Saturday, September 22, 2012

Gecko and Flowers

This little critter has given me a startle a few times... it probably has a brother or sister in the house too.  It is a Mediterranean Gecko.  Not the greatest picture, but it is only about 2" long (a baby) and I cannot get down to its level very well right now.  You can almost see through its feet.

Pictures should open in a new window at Flickr.

Mediterranean Gecko
Description: 4 - 5 in (10 - 13 cm). Unlike any native lizard, geckos have sticky toe pads, vertical pupils, and their large eyes lack eyelids. Indo-pacific geckos are generally light gray or almost white in color but may have some darker mottling. This species is most easily distinguished from the similar indo-pacific gecko by its bumpy or warty skin.
Prey: Geckos eat a wide variety of insects, spiders, and other invertebrates.
Reproduction: Female Mediterranean geckos lay several clutches of two eggs throughout the summer. Instances of communal nesting have been reported, with several females laying their eggs together under bark, in crevices, or in moist soil.
Abundance: The Mediterranean gecko is firmly established in Florida and is spreading northward. It is almost always associated with human development and is an abundant species in suburban and urban areas.
Notes: This species' adaptability has made it a very successful invader. It is unknown what impact the introduction of this and other species has and will have on native wildlife. Unlike most lizards, geckos are capable of vocalizing, often making squeaking or barking noises in territorial disputes or to deter a predator.

More info here: Mediterranean Gecko

The Angel Trumpet did not produce as many blossoms this year.... not sure what we did differently.  The blooms we did have were pretty.

I saw these along my walk the other day.  The red flower is a type of morning glory too.

Morning Glories
 I had not seen these pretty little red flowers before last year.  They are called Turks Cap.  I did enhance the color slightly on this photo.  The flower on the left has fallen over and is beginning to wilt.  

Turks Cap 

Another Turks Cap.  I still need more practice.  I cannot seem to get everything in the focus I want.

Turks Cap

Autumn is here.... at least it should feel like it next week.  I do love the change in lighting.  The change of flora.  The change of aromas.  The coolness in the morning air.  A time I can enjoy with windows up or enjoy the patio with a cup of coffee in one hand and a good book in the other hand.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Pinned It, Made It! Monday: Pineapple Casserole

I am joining Tammy "Country Girl at Home"


Years ago I had a bit of a pineapple casserole that tasted mighty fine.  I cannot remember who made it.  

I decided to try Paula Deen's recipe for Pineapple Casserole.  It looked about like all the others I found. 

So I gathered my ingredients for half the recipe.. not pictured is the flour that I forgot to set out. I soon remembered.  I used Splenda instead of sugar.... I read many recipes that substituted.

I buttered a 11"x7" dish and thoroughly mixed the flour, cheese and pineapple together.

I mixed the crumbs together.... which I used just half a sleeve and it equaled over a half of a cup.... with the butter and pineapple juice.  It was right soggy looking and you can barely tell I spread it on top.

My version does not look as pretty as Paula's :-(

 sniff... sniff... failure

I might should have used a deeper dish.  I could have let the top brown more, but the bottom was getting too brown. 

It tasted okay, but a little on the greasy side and not near as good as the one I tasted at the family gathering. I do not think the Splenda had to do much with the results.  I think it was the soggy, greasy crackers.  

I think I'm going to ask around and see if I can find out who made the one I tasted.

Paula's Recipe... maybe you will have better luck than I did.

Pineapple Casserole


1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups grated sharp cheddar
2 (20-ounce) cans pineapple chunks, drained, and 6 tablespoons pineapple juice reserved
1 cup cracker crumbs (recommended: Ritz)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted, plus extra for greasing pan


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
Grease a medium-size casserole dish with butter. 
In a large bowl, stir together the sugar and flour. Gradually stir in the cheese. Add the drained pineapple chunks, and stir until ingredients are well combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. 
In another medium bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, melted butter, and reserved pineapple juice, stirring with a rubber spatula until evenly blended. Spread crumb mixture on top of pineapple mixture. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Paula is from my hometown and I love her even though I do not have success with all her recipes.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Around The Yard

I haven't taken a lot of pictures lately.  I thought I  might try my hand at it.... get a bit of practice. Clicking on these photos will open them in a new window on Flickr and will give you a slightly larger view of the pictures.

I love cloud watching.  I liked how the clouds swirled.   It did not rain.. just a few clouds around. 

Those are the gourds we put up years ago for purple martins. The purple martins scouted, but chose not to nest.  A pair of Great-Crested Flycatchers have nested in the gourds every year.  They poke nesting material in each gourd in hopes that you won't figure out which nest their babies are in.  The nests usually contain a snake skin.  The parents are very mindful of humans and will usually fly into the trees if a human is seen. They nest in April and leave sometime in August.  I do not know where they migrate to and from.

Partly Cloudy Skies

A Ruby-Throated Hummingbird visiting the feeder.  The feeder is in the shade most of the day.  It is difficult to get a good picture of one.  I think this one turned out okay.

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

I encourage you to visit my friend Dorothy's blog Counting My Blessings and watch her video of the hummingbirds feeding right out of her hand.  Just amazing!

We only have the one family of hummingbirds and they usually have two babies.  This is the time of the year they go into a feeding frenzy.  I wish we had as many as Dorothy.

This Northern Cardinal seems to be saying "do you mind?".  I was in the house with the windows closed and my really long lens on my camera aimed through the dirty windows.  Birds have the most amazing hearing... they hear every click of the camera.  They have great vision too.

Northern Cardinal

I hope you enjoyed these snapshots.  I enjoyed taking them :-)


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Peanut Butter Nutella Sandwiches

Peanut Butter Nutella Sandwiches.... I had not eaten one in a long time.  So we bought some Nutella and I made a sandwich.  Not hard to do... just put peanut butter on one slice of bread and Nutella on the other.  Now deciding which way to eat the sandwich was fun :-)  I could not remember if the slice of bread with peanut butter or the slice of bread with Nuttella should be on top  So I took a bite... umm very good... flipped the sandwich upside down and umm very good.  After doing this several bites I decided that the slice of bread with peanut butter should be the top.  It just tasted the yummiest that way!

I am so picky about what goes where on my sandwiches... just one of the things that make me me :-D

Monday, September 10, 2012

Pinned It, Made it! Monday: Haircut

I'm joining Tammy "Country Girl at Home" for

Please join us.

It was time for a hair cut, but I was not up to going out to a salon.  I know a self-cut is scary, but to me a salon-cut is scarier.  I've had some very bad haircuts in my 61 years of life.  I cry thinking about some of them.

Okay... here is me pre-cut.  Yep look'n a bit puny too. :-(   I hate my droopy eye, but health insurance will only pay if it interferes with my vision.  It only does that when I'm really tired.. I'm really tired here.

Bathroom mirror photos are not the best.. even with flash.  They should open in a new window for you.

I love pulling my hair into a no-fuss ponytail, but my hair is still very thick and is heavy when it is long.  Too heavy for my bad neck.

The back view.... my waves cause it to flip thisaway and thataway even when it is cut even.

My hair is wavy and no matter how much conditioners and leave-in conditioners I use with our humidity it is unruly.

I figured I could do no worse than the last stylist did.  Once a stylist does me wrong I do not go back.  First I wanted to do a little layer in my hair.  So I followed the directions for layering.   I had to do it a couple of times.  I then did the u-shape trim.  I had to do this more than once too... the hair tends to comb different every time no matter how careful.  There are also directions on how to do a straight-across trim.

It does look better.  It took a few more days after this to get some of it right.  With my waves it just isn't easy.

Here we are at a Grandparent's Lunch with our granddaughter, Mary.  You can tell my hair has settled a bit. My bangs are a bit messed up because I shoved my sunglasses on top of my head :-)

I cannot leave Nick out... this was a few weeks ago and we are hamming it up for Mary behind the camera.  My ugly shoes are cause of that foot surgery :-)  It was not easy getting up :-(

I pin more than I try :-)

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