many of you already know, May Dreams Gardens hosts Garden Bloggers Bloom Day on the 15th of each month; And if you read *this* blog, you may *also* know that I missed the opportunity to participate last month ('cause I simply forgot!), but was bound-and-determined to play along this month. But, I forgot that the 15th was a Sunday this month, and because I don't usually venture into BlogLand on the weekends, I am - not unusually - late. So, if you will all permit me my delay, I will post my entry, post haste!

Although, truth be told, while we *did* spend a good deal of time in the garden this past weekend - the mister mowed the lawn and trimmed the banana trees, while I cleaned out a flowerbed or two - and many shades of green can be found peeking out from various corners, we have very little actually "blooming", as of yet.

Along with the hot pink azaleas that I featured in today's early post...I noticed this lone impatiens trying to revive itself for the new blooming season.

There are also wild blackberries that are 'blooming' along my garden path; interesting little flowers...

And, of course, I would be remiss if I didn't mention my FAVORITE Bloom of the Day:

Our Key Lime tree!! Finally, after three years, it is blooming!! I'm so excited - can you tell?!

My wait, rewarded

Well, my little, lone azalea bush opened all of its buds over the weekend, and provided me with several beautiful blooms...it would look even prettier blooming along side a few more of its kind, wouldn't you think?!

Flowers seem intended for the solace of ordinary humanity. ~ John Ruskin

To find more beautiful blooms, or to post an entry of your own, visit Today's Flowers

Friday, March 13, 2009

Clear skies and bright stars

Well, it seems that the warm weather is here to stay, nothing but high 70's through the weekend; The weatherman does predict some rain on Sunday, but we actually need that, so I won't complain. We had a full moon early this week, so I snapped a photo...

Tis the witching hour of night,
Or bed is the moon and bright,
And the stars they glisten, glisten,
Seeming with bright eyes to listen
For what listen they?
~ John Keats

To see other sky watchers, or to play along yourself, visit Crazy Working Mom

A 'Limited' Addition

Ugh! I am SOO feeling crappy today, folks, and I have been since Wednesday afternoon, so my "favorite things" may be a bit limited this week. But, I figured that is kinda the whole point of the exercise, right?! So, here's my contribution to this week's

a place to come on Friday's and think back over your week and just post about 5 favorite things from your week. It can be anything that tickled your fancy over the week. Favorite quotes, posts, happenings, scriptures, recipes, pictures, etc., etc

1. The switch back to Daylight Savings time, 'cause now we actually HAVE some daylight once the mister gets home.

2. The warmer temperatures, that look like they are here for the duration - Welcome Back, Springtime!!

3. The blossoms on my Key Lime tree; we've had the thing for three years now, and this is the first year we've seen any blooms.

4. The hounds; they seem to sense when I'm not feeling well, and don't create the mischief they normally do!

5. The clearance-rack, knee-length sweat pants (exercise pants??) I purchased for $4 a few weeks back - they are very comfy, and great for loungin' around in when your not up to doin' much else!

So, there's my Friday Fave Five; Check out Living to tell the Tale for other participants, or to add your own. And, until next time -

~May all your days be filled with your FAVORITE THINGS~

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Recipe Round-up

As I have mentioned here, recently, since the mister has been put on a bi-weekly pay schedule (instead of every Friday, as I was happily used to), and that has forced motivated me to attempt to plan a weekly menu, and stick to it! I've been doing pretty well, I must say, and it's even provided for a bit more 'variety' in the meals, because I'm not trying to pull it together on the fly...

With this in mind, I came across this meme at Kristina's Favorites, and thought perhaps this was just the thing to prompt me a bit further, and perhaps allow me to add some new recipes to the repertoire that I could steal borrow from the other participants.

So, as *my* first participation, I thought I'd share one of my recipes that I just made again for the first time in a long time...Mediterranean-Style Chicken. I've had this recipe in my box for years, so I'm not really sure just where it came from, but it's one we keep going back to, when I think to look through my files!

1-2 lbs. skinless chicken pieces
1 tblsp. olive oil
1 (14 oz.) can tomatoes, cut up
1/4 c. dry, red wine
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. dried basil
1 bay leaf
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tblsp. water
2 tsp. cornstarch
sliced (pimento) stuffed green olives

spaghetti noodles, cooked & drained

To make:
Heat olive oil in 10" skillet over medium heat; Add chicken and brown evenly on both sides (about 10 min.)

Add undrained tomatoes, wine, sugar, basil, garlic and bay leaf; bring to a boil then reduce heat. Cover and simmer until chicken is tender (about 35-40 min.).

In a small bowl, mix water and cornstarch, then add to skillet, stir and cook until thickened and bubbly.

Serve over cooked spaghetti noodles; garnish with olives.

So, if you are looking for some new recipes to try, or want to share some of YOUR favorites, why not stop on over to Kristina's Favorites and play along?!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Spring Tackles (Tackle-it Tuesday)

Well, it's been a looong time since I've posted a Tackle-it Tuesday entry; I wanted to jump back in the fray, so today I am posting my efforts to fertilize the fruit trees outside my kitchen window. It's March already (!!) and that means it's time for their feeding!

lemon & orange (Valencia) tree ~ Fig tree

Key Lime

The first thing I had to do was de-weed underneath them; Since I haven't spent much time out there recently, this was *quite* the job!! As usual, I forgot to take "before" pics (this is the biggest reason WHY I usually miss Tackle-it Tuesdays!), but here's what I removed:

That was actually the hardest part of the job, obviously, because now, all I had left to do was to 'plant' the sticks!

I used "Sta-Green" fertilizer spikes, which keep feeding for up to six months, delivering nutrients directly to the root zone; You simply hammer the spikes in at the drip line of the tree (at LEAST two feet from the trunk) until it is 2 inches below the surface. And, Wah-la! All done 'til September!

And, Look! I've already got Lime blossoms!!

So what are YOU Tackling today?? Be sure to head on over to 5 minutes for mom, and tell all about it!! See what everyone else is tackling, and maybe garner some motivation...