Tuesday, January 31, 2023


 I have always had a love of art, and when I discovered several years ago that I could turn my photos into a painting, I had a blast.  As apps have improved, I couldn't wait to try the latest.  I used ArtCard on a few of my favorite photos.  

You probably have your own favorite apps - Sandra of Madsnapper, I am thinking of you as I have enjoyed yours very much.  Anyone else care to share what they like if using art apps?

I will make another post with the original photos in the near future, where I will give you background information.  You may remember some.

Enjoy the rest of your week and thanks for stopping by.

Monday, January 30, 2023



Today's recipe comes from Spoon Fork Bacon, hosted by Terri and Jenny.  It looks like they used it as an appetizer, but I made mine a side dish and it was very yummy.  You can find the original recipe at this link.

Crispy Parmesan Potatoes

Serves: 6

Calories per serving: 176 

1/3 cup pre-grated Parmesan cheese (see in notes)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons melted, salted butter divided

2 pounds baby potatoes halved lengthwise

salt optional

Optional garnish and serving suggestion:

2 tablespoons thinly sliced chives

2/3 cup sour cream


Preheat oven to 400˚F.

In a small bowl stir together cheese, garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper.

Brush 1 tablespoon melted butter into the bottom of a glass 10”x14” baking dish.

Sprinkle cheese mixture evenly over brushed butter, in the baking dish.

Press cut-side of potatoes into the cheese mixture (trying not to move the potatoes once they are set down).

Carefully brush tops of potatoes with remaining butter and season with salt if you want(but I found that the extra salt isn’t needed due to the salt in the butter and cheese).

Roast potatoes for 28-32 minutes or until tops have wrinkled and potatoes are just fork tender.

Remove from oven and break apart any Parmesan crisp pieces connecting the potatoes together.

Transfer potatoes to a platter and top with chives. Serve with sour cream for dipping if you want!



Pre-grated Parmesan cheese that you find in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. Do not freshly grate the Parmesan for this recipe. The pre-grated Parmesan melts and sticks to the potatoes the best and creates the best cheese blanket, which is just what you want!  (Denise's note: I grated my Parmesan using a microplaner similar to this one. I would be interested in using the pregrated product to see the difference, but I was very happy with the way mine turned out.)

Press the potatoes into the Parmesan mixture, don’t move them around. This will ensure a full and even coating of the Parmesan is crusted onto the potatoes.

It’s important to use potatoes similar in size for this dish to ensure even roasting.


Add some herbs and/or other spices to the Parmesan mixture. we like adding cumin for a smoky kick or rosemary and thyme for an earthy flavor!

Add a teaspoon of honey to the remaining butter mixture for a sweet touch.

Serve the potatoes with ketchup, ranch, bbq sauce, or honey mustard instead of sour cream for dipping.

Reheating instructions

The potatoes really taste the best when they’re eaten fresh from the oven, but if you have leftovers, you can reheat them in the oven. 

To reheat the potatoes:

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Place Parmesan potatoes in a baking dish, cut-side down and cover baking dish tightly with foil. Roast for 10 minutes until heated through. Uncover and flip potatoes so they’re cut-side up. Lightly sprinkle with a little more Parmesan, salt and pepper. Continue to roast for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat and enjoy!

We both found this recipe delicious!  I served them on the side with a rib-eye steak (we don’t buy huge steaks but they are big enough to portion into thirds.  We each have a small portion, leaving the remaining third to be sliced thinly and made into sandwiches the next day.  It is a good way of controlling portions).  My other side was slices of sautéed tomatoes.

Thanks for looking, have a great day and...

Saturday, January 28, 2023


Hello Dear Squirrel,

Why are you so sad?

The sun is out

And the sky is blue,

Not gray enough

To make you of

The same hue.”

To this he replied,

“I worked so hard

To store up my food,

I buried it in a

thousand holes

Said this sad little soul.

I can’t remember

Where they might be

I’ve dug everywhere

As you can plainly see.”

And yes there were

A thousand fresh holes

But no nuts to be found

At the top of each mound.

“How long has it been?”

Said I to this sad little face

“Quite a while “ he said

With barely a squeak,

“As I don’t remember this

Wood when I fell asleep.”

I said, “Your brother

must be Rip Van Winkle

My dear little friend.”

And I said as a tease,

“All those nuts that you buried.

Are now very big trees.

You’ll have nuts a plenty

But next time you bury,

And from one nut to another,

May I suggest

With not as must jest,

You make an extra large map,

And mark each hole

With a very large ‘x’!”

In the meantime this dear little squirrel won't have to put up with my poor prose, as I keep filling up the feeder in which to bury her nose - ahhhhh!!!!!

And patiently wait I for the little birds to appear, when squirrel has had her fill for never fear, she will be feeding her own babies in the spring of the year.

Welcome to one and all to my feeder I say, room enough to go around on this kind of day.

And now I leave so that you can stop your groaning, I say. Denise is feeling better and will be out of the house for the rest of the day.

The sniffles have almost gone, no more time on her hands to mope, for there are lots of lovely things with her camera to be found, now that she is no longer cabin and fever bound.

Oh boy!

Prose over and done!

(This is one from a while ago and though I was under the weather at the time of writing, I am perfectly free of sniffles.)

Friday, January 27, 2023


 I felt like sharing a few flowers today.  It was a chilly 48 deg. F (9 deg. C).  Not as cold as some have it in parts of the world but enough for me to start thinking of spring and how lovely it will be to see the first flowers.  That led me to looking for a few favorite photos, three of which you are seeing today.  I hope they bring a smile.    These pretty yellow flowers were found on one of our road trips several years ago.  We were driving through the Little Missouri National Grasslands in the western part of North Dakota.  They are called Curlycup gumweed, also known as Gum-weed, Pitch weed, Broad leaved gum plant, Tarweed, Sticky heads, Gum plant and Rosinweed, to name a few.  Their botanical name is Grindelia squarrosa.  It is a small biennial plant native to North America.  

This beautiful flower is The Red Columbine, also known as Canadian columbine, Eastern red columbine, Cluckies, Meeting houses, American Columbine, Rock-bells, with a botanical name of  Aquilegia canadensis.  Belonging to the Buttercup family, it blooms between April and July.  I found this at Meadowlark Gardens, one of our go-to places. It is an herbaceous perennial and native to woodland and rocky slopes in North America.

The last flower is the Oxeye daisy, also known as the Ox-eye daisy, Dog daisy, Moon Daisy, White daisy and Marguerite. Its botanical name is Leucanthemum vulgare.  It is native to Eurasia but has become widely known in North America.

Thursday, January 26, 2023


Years ago we visited The Washington National Cathedral.  I shared a lot of the cathedral photos but I somehow missed this one, as I have just found it in one of my draft folders.  It is over one of the entrances and is called Ex Nihilo ("Out of Nothing") It depicts the creation of man.  

It was completed in 1982 - more information here - and the sculptor is Frederick Hart.  Hart’s depiction of the birth of mankind is considered one of the most important commissions of religious sculpture in the 20th century. The tympanum above the central door features half-formed figures of men and women emerging from the void. Beneath stands the figure of Adam, his eyes not yet open and his body not fully freed from the surrounding stone. The north tympanum depicts the Creation of Day, and the south tympanum depicts the Creation of Night.

Frederick Hart also created the The Three Soldiers which is a very famous sculpture and one I know very well, near the The Wall in Washington DC, both of which I have visited many times over the years I have lived here.  If you go here you can see other memorials in that area.  As I feel about all memorials, I find these very moving.

If you go to this link and click on the location icons it will take you to other photos around the Cathedral.  

If you click on the label below entitled The Washington National Cathedral_Washington DC., it will take you to other posts published.

Thank you for visiting and 
have a great day!

Wednesday, January 25, 2023



"When you go out into the woods and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You appreciate it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree. The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying, 'You’re too this' or 'I’m too this.' That judging mind comes in. So, I practice turning people into trees - which means appreciating them just the way they are."

~Ram Dass~

Tuesday, January 24, 2023


I thought this was worth sharing. I found it on our local neighborhood app.  

A few fun facts about them - and more - at this website.  

Due to an opposum's low body temperature and successful immune system, it is very rare for one to carry rabies.

In northern regions, opossums often have abnormally short tails, the ends are lost due to frostbite.

The Virginia opossum has more teeth than any other North American Mammal - 50 to be exact.

The Virginia opossum is the only marsupial that inhabits the U.S.

A study conducted by a University of Florida researcher, traces the existence of opossums as far back as the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Although many throughout North America refer to native opossums as "possums", the term "possum" technically refers to a classification of marsupials living in Australia, New Guinea and Sulawesi.

More information can be found here.

Thanks for visiting and 
I hope your day is a great one!

Monday, January 23, 2023


(Not the greatest photos but it tasted very yummy.)
A rainy, chilly day and what to have for dinner?  This recipe is perfect comfort food.  I remember trying it years ago, at least something very similar.  This came from The Kitchen Magpie hosted by Karlynn.  If you are interested, the original recipe is at this link. I always recommend visiting websites, not only for the great photos, but also for the many tips provides.  That and the fact that there are other great recipes.

Chicken and Stuffing Casserole - 8 servings

Calories per serving: 153

3 cups cooked chicken cubed (Rotisserie or left over) 

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 can cream of celery soup

1 box stuffing mix (or make your own homemade favorite)

2½ cups mixed frozen vegetables (defrosted and drained of any liquid)

Preheat oven to 400°. Grease a 9×13 pan.

Prepare the stuffing mix as per the package directions. Set aside.

In a separate bowl add the chicken, cream of chicken soup, cream of celery soup, and stir well to combine.

Add the vegetables to the chicken mix and stir gently.

Pour the chicken and vegetable mix into the greased 9×13 pan. Top with the stuffing mixture.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until bubbly and topping is browned.

Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Top with parsley for garnish.

For those who don't like using canned soups because of high sodium, etc., I have included substitutions below and links provided in titles.

Copycat Cream of Celery Soup 

4 servings

Calories: 148kcal

Author: Stephanie Manley

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons chopped onion

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups chopped celery

2 tablespoons flour

2 cups whole milk

In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat combine butter and chopped onion. Cook until onion becomes translucent. Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the onions when cooking them. Add 2 cups chopped celery to the onions and stir for a moment or two. Add 2 tablespoons of flour to the pot and cook for about a minute. Cook the flour until it becomes fragrant like pie crust. 

Add about 1/2 cup of milk to the pot and stir until the soup begins to thicken. Then add another 1/2 of milk and stir until the soup begins to thicken. Add the remaining milk in 1/2 cups increments until all of the milk is used. Turn the soup down to low, and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the celery becomes soft and tender. You may want to garnish the soup with some chopped celery, or even croutons when you are ready to serve.

"You can make this soup in about 25 minutes. 

Easy to make and so much healthier than anything you can find in a can, this creamy celery soup will take your tuna noodle casserole or scalloped potatoes to the next level. The next time you need cream of celery soup for your favorite recipe, skip the trip to the store and try this recipe instead!"

(I have not tried these yet but they sound very good and will make them at some point.)

"Want to make a vegan cream of celery soup?

Swap out the butter for your favorite butter substitute, and swap out the whole milk for unflavored almond milk or cashew milk.

Serve it immediately with hot bread and butter (or add to casserole when ready).

Serve as a first course instead of a salad for dinner.

Cut the fat and calories. Make a healthy celery soup by switching to low-fat milk and margarine.

Make it a meal. Serve with croutons and bacon bits to turn the creamy celery soup into a light dinner, meatless Monday.

How to Store and Reheat

You will want to serve any leftover portions in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. They will last 3 to 5 days. I recommend heating it up in a saucepan on the stovetop over medium heat. You may need to add a bit of milk as the soup can become thick when left in the refrigerator.

This soup freezes well. So you can freeze any leftover portions in an air-tight container or vacuum-sealed bag in the freezer. This will last in your freezer for up to three months. When you want to reheat the frozen soup, I recommend thawing completely and then heating up the soup in a pan on the stovetop.

I hope you give this recipe a try! I think you will be amazed at the great flavor, I bet you will think this is the best cream of celery soup recipe."


Cream of Chicken Soup Substitute by Lauren Allen

1 cup milk, cold

2 Tablespoons cornstarch

1 1/2 Tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon chicken bouillon paste , or one cube

1/2 teaspoon salt

⅛ freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

⅛ teaspoon dried parsley flakes

In a small saucepan whisk together milk and cornstarch. Add butter, bouillon, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and parsley.

Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Once boiling, simmer for 30 more seconds to thicken.

Use in recipes to replace one (10.75 oz) can of cream of (anything) soup.


*Makes the equivalent of one (10.75 oz) can.

Make Ahead Instructions: This recipe is so easy to make ahead for an even faster dinner. Make the recipe as directed, and keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Freezing Instructions: The texture may change a little bit through the freezing/thawing process. Store in a freezer safe container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw completely in the fridge before using in a recipe.


Cream of Mushroom: Stir in one (4 oz) can of mushroom pieces to the finished recipe. Use vegetable bouillon instead of chicken, if desired.

Cream of Celery: Stir in ½ cup sautéed, chopped celery to the finished recipe. Use vegetable bouillon instead of chicken, if desired.

Cream of Broccoli: Stir in ½ cup of finely diced steamed broccoli. Use vegetable bouillon instead of chicken, if desired.

Add Chicken: Stir in chopped cooked chicken at the end, if desired.

Dairy-Free: Use dairy-free butter, and your favorite plant based milk. The flavor will be a little different depending on what milk you use.

I didn't change anything from my recipe.  Our veggie combination was carrots and peas.  It was excellent and my dear other half wants it again this week.  We had lefovers for other meals.  

I served it with a fresh spinach salad, with the following added.  All very simple.

Fresh spinach

Grape Tomatoes

A few Mozzarella cheese balls, the small kind, or diced regular 

Sprinkled with a few chopped walnuts over the salad

For my dressing I put a dash of low sodium soy sauce mixed with a teaspoon of sesame oil.

That's it!  Thanks for looking and

Friday, January 20, 2023


It has been a long time since I was in Virginia Beach, not in the last two or three years at least.  These photos were actually taken on a previous trip to that, in October 2009, from our hotel balcony.  

It was a joy to observe these lovely dogs having fun on the beach, chasing a tennis ball.  

And oh the joy of catching a wet, soggy tennis ball with the surf rolling in.
You can just feel their happiness.

Thanks for looking and have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 19, 2023


I went overboard with all these photos, but it was the first time I had ever seen a Clearwing Hummingbird Moth (I posted this for the first time on my old blog on August 15th, 2008). I was passing by a very large Butterfly bush which was in full bloom.  It also had at least a dozen butterflies.  I certainly didn't expect to also find the hummingbird moth.
These photos are not as sharp as I would like, but I am happy with them, and they will be a lovely reminder of the day I was first introduced to something new. 
People have mistaken them for the actual hummingbird, and I can see why as they 'hover' and seem to have similar movements, at least to this non-expert of such things.
They have a wingspan of two inches, and the moth hovers while sipping nectar with its long proboscis. 
I read that they are members of the family Sphingidae - the same family as tomato hornworms.  Its larvae have curved tail "horns" and feed on honeysuckle. A slightly smaller relative closely resembles bumblebees."
I have seen them since, usually on very hot days.  
The following is the Silver-spotted skipperEpargyreus clarus (Cramer), characterized by a large white spot on the underside of each hind wing.  It is one of our largest, most widespread and most recognizable skippers.

A Monarch and a Clearwing Hummingbird Moth.
You can find more information if you click on its name above.
You can find more info if you click on its name above.