Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Walking: Lansford Canal Water Lilies

I am fortunate to belong to a wonderful group of lady hikers!  We went to the Lansford Canal in South Carolina.  The spider lilies were in bloom, and so beautiful. They really should be called star lilies, the white of their petals seem to sparkle against the dark water. I was able to capture a brief video with my camera phone, and few photos, but neither really do them justice.  

About the lilies (from park sign)
" Lansford Canal State Park hugs the last free flowing stretch of the Catawba River, and includes the largest known stand of rocky shoals spider lilies. 
The Spider Lily (Hymenocallis coranaria) found in South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, requires
clean free flowing water with uneven, rocky bottom to root.  Peak blooming occurs May through June.
These tough plants known for their spring blanket of white blooms are named for the shallow rocky stretches of river they need to survive.  As shoals such as this found along the Catawba have vanished, primarily because of damming of rivers, the rocky shoal spider lily likewise has become rare and endangered.
Much of the free-flowing rocky shoals habitat along the Catawba River has been lost to hydroelectric dams built along the rocky elevation drops to take advantage of the natural water power.
The future of such unique habitats depends on their continued wise management by private, corporate, and public partners in conservation and preservation. "

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Walking: Green Heron Fishing!

I mean the bird was fishing, not that I was fishing for the bird :)

While we were doing our weekly long walk (just 9 miles this time,) my friend and I took a break on a bench near the swamppond.  The turtles are there every week, but this time there was also this cool looking water bird.  I got really lucky and got a shot of him catching a fish with my camera phone.  Not a great shot, but hey it has like a 10 second delay after you press the button, so I was happy to get to see the fish at all!
After some google research, I believe this is a green heron ( )

Hanging with his baby turtle friend.

Waiting for a fish to swim by..

Got it!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Garden: Baby Squash!

The garden babies have arrived 
and  I have baby squash, zucchini, cucumbers, and tomatoes.  Yum!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Recipe: Peach Crumble

I picked up these wonderful peaches on my trip to Asheville this weekend wonderful niece.  I had actually stopped at the fruit stand for strawberries, but they were out.  All they had were peaches!  It was a surprise to see them this early in the season, but they are yummy.  Going to try out this recipe with them tomorrow.


2 lbs. fresh peaches, peeled and chopped (about 6 cups)
2 t sugar
1/4 c pecan halves (or other nut of your choice)
1/2 c oats
1/4 c whole wheat flour
1/3 c packed brown sugar
2 T unsalted butter, chilled


Preheat the oven to 375-degrees.

Put peaches into an 8 or 9 inch square baking pan. Sprinkle with sugar. You can also add cinnamon (about 1/2 t) and nutmeg (pinch) if desired.

Use a food processor or blender to coursely grind pecans. Add oats and blend for 10 seconds more. Combine with flour and brown sugar. Cut in the butter until crumbly. Sprinkle mixture over the peaches. 

Bake 30 minutes, or until the peaches are tender and the topping is golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature. 

Recipe makes six generous servings.

Number of Servings: 10

  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 137.5
  • Total Fat: 4.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 6.2 mg
  • Sodium: 3.5 mg
  • Total Carbs: 26.9 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 3.4 g
  • Protein: 1.8 g

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Sewing : Chicken Apron and Knock Off Muslin

This is my chicken apron!  I made it to go in the pattern review apron contest:  I decided to go with a style and fabric I will actually use in the kitchen.  Something dark and not frilly at all :)  But I do like the chickens! I don't think I even have a shot of winning the voting contest...there are some gorgeous aprons in this contest.  But, there is a random draw too, maybe I will get lucky with that!  

Below is my muslin for the Knock off contest. (see this for more details)  I like the front so far..back needs work.   I think the final dress will be more fitted, but for a summer play dress, I wanted it comfortable.  It was stretch poplin, and I didn't put in the zipper the pattern suggests.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Helping Others: Blankets for Tornado Survivors

If you have been looking for a way to help the victims of the horrific tornadoes that hit the south a few weeks ago, here is a way to help out..hands on.  (Of course, the Red Cross  can always use your dollars, too!)

Project Linus has a wonderful list of links to patterns for all types of blankets...quilted, knitted, crocheted...

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Roses are in bloom in my garden!  If you would like this for your computer wallpaper, just right click and choose "use image on desktop" or it's here:

Friday, May 06, 2011

Cool Stuff: Little Golden Book Dress

Golden Book Dress

This is just cool. It combines two of my favorite things: reading and sewing!  The dress was made from  Little Golden Books.  They used pages for the skirt and the spines for the top.  The best part is they show how they constructed it.  It's amazing. You have to scroll past all the pretty photos of it to get the important stuff.  I have a bunch of old Martha Stewart magazines...hmmm.....

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Craft : Walking Water Bottle Bag (version #312)

I've been doing a lot..A LOT...of walking lately getting ready for the breast cancer walk this fall.  Our last walk was 9.5 miles. When you are doing a long walk, out in the wilderness of Charlotte, you have to take some supplies with you for all those walking emergencies, like blisters and sudden chocolate cravings.  I started out using a fanny pack (bag that ties around your waist) but that gets uncomfortable around mile 5, especially if it is hot out.  So, I found a couple of over the shoulder water bag tutorials online, and took what I liked best about each.  After 311 versions and came up with this (over there to the left)  It's big enough for a bottle, keys, id, blister pads, tissues,and protein bar (or smooshed pjb sandwich for longer walks.)  The fabric is a light denim on the outside and quilter's cotton on the inside.   I am thinking about making one more that can be converted to a mini-backpack.  The first few versions had fabric handles.  I am finding I actually prefer that.  The fancy webbing is slippery and not as soft on bare shoulders.  Any long distance walkers out there with suggestions? If anyone wants a tutorial on this..just leave me a note and I'd be happy to do one.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Recipe: Strawberry Lemonade

This is soooo gooooood and easy!

1 cup Simply lemonade
1 cup fresh strawberries
8 or so  ice cubes

Blend it all up in the blender and drink.

Yes that is an entire mint plant growing out of my drink...

  • Servings Per Recipe: 2
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 82.8
  • Total Fat: 0.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
  • Sodium: 8.3 mg
  • Total Carbs: 20.3 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1.8 g
  • Protein: 0.4 g

Monday, May 02, 2011

Sewing: PR Knock Off Contest

Okay.. I keep signing up for these contests and then dropping out.  I am going to finish this one!

Here's my inspiration photo:
grant my wish dress

I'm starting with this pattern (pretty darn close!):

I am starting by making the pattern up as it stand in some green plaid stretch poplin I got for $1 yard some where.  It's either going to be hideous or a fun summer dress...either way it will show me the changes I need to make for the final.  Now..where to get that gorgeous black and white embroidered fabric!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Annabelly posed for me today.  She is usually either moving to fast to get take a picture, or so interested in the camera she looks like a grimlin!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Paintings for Boobies - Orchids - bcwpainting-2

Orchids - Original Watercolor - 10 x 13


Minimum donation $75
Sorry, no refunds, no returns..this is for charity folks! The money is going straight to there.

Donations are tax deductible, and I will cover any shipping charges.

To help raise funds for the Avon Breast Cancer Walk I will be posting some paintings for "sale."

To claim the painting, be the first to post a message here saying "it's mine!" and then go to my official donation page:

make your donation. Include name and address and the number of the painting, so I know which one you would like. You have 24 hours after posting your message here to post your donation or it goes back up

Paintings for Boobies - Mini Zinnias - bcwpaintings-1

Summer Zinnias, original watercolor,
2.5" x 3.5" (about the size of a playing card)
Minimum donation $10
Sorry, no refunds, no returns..this is for charity folks! The money is going straight to there.
Donations are tax deductible, and I will cover any shipping charges.

To help raise funds for the Avon Breast Cancer Walk I will be posting some paintings for "sale."
To claim the painting, be the first post a message here saying "it's mine!" and then go to my official donation page:
make your donation.  Include name and address and the number of the painting, so I know which one you would like.  You have 24 hours after posting your message here to post your donation or it goes back up.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Beeker's Healthy Muffins

      1 Cup Old Fashioned Oatmeal (or steel cut oat meal) lowers cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease and keeps you regular!
      2 cups  Milk, 2% (for you anti-milk people out there:
    • Calcium: Builds healthy bones and teeth; maintains bone mass
    • Protein: Serves as a source of energy; builds/repairs muscle tissue
    • Potassium: Helps maintain a healthy blood pressure
    • Phosphorus: Helps strengthen bones and generate energy
    • Vitamin D: Helps maintain bones
    • Vitamin B12: Maintains healthy red blood cells and nerve tissue
    • Vitamin A: Maintains the immune system; helps maintain normal vision and skin
    • Riboflavin (B2): Converts food into energy
    • Niacin: Metabolizes sugars and fatty acids
    • )
      2  Egg, large (Eggs are a good source of nutrients. One egg contains 6 grams of protein and some healthful unsaturated fats. Eggs are also a good source of choline, which has been linked with preserving memory, and lutein and zeaxanthin, which may protect against vision loss.)
      .5  Brown Sugar unpacked...just makes it taste good...
      2 tsp Baking Powder (lightens the texture) 1 tsp Baking Soda (raising agent) 1 tsp Salt  (flavor, shelf life, calms down the baking soda )
      1 tbsp Cinnamon, ground  (reportedly helps to stableize blood sugar in diabetics, increases metabolism, and tastes yummy
      .5 cup Cranberries, dried, sweetened (craisins) (Cranberries have moderate levels of vitamin C, dietary fiber and the essential dietary mineralmanganese, as well as a balanced profile of other essential micronutrients.  Also good for fighting urinary tract infections in women)
      .5  Walnuts,  chopped (significantly higher amounts of omega 3 fatty acids as compared to other nuts, also a good source of fiber, B vitamins, and vitamin E.)
      4 tbsp Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Chips  ( flavonoids - antioxidants which protect the body from aging and heart disease, and its great with the cranberries!)


    Makes 24 muffins
    Pre heat oven 350
    If you are using steal cut oats put them in your mixing bowl and add the milk to soften them..unless of course you like crunchy muffins :)  Use your food processor or grate by hand your zucchini and carrots. Add wet veggies, Bananas, and eggs to milk and oatmeal. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon to wet ingredients. Add cranberries, walnuts and chips. Divide evenly between 24 muffins. Either spray tins with pam or use cup cake liners to keep from sticking as there is no oil in this recipe.

    You can sub out the bananas for grated apple or apple sauce. You can use blue berries or other fruit in place of the cranberries and chips. I just happen to be in the mood for this combo :)

    Number of Servings: 24

    Nutrition Facts
      Servings Per Recipe: 24
      Serving Size: 1 serving
    Amount Per Serving
      Total Fat4.4 g
         Saturated Fat1.2 g
         Polyunsaturated Fat1.9 g
         Monounsaturated Fat0.7 g
      Cholesterol19.3 mg
      Sodium209.3 mg
      Potassium109.3 mg
      Total Carbohydrate24.1 g
         Dietary Fiber2.4 g
         Sugars9.8 g
      Protein4.2 g

    Fried Cat Fish

    Fried Cat Fish

      Flour, white, .5 cup 
      Catfish 1 lb (4 oz per serving)
      Canola Oil, 1 tbsp 
      Japanese Breadcrumbs - Panko (1 cup), .5 serving
      Pepper, red or cayenne, .5 tbsp (we like it spicy!)
      Pepper, black, .5 tbsp 
      Salt, 1 dash 
      Milk, nonfat .5 cup


      Mix 1/2 the flour ,panko, peppers (you can use Hot Shot in place of the separate peppers), and salt on a plate. Put 1/2 flour plain on another plate. Pour milk in small bowl. Cut fish filets into 2 oz portions. Roll fish in flour, then dunk fish in milk and then roll in flour/panko mixture. The three layers are what makes it crispy.Heat oil in pan over high (may need to turn down if your pan gets to hot) Place fish in pan. Turn over after about 2 minutes. Cook until fish is just opaque and flakes easily. We serve this with Alexia fries, and a salad.

      Number of Servings: 4
      • servings Per Recipe: 4
      • Amount Per Serving
      • Calories: 245.2
      • Total Fat: 7.0 g
      • Cholesterol: 66.6 mg
      • Sodium: 120.6 mg
      • Total Carbs: 21.8 g
      • Dietary Fiber: 1.1 g
      • Protein: 22.3 g

      Curried Peanut Shrimp

      Curried Peanut Shrimp

      This is one of my favorite all time recipes.  I don't bother with the skewers...just cook it all up in a frying pan over medium high.   Serve with rice.  
      Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 8 shrimp)


      • 1/3  cup  orange marmalade (just some chopped up orange works if you don't have marmalade)
      • 1/4  cup  orange juice
      • 2  tablespoons  natural peanut butter
      • 1  tablespoon  Dijon mustard
      • 1 1/2  teaspoons  curry powder
      • 1  teaspoon  vegetable oil
      • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
      • 1/4  teaspoon  crushed red pepper
      • 1/4  teaspoon  chile sauce with garlic (in the Asian section, with a rooster on the label.)
      • 32  large shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 1 pound)
      • Cooking spray


      Combine the first 9 ingredients in a blender, and process until smooth. Reserve 1/4 cup marinade. Place remaining marinade mixture in a large zip-top plastic bag, and add shrimp. Seal and shake to coat. Marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes.
      Prepare grill or broiler.
      Remove shrimp from bag, reserving marinade. Thread shrimp onto each of 4 (12-inch) skewers. Place kebabs on a grill rack or broiler pan coated with cooking spray; cook 3 minutes on each side or until shrimp are done, basting frequently with remaining marinade. Spoon reserved 1/4 cup marinade over shrimp.

      Nutritional Information

      228 (24% from fat)
      6.2g (sat 1g,mono 2.1g,poly 2g)
      from Cooking Light, JULY 1999