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Lizards and Potato Bugs

Posted on October 30, 2016 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (0)


 So.... I learned what a Potato Bug is. I don't want to again! LOL. Stepping in stocking feet into the garage in Auburn, I halted mid-stride as my husband, Rob exclaimed,"WHAT is THAT?" Geez! Talk about a heart attack! It looked prehistoric and had come in out of the rain storm. He took it outside and we went finger tripping thru pics on the internet on our cells to find out what the huge 2-3 inch ant-thingy was. They are actually quite harmless and eat bad bugs for dinner so I am ok with with them now, though, I really don't want to share my house with them.

 I would rather share my rock house with the birds and lizards. I was hoping to find them here as they are a happy part of my yard in So Cali. The thought of lizards scurrying up my walls in the garden makes me smile. I love the little push-ups they do as they hesitate in the sun and then run off under the shutters cool shade. Directly behind our new property is a canal, and a reservoir with a couple 12-15 acre farms are behind our back hill. The open canal and the land lends itself to wildlife and we already have encountered a few skunks, a coyote and a deer on the property. I was quite amazed at how a coyote can climb a fence. I really didn't believe they could but have a friend who has seen it. I grew up with coyotes around and chickens and septic tanks and orange groves galore. Wells and potato bugs and deer are a whole new thing. So life is wild! We'll have to keep our dalmation-lab Cookie, in at night, but she is loving the huge yard we have brought her too. She misses the cat, who is here at home and we are of the thought she needs a companion, even after we bring our old farm cat, Diva, up north to live.

One doesn't really know what a huge part of your life a pet becomes until you own pets that are part of the family. That are smart and have personalities and so unmistakenly love you. Cookie is one of those. A free puppy from outside our Target store, my daughter, Summer, and I picked her up and she immediately snuggled up. I don't think she's allowed us to let her down since. Of course, at 90 lbs its a bit hard nowdays! She does think she fits under the bed and on our laps but there is no denying the love she brings and the bond between my husband and that furry heap of wagging tail. Diva, the cat, on the other hand- is just that. A diva. We brought her home from the pumpkin patch owners litter of kittens when the kids were young. She has definitely retained her rights to languish on sofas and beds and walk, tail twitching, through all these years of slumber parties, puppies, soccer equiptment, art work and house remodeling. One can't argue with her divinity or knowledge that she owns part of the house and this family! Though I do wish she would stay off the clean laundry.

Sometimes we forget all the crazy, wild wonder around us. Seeing only traffic and work and bills. Travel to and from and just getting by. Even the "ewww" bugs have a place and our pets are furry teachers of loyalty and love. They depend on us and give us an unconditionality we cannot argue with and sometimes we don't take the time to see. A trust that we will care for them as they simply exist in our busy households. I'm hoping to slow down a bit up north. To touch a bit of that trusting, calmer existance. To gain more lizard push up "style" and Diva-ness and Cookie joy. In that realization, I hope I can stop my stress on things that do not matter and to learn to let the good in. To accept the peace that is always there offered to me in the spiritual universe and be more of that type of example to the ones I love. Those who constantly also remind me of how amazingly wonderful is the gift of children and family and friends.

S'more Ideas

Posted on April 4, 2013 at 1:30 PM Comments comments (0)

First- I did set out to find new "camping Food ideas- now I'm just kind of hooked on over the campfire "desserts" or fun food. Like the cinnamon rolls hooked over the fire above- in orange skins. The poster said that getting the orange out of the skins was a bit sticky but gave her kids something to do while she was cooking the main dishes. Covered in tin foil- they were "stream cooked" to an inviting size. Orange with cinnamon- yum! I wondered when seeing these about how well my Aunt Harriet's orange (Bisquick) biscuits would do. She would add a bit of sugar to them and then cook them in a pan that was bottom coated with a layer of orange juice and powdered sugar- like a thin syrup-that soaked up into them. It was what we looked forward to when we visited our great Aunt in Orange County. Charades too!

So then, I was pulled into the S'more idea- Googling photos of combos for over the campfire. These are just a few-

Bananas- this would be so yummy with the warm chocolate

and my hubby doesn't take to marshmallows so this is a great answer!

Strawberries-very glampy!

French Toast- this could be done over the fire too or inside the trailer. REALLY sweet I'm sure but worth a taste!

This was a baked before idea, -  PB cookies with chips and tiny marshmallows. Good idea and peanut butter as an additive to over the campfire is too.Also blonde brownies with Chocolate (Fudge?) and marshmallows.

Cupcakes in graham cracker and chocolate with marshmallow frosting-


Berries! What an excellent idea- same as the strawberries- they could be added at the fire. How decadent,

and of course, what to do with all those Peeps and Chocolate Bunnies....


It's St Patrick's and I'm Baking

Posted on March 15, 2013 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Irish Cream Swirl Brownie Recipe-add a bit of sweetness to this weekend and St Patrick's


Makes 16 servings

Ingredients:1 package (18 to 20 ounces) fudge brownie mix

1 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1/4 cup Irish cream liqueur

1 egg

1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Green Food Color

Directions:Prepare brownie mix as directed on package, adding vanilla. Reserve one cup batter. Spread remaining batter in greased 9-inch square baking pan.Beat cream cheese, flour and sugar in medium bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add Irish cream liqueur, egg and food color; beat until well blended. Pour over brownie layer in pan. Drop reserved one cup batter by the spoonful over cream cheese layer. Cut through batter with knife several times for marble effect.Bake as directed on package for 9-inch square baking pan. Cool in pan.

Just fun photos to get your mind cookin' too.

 This week has been full of doctor appt and an actual photo shoot! New portfolio shots (me) for my website by a wonderful young photographer, Chris Goode. He is local and home from college this week. A friend of my daughter's and has a great artistic eye. I did request the "loose 15 pounds lens" but he forgot it at home. LOL. Guess I'll have to make due with his skills and a beautiful day yesterday. The fields are green and lush with the last rains and we found some new places for shoots in the future for him also.



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