Monday, November 18, 2013

Easy and Delicious Spinach and Artichoke Heart Dip

After much debate over using this recipe or that one, I finally took a leap of faith and made spinach dip at home. Much better than my last attempt, I have dubbed this one my favorite.

1 jar artichoke hearts
1 bunch of spinach.
fresh chopped parsley
minced garlic about a tablespoon
sea salt
black pepper
8 oz of cream cheese.
8 oz Parmesan cheese
8 oz mozzarella cheese

Put cream cheese with chopped artichoke hearts and spinach into microwave save bowl and keep warming it until cheese can be mixed in. Once mixed you can add the other ingredients. Put in a baking dish and top with a little more cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. I do keep an eye on it and remove if the cheese is getting too toasty on top. Serve!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Crochet T-Shirt Rug!

Update on my comment on using the tiny crock pot for scent.....Personally, I am finding mine doesn't get hot enough to fill the entire room with scent. It could be that my pot is old and no longer gets warm enough. It works just fine on the stove as long as one remembers to keep adding water periodically.

I have been obsessed with crochet rugs for quite some time. First, because I saw some rugs years ago and did not realize they were crochet! Second, because they are durable. I had three that my mother passed along to me after having used them for years in her own home. We used them for another few years through raising babies and puppies. We literally washed those rugs to death but it took years of wear and tear. Honestly, I have not found many rugs that can hold up to that kind of abuse.

Another thing I really like about crochet rugs is that you can use a rather large hook and make the "yarn" out of a variety of materials. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Ahhh! Aroma!

I have one of those little crock pot looking things that sits on my counter. You are supposed to put potpourri in it with a little water and plug it in for a wonderful scent. That is how it is supposed to work. I have not been using it because potpourri is either attractive enough that I want to put it in a container where it can be both seen and smelled or it looses it's quality quickly and must be disposed of after being used in the little pot.

Inspiration! I use small pieces of leftover fruit, like apples, or oranges in my little pot. I have been experimenting but have found I can use apples, orange and lemon zest and rinds, along with a smidge of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Nothing harmful to breathe there. I can use fruit that is past prime eating or leftover from a child who did not finish it (upcycling at it's finest!!). Because the pot is tiny I am only using a little and even the peels will do.

Also on my list are thyme and lavender. I can't wait until summer!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Embracing my inner Scarlett O'Hara

Quite recently I have received confirmation that some of my quirkiness may be be in an underlying state elsewhere in my family. While I will protect the identity of those family members who have had (ahem) reason to visit down south, I can not be held responsible for those who figure out the identities of the primaries involved.

While discussing forays into the deep south I was reminded that someone, whom I will call D, seems to sink into a deeply southern accent. Keep in mind that we already live in the south so sinking into the accent means that she may really sound like she belongs as a member of the cast of Gone with the Wind. While we discussed all the great things about visiting the city of Charleston (oh, come on, like you didn't know who I was talking about) I got a little account of walking in the beautiful places, restaurants, and stores. We will definitely have to hear more about that.

Okay, for my own part I had to admit that each time I visit Appomattox Manor that I gradually turn  into Scarlett O'Hara. By the time I am ready to stand on the porch I am practically admonishing my children with a fiddle-de-de and a daintily waving my hanky in front of my face. I would so dearly love to approach in a carriage! 

So for my partners in hilarity I must say "We'll always have Tara."

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My Big Daddy.....The Academic

Like my grandfather before me, my education has continued throughout my lifetime. Not by entering the hallowed halls of the institutions of higher learning, but by entering the massive shelves of books offered by the public library.

I called him Big Daddy and he was my grandfather. He grew up a farmer and had only an eighth grade education according to his academic records. When speaking with him a person could determine that he had carried himself far past that recorded level of education. He knew what was important about true learning. He knew that the person who hungers for learning finds the answers for himself.

He loved to read books. Zane Grey westerns were a favorite. He devoured issues of Readers Digest often delighting in quizzing me on the meaning of words. He showed his pleasure when I knew the definitions of words he had only recently learned himself. It meant I was getting an education. He wanted an excellent education for his children and grandchildren. He asked questions. He had a critical mind. He was not arrogant about knowledge that he gained. He just continued to seek to learn more.

My wall is painfully short on the diploma's that I set out to obtain. I earned a high school diploma. I finished a paralegal course. I attended college. I completed a variety of programs during my employment in corporate America.

What has served me best were the lessons I learned about learning. Whether it was learning the principles being discussed in the meetings I attended or how to bake artisan bread or milk a goat, I would find a book. I have so often heard, "You can't learn that from a book.", only to smile and know that I can learn a whole lot from a book.

I want a good college education for my children but more than anything I hope that I can instill in them the lifelong love of learning and how to teach themselves the things they need to learn.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


This is one of our hutches that houses our bunnies. The bunnies provide the droppings that help fertilize our garden. They are also pets of my children. Right now we have only three. One Californian, one mixed breed, and one Mini Rex. They are all tame and handled.

We feed fresh hay, pellets, and they get fresh food daily. In the winter extra hay is provided for nesting and to keep warm. In the summer, we keep the cages shaded but as open as possible to give a cool breeze. We also provide any additional heat or cooling that is needed in extreme conditions.

In the past we have bred and raised rabbits. At one time we had as many as thirty rabbits at one time. All were healthy and fit. We have found that it is important to provide good food and and good ventilation for them as well as lots of clean water. The girls love caring for them and they are a good project for children with adult supervision.