Friday, June 30, 2023


If you want happiness for an hour - take a nap.

If you want happiness for a day - go fishing.

If you want happiness for a year - inherit a fortune.

If you want happiness for a lifetime - help someone else.


(Graphic found at

Thursday, June 29, 2023


 We decided to go out for lunch two days ago.  There was a 30 percent chance of rain and the skies looked blue when we went outside.  First of all I wanted to check on the flowers to see how they were fairing after the hailstorm we had last week.  Still pretty beaten down but the next bloom should sort them out - fingers crossed!  This coneflower had some kind of insect on it.  Looked like a bee but wasn't a bee, at least I don't think so.

When we got on the road the skies looked like this.

We had lunch and probably would have run a few errands, except the skies started looking like this.
and those clouds...
they just kept getting darker, and we saw lightning in the distance.
So, we decided we would try to get home before the rains came, though we stopped at the drive-thru coffee shop on the way.
Not long after it started sprinkling...
and turned into pouring.
At least we didn't have to water the plants that day.  How's your weather?

Wednesday, June 28, 2023


What does he plant who plants a tree,
He plants a friend of sun and sky,
He plants the flag of breezes free,
The shaft of beauty towering high,
He plants a home to heaven anigh,
For song and mother-croon of bird,
In hushed and happy twighlight heard,
The treble of heaven's harmony,
These things he plants who plants a tree.

What does he plant who plants a tree?
He plants cool shade and tender rain,
And years that fade and flush again;
He plants the glory of the plain;
He plants the forest's heritage;
The harvest of a coming age;
The joy that unborn eyes shall see.
These things he plants who plants a tree.

What does he plant who plants a tree?
He plants, in sap and leaf and wood.
In love of home and loyalty
And far-cast thought of civic good
His blessings on the neighborhood,
Who in the hollow of his hand
Holds all the growth of all our land
A nation's growth from sea to sea
Stirs in his heart who plants a tree.
He Who Plants a Tree

Henry Cuyler Bunner (August 3, 1855 – May 11, 1896) was an American novelist, journalist and poet.  He is known mainly for Tower of Babel.

Bunner's works have been praised by librarians for its "technical dexterity, playfulness and smoothness of finish".

Tuesday, June 27, 2023


(One of my favorite photos from a road trip out west ten years ago or so.)

This is good to know.  I saw it online.  I am not sure where from as I accidentally cancelled the page out, but definitely worth sharing.  

“If you are ever lost while hiking, get stranded with a broken down car, etc., and you notice your cell phone is low on juice or has no signal, here is a tip that may very well save your life.

Change the voicemail on your phone to a message that gives your approximate location, the time, the date, your situation (lost, out of gas, car broken down, injured, etc), and any special instructions such as you are staying with the car, you are walking toward a town, etc.  The best part of this is that even if your cell phone dies or stops working, voicemail still works, so anyone calling your phone looking for you will hear the message and know where to find you, or where to send help.”

Monday, June 26, 2023


My dear other half said this felt like real, down home, southern comfort food.  I was looking through one of my recipe channels on YouTube and found this.  The name of the channel is Ray Mac's Kitchen and Grill.  When I saw the picture it reminded me of a dish my mother used to make us as kids.  Hers came out of a can (forget the brand name but it had Minced Beef and Onion on the can).  She would roast us a potato each in the oven (popularly named a jacket potato where I came from), split them open and spoon the Minced Beef and Onion over the top.  It was one of our favorite meals.  
On other occasions she would put it on the top of a roasted marrow (which is like a large zucchini and at this link you can read more information than you probably need.  I once again add it for my own benefit, and hopefully you will find it interesting). 

 We both ended up giving it ten out of ten, and you can find it at this link.

There are no exact measurements mentioned, so we guessed on that, following the video through each step.  You will have to do that too, add more if you think it is needed, less for your own taste maybe.  Ray is very helpful with any advice.  I added a few below on some.


Ground beef (I bought 1 lb.) 
(Ray also used hamburger patties instead of the above)
1 large onion, finely chopped
All-purpose flour, guessing between 1/4 to 1/2 cup
Beef Broth (adjust depending on how thick you like your gravy)
Heavy whipping cream
1 pkt. Lipton Beefy Onion Soup Mix
Onion Powder, to taste
Garlic powder, to taste
All-purpose seasoning (he found his at Walmart)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Worcestershire sauce (personally I wouldn't leave this out as it adds a delicious flavor and we have been fans for a very long time)

Ingredients (not measurements) and instructions are given underneath the video.

In a large skillet cook ground beef and onion over medium heat until the beef is browned, and the onion is softened.  Make sure to break up the beef into crumbles as it cooks.

Sprinkle the flour over the cooked beef and onion mixture, stirring well to combine.  Cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes to remove the raw flour taste.

Gradually pour in the beef broth and cream (or you can use milk).  Stir constantly to avoid lumps.  Add a splash of Worcestershire sauce if using.  You can leave it out if it's not to your taste.

Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and let it cook for about 10 minutes, or until the gravy has thickened to how you like it.  Add more broth if you find it too thick.  Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

Season the hamburger gravy with all the seasonings mentioned above, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Ray suggested using mashed potatoes and he adds a link for his own recipe.  Rice would be good with this, or your favorite side. 

Serve and enjoy!

Another suggestion was to serve the gravy over biscuits.  I have been wanting to make Red Lobster's Cheddar Biscuits and will add them to one of my Monday Recipe Posts sometime.  There are plenty of them online but I might try this one.

There were leftovers enough for the next night, and how I served it you can see in the photos above.

The first night I did as my mother and baked a jacket potato, splitting them open just enough to pour the hamburger gravy over the top.

I baked four of the potatoes and left two for the next day.  One was used to go along with breakfast which dear other half sautéed using an avocado oil spray.   He and son enjoyed them yesterday on son's weekly visit.

That evening I did the same with the fourth potato, sautéing them with avocado oil spray, putting the finished slices on the plate and pouring the gravy over the top.  One potato was more than enough for the two of us as it was on the large side.

I fixed a simple green salad with iceberg lettuce, diced tomato, green onions and a little finely grated Parmesan cheese.  I added a few pieces of lettuce and diced tomato to my plate to pretty it up for the photos, also adding a little sour cream.  

I was surprised that I didn't have any beef broth in the pantry, so I replaced it with chicken broth instead.  Gregg said don't change it next time as this was great.

I wasn't sure about using whipping cream but again it was just a splash.  I would probably use milk next time.

I couldn't find any all-purpose seasoning so I put in 1/2 teaspoon each of dried thyme, rosemary and basil.  My guesses on ingredients are approximate and should be done to your own taste.

Gregg put all his chopped salad on top of his gravy and mixed it all in.  I wasn't sure about that but you know, it tasted great?  Almost like having a ground beef taco but without the tortilla, gravy-style.

All in all this was a very tasty dish and one we will be making again.

If you have any questions leave a comment and I will be happy to answer as best I can.  I hope there are no typos.  It's late and my eyes don't focus too good when I'm tired.  I'll recheck tomorrow just to make sure it all makes sense.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week.

Saturday, June 24, 2023




"Example: Waking up on a cozy Sunday morning after a long week of work to the sound of rain? That’s the best drizzlosis for me."

Etymology & Word Origins

The drizzl in drizzlosis represents “drizzle” which means “light rainfall.” “Osis” is a suffix meaning “condition or state of (something).”

How about you?  Do you enjoy the rain, do you get in a state of drizzlosis? 

I don't think Squirrel cares much about words.

Friday, June 23, 2023


 From the children's garden it is a very short walk to the area where produce is grown.

There is a thriving herb garden our side of the fence.  At this link I found a few interesting facts.   Growing pots of basil not only smells good but it deters flies and mosquitoes who are repelled by its scent. Mint leaves or oil also deters ants and so a few scattered leaves in your cupboards can prove a useful, natural solution if you are having a problem with these pesky critters.
The Romans believed that the consumption of mint would increase their intelligence and the smell of mint in their houses was also a symbol of hospitality.   Parsley is a natural breath freshener, particularly in combating the potency of garlic

Herbal seeds have been found in pre-historic cave dwellings dating back as far as 500,000 years ago. Our ancestors have always used herbs in cooking and health remedies.  The Egyptians studied herbs and used them in medicinal and religious functions as far back as 3500 B.C. Ancient records reveal recipes for herb infused oils and creams in the tombs of legendary beauties such as Cleopatra.  The Chinese began the organized study of herbs in 2500 B.C. Written records in China have survived, detailing the uses of herbs that date back from 100 BC.  I found lots more information at this link  

We also saw signs saying that all produce grown is donated to local food banks.  The garden near us does the same.

I applaud them wholeheartedly for doing this...   
and I can't leave without adding a quote, this time about herbs.
We were slowly meandering our way to the car and came across a second family whose daughter was celebrating her Quinceanera.  I wrote about the first at this post. Not wanting to intrude, I was only able to take one photo from a distance using the camera with the zoom, a sweet moment between the young lady and her sister.  Very heartwarming! 
I couldn't quite make out what her gown looked like this time, but from a distance I could see it was a pretty pink.  I bet it was beautiful!

And this last photo of the Spiraea is the end of today's post.  We will be going back relatively soon, maybe in a week or two.

Thursday, June 22, 2023


This is a very peaceful little garden, and though it is especially meant for children, we have always arrived when there are no little ones around.  You can put your child in one of their gardening classes.  I'm sure it will get very busy when school is out for the summer.  

On our last visit there was no Little Lending Library and we were delighted to find one...

especially as it was accompanied by...

a dragon who apparently loves tacos.

Just for fun and if you have any young ones who would be interested, I found a link to a children's page that tells you all about dragons.  You can find it here.

This interesting sign intrigued me and on checking with Google Translate, in Sudanese for instance, 'pamaca' means 'reader', in Welsh 'darllenydd' means 'a reader', in Icelandic 'lesandi' means 'reader', in Germany 'ein leser' means 'a reader', in Zulu 'umfundi' translated as 'student', in 
Spanish 'una lectura' translated as 'a reading'.  It was fun to learn the different words in each language.

Not only humans have benches dedicated to them.  We sat on the one under the language sign for a while.  Another in a different part of the garden.

There were several bird boxes nearby and this one was occupied.

You can see a little bird on a branch lower left in the photo below...

and slightly more clearly after cropping.  All the photos were taken with my cell phone.  The path led underneath and I think this is a wren, but not sure.  I didn't hang around as she was a busy mom going back and forth feeding her babies.

This photo is taken from where we sat on the bench.

The rain barrel is full of gardening tools for children, more like toys really.

Very prettily decorated by a talented artist, as you can see.

There are photos left for one more post, but it's getting late and I will share them another time.
I hope you have enjoyed your tour around the children's garden.