Saturday, November 17, 2012

My Grandmothers Beautiful Great and Great Great Grandchildren!



My Grandmother will be 89 on the 27th of November.  My mother asked me to put together a photo of all the Great and Great Great Grandchildren!  This is it!  What  beautiful bunch of kids! 
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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fall Is Among Us

This photo is from last year.  I really need to find the time to get out and start taking pictures again!  I have been so busy with work and school.  Especially school!  I am enjoying it for the most part.  It just sucks sometimes when I am not feeling that creative! 

Friday, September 28, 2012

A Lot Going On!





Wow!  So much to talk about.  Life is good!  School is going great.  It is a lot harder then I thought it would be!  I have a lot of projects I am working on.  I am working also!  It is official!  I am a merchandiser for a large manufacturer of cookies and crackers!  It is a part time job and very flexible.  After the first week....I thought I was going to die though! Very physical!  It is all good though.  I can do this for a while.  Nick is away at college but he is coming home this weekend!  Jack is doing good in 8th grade.  He is growing up so fast!  Heather is happy working and doing her own thing!  The hubby seems to be happy for the most part.  He came home yesterday in a mood though.  Something must have happened at work.  I have not had a lot of time to post here or take photo's.  I miss that!  Hopefully I will be able to find the time to get back to it!  All for now! 

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Shrimp and Grits

Sometimes I post pictures to Facebook of what I made for dinner that night. Last night it was Shrimp and Grits. I got several request for the recipe! I checked online and there are several variations. I put together what I had in my kitchen. I basically made up my own recipe! You can add what you want according to your taste. I would have liked to have added fresh peppers to mine but peppers do not agree with my husband anymore!


Ingredients

Grits - I used Quaker Instant Grits 1 1/2 cups to 2 cups water, 1 cup milk Follow the directions on the bag. I like to add milk because it makes it creamer
4 slice bacon
1/4 cup diced onion
1 small clove garlic
1 package of Andouille Sausage - I used Aidells Sausage
1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp
Cheese - I used sharp cheddar cheese - however cheesy you want your grits!
Special Ingredient - Old Bay Seasoning

Cook the grits according to directions. Make sure you add salt also. If the grits look too dry, add more water. Add your cheese to the grits. Cook the bacon and remove from pan. Saute the onion and garlic in the bacon. Add the sausage to heat up. Add the shrimp and Old Bay Seasoning. Add as much Old Bay or as little as you want. Cook till the Shrimp is no longer pink. Crumble the bacon and add to the grits. Add the sausage and shrimp to the grits. Enjoy!

PS This dinner took very little time to throw together! 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Walk Through the Gardens

 
I decided to go on a photo walk yesterday to one of my favorite places!  Glencairn Gardens.  It was a beautiful day!  I met a couple of crazy squirrels along the way!  I did very little post editing on the photo's.  Just a little cropping and saturation.  Click on the link above and enjoy!  Can you feel the sunshine! 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Last Bloom and New Beginnings!

My two gardenia bushes are blooming again!  I am not sure what variety they are but they bloom twice a year.  I remember when we came to look at this house 10 years ago.  It was November and the gardenia bush was blooming!  I knew that was a sign! 

There has been so much going on these last couple of weeks.  Nick is at USC and his classes start today.  Jack and I both started school yesterday.  I am really going to enjoy my classes!  This semester I am taking Computer Graphics, Color and Composition and Typography.  I feel like I am back in art class in junior high school!  This is something I have always wanted to do.   I also found out this morning that I have been offered a part time job.  It will be ideal with me going back to school! 

Life is good!

Monday, August 06, 2012

Going Back to School!


I am starting to get really excited now! I had signed up for classes this past spring at the local community college for Digital Design. I was not able to take all of the classes because I was offered a job and had to take it! I had been unemployed for a year.  I did keep one of the classes at night though. I only stayed at that job for 3 months. The drive was too far and there was not enough work to keep me busy.  I have now signed back up for 3 classes at night.

   






 I picked up my books and art kit today!
 When I saw the art kit I felt like it was Christmas!









It may take me a while to finish but I can do it! Now....just need to find a job!

Ratatouille



I made homemade ratatouille last night for dinner!  Most of the items came from our garden our one of our friends gardens!  This is one of the easiest side dishes to make! 


Ingredients

Eggplant - diced
Zucchini - diced
Tomatoes - diced
Red Onion - sliced or diced
Basil
Olive Oil
Garlic
Salt and Pepper

Saute the garlic and onions in the olive oil.  Add the vegetables and saute until soft.  Add the salt and pepper to taste.  Add the basil at the end.  You can serve this hot or cold!  As you can see I do not have amounts.  This is something that you can add a little or a lot of!  Enjoy! 




Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Watermelon

Have a slice of homegrown watermelon!  I am not sure what variety it is.  It is hit or miss on whether the watermelon is tasty this year.   This one was good!  Sometimes they mix with other stuff that has been planted in the garden.  We had a watermelon one year that tasted like cucumber! 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Homemade Salsa




Okay....so I was going to make homemade salsa the other day with our homegrown tomatoes.  Turns out deer like tomatoes!  The banana peppers are from our garden though.  Dennis planted those by mistake.  I really don't have a recipe per say for my salsa.  A little of this and a little of that!  This is what I added today! 

3 ripe tomatoes
1/2 red onion chopped
2 banana peppers chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
a few dashes Texas Pete
salt and pepper
a little olive oil
lots of cilantro!  I love cilantro

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Trip to Columbia, SC

I had a great time with my Aunt Deanie on Saturday.  I met her in Columbia, SC.  I forgot my card for my camera and we had to walk to CVS to get a new one.  We then walked around the State House grounds.  We walked down Main Street and went to The Mast General Store.  There were so many neat things in there!  We went to The Columbia Museum of Art and also The old Tapp's building.  They have many local artist featured in the Tapp's building.  Later on in the evening we headed to Mac's on Main for some shrimp and grits and live music!  Fun time!  Check out the photo's on the link below!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

New Plants


I love finding deals on plants this time of the year!  I found several that I liked at Wal-Mart that were 50% off!  They were all still healthy and I did not spend a fortune.  I planted four lantana and one hydrangea.  I can't wait to see if the hydrangea will be blue or pink!  I also planted purple pansies in my hanging baskets. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Carrot Cake


My son Nick turned 18 on July 12th.  One of his favorite cakes is carrot cake.  I made it for him for his birthday.  It can be time consuming (shredding the carrots) but it is well worth it!  It was delicious!  The only downfall are the calories in one slice of cake...711 cal!  This recipe is from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. 

 

Makes: 12 servings
Prep: 30 mins Cool: 2 hrs Bake: 350°F 35 mins
Ingredients
4 eggs, lightly beaten
 2 cupsall-purpose flour
2 cupssugar
2 teaspoonsbaking powder
1 teaspoonground cinnamon (optional)
1/2 teaspoonsalt
1/2 teaspoonbaking soda
3 cupsfinely shredded carrots* (lightly packed)
3/4 cup oil
1 recipe Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cupfinely chopped pecans, toasted (optional)

Directions
1. Allow eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grease two 8x1-1/2-inch round cake pans; line pans with waxed paper and grease the paper. Set pans aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon (if desired), salt, and baking soda; set aside.
3. In another bowl combine eggs, carrots, and oil. Add egg mixture to flour mixture. Stir until combined. Pour batter into the prepared pans.
4. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool cake layers in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove cake layers from pans; cool thoroughly.
5. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting. If desired, sprinkle chopped pecans over frosting. Cover and store cake in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Tip *Tip:The carrots need to be finely shredded or they may sink to the bottom of the pan during baking.
  • Variation Ginger Carrot Cake:Prepare as above, except omit the cinnamon; add 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger or 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger with the eggs, carrots, and oil.




Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 3-1/2 cups frosting
Ingredients
1 8 ouncepackagecream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoonsvanilla
5 1/2 - 6 cupspowdered sugar

Directions
In a large bowl beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat powdered sugar to reach spreading consistency. (This frosts tops and sides of two 8- or 9-inch layers. Halve the recipe to frost a 13x9x2-inch cake.) Cover and store the frosted cake in refrigerator.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Cousins


"A cousin is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost."
Author: Marion C. Garretty


Jack was able to spend two weekends with his young cousins.  This weekend was at Grand mama’s house.  He is so good with the little ones!  He has been like that since he was a toddler himself.  I am not sure what he will be when he is grown…..but I hope it has something to do with children! 

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Butterfly Garden

There is a butterfly garden at the SC Children's Museum as well.  I enjoyed getting photo's of the beautiful butterflies!

South Carolina Children's Museum

Jack and I had a great time on Saturday with Chris, Jacob and Molly at the SC Children's Museum.  I had never been before.  It is geared for much younger children then Jack but he still had a good time.  I highly recommend it if you have young children!




Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cool as a Cucumber!

With the garden in full swing we also have an abundance of cucumbers.  I have never canned pickles and I don't really want to.  I have to come up with fresh idea's for the cucumbers.  I found this recipe in one of my Greek cookbooks.  It is very easy and quite good!  I had most of the ingredients except for the walnut oil.  The oil was a little pricey but I will find another use for it!


Chilled Cucumber Soup
Ingredients
serves 4
2 med cucumbers
1 1/4 cups authentic Greek yogurt
1 1/4 cups chicken stock ( I used low fat)
2 tbsp walnut oil
1 large garlic clove crushed
3 tbsp chopped fresh dill
salt and pepper
1 cup walnut pieces/chopped




  • Peel the cucumbers and chop the flesh into small dice.  Beat the yogurt and the chicken stock, the walnut oil, garlic, and dill, reserving a little to garnish.  Stir in the chopped cucumber and season with salt and pepper.
  • Chill the soup in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours
  • Stir in the chopped walnuts an serve garnished with the reserved dill.  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Picture Perfect Postcard

Something about this picture is very relaxing to me.  It reminds me to slow down and take each day as it comes.  Maybe it is the colors and the lighting.  Or the bicycle with one tire!  I am not sure what it is but I can look at it for a very long time.  What do think about the picture? 


Monday, June 25, 2012

Celebration



Photo's of Celebration Weekend 



What a beautiful weekend for a wonderful celebration!  We drove up to Leonardtown, Md for my brother in law's 25th anniversary of his ordination as a priest.  It was wonderful to see family I had not seen in a while on such a special occasion!  


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Wildlife in the Yard


Freezing Green Beans



My husband plants a wonderful vegetable garden every year! My job is to prepare and cook the vegetables. We always have an abundance of green beans! Freezing green beans is very simple!






 Rinse your green beans in cool water.  Drain your green beans and then snap the ends off.  Snap your beans into the size you would like.

.  Put the green beans into rapidly boiling water, cover the pot and boil for 3 minutes.  You can re-use the water 3 to 5 times. 

Use a large slotted spoon to remove the green beans from the boiling water and immediately plunge them in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.  Keep them in the ice water for 3 minutes.  Put the green beans in a zip lock freezer bag. Make sure you get as much air out as you can to prevent freezer burn.   I ran out of bags so I used a freezer container!





Saturday, June 16, 2012

Homemade Laundry Soap

I saw the recipe for this homemade laundry soap on Pinterest!  I had to try it!  There are five people in my family and we go through so much laundry soap.  I made this yesterday and have done several loads!  The cloths come out smelling and looking clean!  My sons were sceptical about it but they are clueless on saving money!  My youngest son got into it though and wanted to do his own laundry!  We will see how long that lasts!  Now I need to try the homemade dish washing detergent!  Link to recipe is below!

P.S.  Thank you Wendy for the name of soap!


Aug 27th -  This soap lasted about 12 weeks for me.  Still pretty good I would say!  I have now made it for a 2nd time and this time I used my food processor to grate the soap!  Much faster! 


http://beingcreativetokeepmysanity.blogspot.com/2010/11/homemade-laundry-soap.html

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Feeling Crafty

Sometimes I just need to knock out a little craft on rainy days!  It really lifts my spirits.  These stamped tea towels are very easy to do!  I want to keep them all but I will probably give some away! 


Monday, June 04, 2012

The Graduate

Congratulations Nicholas Ryan Dakes!  We are very proud of you!  Oh the things that you will do!

Love,
Mom and Dad

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Guacamole

Homemade Guacamole

2 avocado's peeled and halved
1/2 small onion chopped
1 minced garlic
cilantro - as much or as little as you like
lime juice- as much or as little as you like
salt and pepper
hot sauce - your choice!  I used Texas Pete
sun dried tomatoes - as much or as little you like

Mix all ingredients in a food processor!  Eat right away with chips or chill for later! 
Enjoy! 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Too Many Squirrels?



Can you have too many squirrels in your yard? I say yes! This is bird food not squirrel food! I also caught them cutting down the corn! I think they are drinking the water out of the stalks. I am not sure. I will have to Google. There are so many squirrels in our neighborhood that I call our road Squirrel Suicide Alley. I have always liked squirrels....now I am not sure.


I put Vaseline on the edges of the feeder!
Checking it out!

I think that it may have worked!



Here comes another one!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Early Morning Flowers


The smell from the gardenia's in the front of the house is intoxicating!  I wish you could smell them!  These are a few shots from some of the flowers in the yard.  I just had the urge this morning!  What a great way to start your Monday morning!  



This rose bush was not doing too well....it finally has a bud on it!




I love the Elephant Ears!