Thursday, February 26, 2015

Three Helpful Products

These rainy, extremely cold and windy days have been a great time to stay indoors and get a lot of early Spring cleaning done.

In a recent conversation with a friend she told me about the product in the below photo and how it transforms white laundry to be as sparkling white as can be;  even better than when using Bleach.    I used the regular water levels for the load of laundry, added the usual laundry detergent,  and then added the recommended White Bright mixed with a gallon of water.  She suggested soaking the laundry overnight for best results.

I took her advice and then washed a white Matelasse bed coverlet and matching pillow shams,  plus the white eyelet bed-skirt in the White Bright.  They truly did become sparkling white.

If you ever decide you would like to try this product,  it is available in the laundry detergent/bleach isle at Walmart.    I had to look a little while to find it,  but finally spotted it just past the bottles of bleach.

White Bright Laundry Whitener

If the deer ever stop by your garden for breakfast,  the product in the below photo may be the solution.   Another friend was telling us that this works for her!  If it should rain, the product needs to be reapplied.

It is delightful to see the deer visiting in the yard, but last year they ate one side of our climbing Katrina Rose bush.  It  had grown so pretty and then one day I noticed one whole side was missing.

According to what I can find out,  this product does not harm plants or the environment.  It is made from rotten eggs and garlic and smells really awful; therefore, a deterrent to the deer.

I found this Liquid Fence in the gardening section of Home Depot

Liquid Fence Deer and Rabbit Repellent

And then, another helpful product another person recently told us about is this After Bite ointment seen in the below photo.

A few days ago we had a beautiful day with temperatures warm enough to open all the doors and windows to let the fresh air come flowing inside ... It was wonderful!  But, as I stepped into the kitchen barefoot I stepped on a wasp who had invited himself inside!  He did not like that one bit and let me have it!  What a surprise.

When our middle daughter Stephanie was very young, one day she was stung by several red ants.  She told me, "Mom, those ants sure do have sharp teeth."  I have never forgotten that because I thought it was so cute."  I thought of her words from long ago as I realized that this wasp also sure did have sharp teeth!

After Bite

I stopped in the local drug store looking for a product that might help take the long lasting sting away and was surprised they did not have anything to recommend.   My next stop was the grocery store.  A sweet young man who worked there in Publix directed me to the above product.  

He told me he was driving along with his car windows open and a wasp came in and stung the dickens out of him.  He said that the sting did not go away until he used the above product.  Therefore, he was able to recommend this product since he could verify that it works. 

It did help a lot and the next day all traces of the sing were gone.

When I hear about products like the above items,  I wonder how I did not know about them.  And, it is possible you don't know about them either.   Therefore,  I thought they were worth sharing.

Wishing you a happy Thursday with many blessings wherever you may be

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Sweet And Fragrant Roses For A Winter Day

There is nothing like beautiful roses to brighten the day.

Thank you to my Valentine!

I hope all of you  are having a bright and beautiful day wherever you may be!

Annual Garden Club Valentine Luncheon 2015 ~ Recipes Included

It was time again to make reservations for the Annual Garden Club Valentine Luncheon.  The Magnolia Circle of the Tallahassee Garden Club works hard each year planning, cooking and serving for this delightful fundraiser.

Home of the Tallahassee Garden Club
Rutgers House 1848

Tallahassee Garden Club

 The historic Rutgers House is located in downtown Tallahassee,
and is available as a charming location for weddings, receptions and civic events.

507 North Calhoun Street
Tallahassee, Florida

The 'Ballroom' or 'Auditorium' of the Garden Club can accommodate up to 100 guests. The ladies of the Magnolia Circle of the Tallahassee Garden Club decorated the rooms and set the tables so beautifully preparing for the Valentine Luncheon.

There are two fireplaces located within the Ballroom, one located at each end of the large room.  The decorations on both mantels were so festive and nicely decorated to celebrate Valentine's Day.

In the Parlor, located across the hall from the Ballroom, the Magnolia Circle ladies were serving punch before the luncheon activities began.  Yes, you are not seeing things ... That is a flashing light frozen within one of the ice cubes in the punch bowl.  Cute!

Also seen in the above photo,  surrounding the punch bowl we see several beautiful waxed Camellias.
In the below photo is the pretty Valentine themed mantel in the Parlor room.

The Magnolia Circle members have outdone themselves wrapping and preparing door prizes for the luncheon.  I love all the pretty red and polka dot paper, checks, polka dot and festive ribbons.

The luncheon is a fundraiser for the Magnolia Garden Circle to raise funds for the Garden Club.  Included in the fundraising were the interesting prizes seem in the below photo.  With the purchase of raffle tickets we had an opportunity to win a special prize.  

One of the prizes, with information seen in the middle of the table, was 20 pounds of fresh Florida Tangerines.  It was a nice surprise when they called my raffle number as the winning number.   Needless to say my friends and family have all been enjoying these fresh, delicious tangerines that arrived at my doorstep the day after the Garden Club Luncheon.

One of the lovely tables set so nicely in preparation for the luncheon.

In the below photo you will see one of the Magnolia Circle servers.  She and many other Magnolia Circle members were very busy serving the luncheon guests. Isn't she so cute in her pretty red Valentine hat!  And, notice her Magnolia decorated apron!

The ladies went all out to make beautiful decorations for each table.  In the below photos you will see some of the lovely hand-dipped waxed Camellias used to decorate the tables and placed around the room in different locations for decorations.

A waxed Camellia.

Yes, I know flash is a no-no in photography.  But,  I really like to use a flash sometime  if I really want to see details as in the below photo.

The advantage of waxing Camellias is to preserve them so you can enjoy them longer.

This waxed Camellia looked like it had been waxed and then sprayed with gold spray-paint.

It was my lucky day!  I also won one of the door-prizes seen in the below photo. I was fortunate to have my daughter Sharon with me as a guest for this luncheon and felt she should have the door-prize.  She later told me the door-prize was a lovely set of 'thank-you' notes.

I asked the President of the Magnolia Circle if they would share the luncheon recipes with all of us and they were delighted to do so.  If you would like to see these recipes they will be included at the end of this post.
Luncheon guests enjoyed:

Chicken in a Blanket,  Raspberry Jello Salad,  Green Beans, Walnut and Feta Salad.

And, Cherry Cheese Cakes

On our way out of the Garden Club I noticed these festive hearts 
decorating one of the outside bushes.

And also decorating the outside door was this lovely Valentine wreath.

I mentioned that the Magnolia Circle members were good enough to share the delicious luncheon recipes with all of us.  My favorite was the unusual "Chicken in a Blanket" as seen in the below photo at the top of the plate.   It was very unusual and delicious and made a wonderful luncheon addition.  But, I must say, everything was delicious.


Savory & Sage Garden Club Recipes and Gardening Wisdom

  • 4 cups chicken, cooked and cubed
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons pimiento, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 oz. package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons green onion, chopped
  • 2 - 8 oz. refrigerated Crescent Rolls
  1.  Blend cream cheese and 2 tablespoons butter until smooth.
  2.  Add chicken, milk, salt, pepper, onions and pimiento; mix well.
  3.  Make 8 rectangles out of pastry using rolling pin.
  4.  Spoon 1/2 cup chicken mixture onto center of each rectangle.
  5.  Pull corners of the dough to the center top of chicken mixture.
  6.  Twist slightly and seal.
  7.  Bake on ungreased cookie sheet 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees until golden brown.
  8.  Serve warm.

Savory and Sage Garden Club Recipes and Gardening Wisdom
  • 2 - 3 oz. packages Raspberry Jello
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 2 - 10 oz. packages frozen raspberries
  • 2 - 8 oz. cans crushed pineapple, drained.
  • 1 medium banana, diced
  • 1 cup broken pecans
  • 1 pint sour cream
  1.  Dissolve Jello in hot water.
  2.  Add frozen raspberries, pineapple, bananas and nuts.
  3.  Mix and pour half of the mixture into a 9x13 dish; 
  4.  Refrigerate until set.
  5.  Hold the other half of mixture at room temperature.
  6.  Spread sour cream over top of set Jello mixture.
  7.  Spoon remaining Jello mixture on top of sour cream.  
  8.  Return to refrigerator.
  •  2 pounds green beans, trimmed
  •  1 red onion, thinly sliced
  •  1 & 1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts
  •  1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  •  3/4  cup olive oil
  •  1 cup feta, crumbled
  •  freshly cracked black pepper
  1.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and season with a large pinch of salt.
  2.  Add green beans and cook for 3 - 4 minutes until tender, but still crisp.
  3.  Transfer to iced water until cool and pat dry.
  4.  Add green beans and onions to large bowl.
  5.  Whisk vinegar and olive oil together and pour over bean mixture.
  6.  Mix walnuts and feta and add to mixture.

Savory & Sage Garden Club Recipes and Gardening Wisdom 

  • 3 - 8 oz. packages Cream Cheese
  • 1 & 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 & 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond flavoring
  • 1 can Cherry Pie Filling
  • 1 can of Whipped Cream

  1.  Combine cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and eggs and pour into 24 lined muffin tins.
  2.  Bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  3.  Don't open oven; do not brown.
  4.  Combine filling ingredients.
  5.  After removing cheesecakes from oven, an indentation will form as they cool.
  6.  Pour filling over warm cups, a little at a time, to ensure enough for all.
  7.  Cool and refrigerate.
  8.  Add spoonful of cherry pie filling to bottom of serving plate.
  9.  Add a dollop of whip cream if desired.
Thanks for coming along with us today as we visited the charming Rutgers House and enjoyed the Garden Club Valentine luncheon.  If you decide to make some of the recipes from this event we hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

Super cold weather is forecast for all of us here in the South.   It is hard to imagine how cold it will be in other areas of the country.  Be cozy, snugly and safe for the next few days during this extremely cold weather wherever you may be.

    Friday, February 13, 2015

    A Little Winter Color

    During these Winter days when it is cold, foggy and overcast it is very easy to stay indoors and get lots of early Spring cleaning done.  But on days when the sun shines bright and the temperatures inch up to almost 70 degrees it becomes impossible to stay indoors.

    We are all familiar with French painter Claude Monet and his love of natural landscapes and especially flowers.  As our Winter temperatures warmed so nicely and the sun shown so brightly I was reminded of Monet's famous quote, "I must have flowers, always, and always."

    A quick trip to Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts found this little wreath with pink flowers to brighten the back porch.  And the ladies in the gift shop at Tallahassee Nurseries made this pretty bow.

    Even though we are still deep in the heart of Winter, and Spring will not officially be here until March 20th this year,  I still thought it might be possible to find some pretty flowers to plant in the back patio planters.  So I went to Walmart's Garden Department and found some pretty Pansies.

    And, some pretty colorful Sweet Williams.
    (I think they are Sweet Williams)


    And after planting the flowers,  a walk around the yard proved that the intensely cold temperatures we have experienced in our area had not prevented the beautiful Camellias from continuing to bloom.

     This wreath as seen in the below photo,  also came home with me from
    my trip to Jo-Ann's to brighten the other side of the back porch.

    If you look closely at this Camellia in the below photo,  you can see a cute little black-ant down inside  the middle of the blossom on the right side.  I should have left him outside.

    I was reminded of a quote by an unknown author:

    "A flower is a smile from heaven"

    How true! 

    Another small little colorful wreath to brighten up the side screen-door.

    I'm so glad you came along as we added some color to this beautiful, peaceful Wintertime.  

    Before we know it,  there will be beautiful 'smiles from heaven' everywhere!

    Wishing you a wonderful weekend wherever you may be.

    Wednesday, February 4, 2015

    Restocking The Fish Pond

    Out back and down the hill from our home there is a three-acre fresh water fish pond.  Many years ago my husband stocked the pond with the thought in mind of having a nice pond for fishing.  The pond has been stocked a couple of times over a 30 year time span,  because the turtles in the pond eat the fish eggs, and the alligators that come to visit the pond eat the fish.
    If you look down the hill between the trees you can see the pond.

    Lately when the grandchildren have come to fish they have not been having much luck.  We don't live very far away from the huge Lake Iamonia.  We think that is where the alligators come from when they show up in the pond.  So with those factors in mind my husband decided it was time again to restock the pond.

    Photo of the pond taken last week.  As you can see the trees are asleep for the winter.

    My husband wanted to restock the pond with Georgia Giant Bream, Blue Gill Bream, Large Mouth Bass and Catfish.  He has had great success with these particular fish enjoying living in this pond.  

    In the past and again this time he contacted Ken's Hatchery and Fish Farms, Inc. located in Alapaha, Georgia.  They are known for their Georgia Giant Hybrid Bream, but they have many other types of fish and fishing pond supplies available as well.  They are located about a two hour drive away from us, which makes for quick transportation and comfort for the fish.

    They delivered the fish last week.  There were 300 Georgia Giants, 300 Blue Gills and 200 Largemouth  Bass.  The Catfish will not be available until next month. 

    As you can see in the below photo when they deliver the fish they dip the fish out of the large carrier containers with a fishnet, put them in a bucket filled with water and then let them swim out of the bucket into the pond.

    All of the fish seemed to have transported very well 
    and they all seemed happy to swim away on out into the pond.

     One of the baby Largemouth Bass.

    One of the baby Georgia Giant Bream.

    There are a lot of fishermen in our family, plus the close-by neighborhood children and grandchildren enjoy coming to fish in the pond as well.

    In the below photos we will see some of the grandchildren with their prize catches.

    Grandson Preston trying his luck.   Grandson Will in the background.

    Preston age 12, a little older in this picture,  enjoying a fishing day.

    Grandson Will age 15,  with what has to be the prizewinner catch of this year ... A huge catfish!

    Grandson Lawson age 9,  trying his luck this year.

    Lawson, much younger, thrilled catching his first fish ever.

    Grandson Chase now 18, with a huge Largemouth Bass.

    Grandsons and brothers Dillon 13 and Chase 10,  thrilled with catching a Georgia Giant Bream.

    Dillon's prize Georgia Giant Bream.

                                Grandsons Carter now 12 and Connor now 18 having a good day fishing.

    Nathan, age 6 at the time, having fun catching his 'big' fish.

    Sydney age 7, one of our 3 granddaughters, trying her luck fishing in the pond.

    Sydney again catching a big one.

                                               Grandson Dillon with his big Largemouth Bass.

    Grandson Dillon just this January turned 21,  with another big Largemouth Bass he caught,
     mounted as a Christmas Gift.

    Grandsons Chase now 18, and his brother Dillon now 21, both with their mounted 
    Largemouth Bass Christmas gifts, caught from the pond.

    Now that the pond is restocked we hope all of the children and grandchildren 
    have many more years of fun fishing.

    A photo of the pond last Summer.

    I'm not much of a fisherman myself, but I sure do get great joy from seeing my husband,  the children and grandchildren, and the neighbor's children and grandchildren having such a good time fishing down at the pond.

    Now that the pond has been restocked I am sure we will be seeing alligators again.  One of our neighbors called one day a couple of months ago to tell us there was an alligator walking down the dirt road not far from our house.  They said it looked like he was headed toward the pond.  We always wondered where the alligators came from; so I guess they just take a walk and come for a visit.

    If you would like to see a previous post about Alfred The Alligator In The Pond,  just click on the site below:

    Wishing you many blessings in this second month of the new year wherever you may be.