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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

When asked about the three most important words in our language, most people answer "I love you". And those words ARE important, often not said enough, especially face to face, looking someone in the eye.

Words I like even more are "Let me help". It seems to me these words are an expression of the first three words, in ACTION. Offering to help someone, actually lending a helping hand in whatever way, is so rewarding, on both sides.

I can add another set of three, that I try to say often, "I thank you". A good phrase to begin the day, directed at whatever Higher Power you choose. A good phrase to share with others throughout the day, too. If you stay aware of it, you'll find many more times to say it during the course of a day.

It seems to me that three words like these, whichever phrase you choose, can take the strangeness out of strangers, form a connection between human beings, and fill the heart with goodness, or grace, whatever you choose to call it.

You know it when you feel it.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


  Excellent Blog Karen!

Simple words filled with love, absolutely perfect.

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SUPREME5 4/14/2010 9:40PM


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GABY1948 4/14/2010 7:00PM

    Karen, I love this. One more that I absolutely love...my DH always says, "I appreciate it" instead of I thank you, and it makes it so much more special to me! I hope lots read this blog and take it to heart!

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FISHINGLADY66 4/14/2010 2:58PM

    Karen this is a very uplifting blog. "I thank you" for being my friend. You have helped me in many ways. You have brightened my day many times.
God Bless You

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GOALIEGRANDMA3 4/14/2010 1:43PM

    attitude of a good kind

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PJSTIME 4/14/2010 11:42AM

    Thank you Karen. All people wherever they are should just be kind and courteous to others it would make the world a better place. Our children should be taught this lesson from day 1.

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ZEEDRA 4/14/2010 11:22AM

    Thank you Karen. My three words for today.

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BELTONWALKER67 4/14/2010 9:25AM

    Great blog to read and reflect on all the blessings we have in which to give thanks. Thank you for sharing with us.

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PLAYBLUES22 4/14/2010 9:21AM

    Thank you Karen and may God continue to" Smile" on you today

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    Great advice!!

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JUSTJO66 4/14/2010 9:04AM

    "Thank you Karen" :o) Nice reminder this beautiful spring morning. Hope you have a loving, beautiful day.


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SUSI_SINGS 4/14/2010 8:51AM

    I thank you. And I wish you many blessings on this beautiful day. I am happy to have shared your uplifting thoughts today.

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A Little Fun Survey on Preference

Friday, April 09, 2010

Crunchy or gooey?

Some of us like the gooey center.

Some of us like the crunchy edge.

None of us are bashful about taking what we want, lol.

Which do you prefer? And Why?

And what do you think it says about your personality?

Can a crunchy person and a gooey person live together happily?

(I hope your tongue is in your cheek, lol. )

And here is an interesting link in Cooking Light for some healthy eating information:



  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZEEDRA 4/14/2010 11:26AM

    Crunchy, definitely. Ooooo...crunchy brocolli and celery and raw rutabaga...what bliss!
Am I kidding anyone?

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DGILBRIDE1949 4/11/2010 9:44PM

    Both are fine with me, although the last time I made brownies, I had to eat them with a spoon...maybe a little too gooey. I will try better next time.

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  I prefer mostly gooey with just a touch of the edge crunchiness lol.

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JENNY888 4/9/2010 7:55PM

    Crunchy is my choice, but of course I'll enjoy the gooey also!

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CT-FL-SNOWBIRD 4/9/2010 2:09PM

    I like gooey, like Black Bean Brownies, with crunchy chopped walnuts!

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--KREN 4/9/2010 1:01PM

    I'm so surprised that everyone likes gooey! LOL. I'm a crunchy person, definitely! I wonder what that means, lol. Karen

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    I like gooey and crunchy. It's all good to me, especially if it's chocolate. LOL.

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GOALIEGRANDMA3 4/9/2010 10:56AM

    gooey is my choise ( when I dare indulge)

Hubby likes gooey too. When I bake a cake he specifically asks me to not cook it as long as it says so it is gooyier!!!!! ( is that a word?) emoticon emoticon

also....I don't get that new pan that is out that makes all the brownies with crunchy edges....I\d never in a hundred years buy that

Comment edited on: 4/9/2010 10:58:57 AM

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NANCYRUBIO 4/9/2010 10:49AM

    Both as long as they are chocolate. No answer? Thanks for the link.

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FISHINGLADY66 4/9/2010 9:58AM

    I like the gooey the best. I don't like any of my food too crunchy. Bread and rolls should be soft for me. Yes crunchy and gooey live together happily. Hubby likes crunchy. I like gooey. Cool blog.

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JUSTJO66 4/9/2010 9:17AM

    Okay, I'll bite...... hmmmm,your picture looks tooo good. I think I'm both. Sometimes I really like gooey and sometimes I like crunchy. I like variety. I didn't realize that until a few years ago. I went to the state fair with my Mom and sister and while I was there I think I bought every type of food they had out there....but would take a bite and then pass it along to my Mom and sister. At the end of the day my sister made an observation... she said "you know, you bought a lot of food today but what you really only wanted was a taste". Lightbulb moment. :o) I do like a lot of different things.....I think I go through life "tasting". :o) Hopefully, not all of it is FOOD. LoL.


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CATHY629 4/9/2010 7:51AM

    There is nothing quite like gooey centre,i am beginning to feel quite hungry just by thinking of it.

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PJSTIME 4/9/2010 7:30AM

    Ooey Gooey for me. Same with cookies I prefer soft underbaked ones. I'm glad that pan isn't really in front of me I would be soooo tempted:) and I haven't given in on sweets.

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GABY1948 4/9/2010 7:10AM

    Gooey here too! And YES crunchy and gooey can live together happily! DH is crunchy while I am gooey and we live together marvelously! Like Sharon, I am the same about cookies and so is dh...don't even try a soft cookie on him!
What a FUN blog, Karen. Thanks so much for starting my day off with fun.
Gaye emoticon

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SERENITYSEL 4/9/2010 6:51AM

    Gooey! When I make cookies too, I make them "under baked". Why? It just gives me a warm feeling, like a comfort food (I don't indulge in very MUCH now). I love Cooking Light, I have a subscription and read every page!!!! Some of the recipes I don't try because I don't like fish, but their veggie recipes I try a lot. Sharon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/9/2010 6:52:50 AM

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Where late the sweet birds sang

Thursday, April 08, 2010

This blog title is the name of a great book by Kate Wilhelm.
This blog is inspired by JustJo's blog today and there's a link to it below.


My hubby and I raised bob-white quail. Lots of them. I incubated 1,000 quail eggs at a time. That’s a lot of little heads popping out within a few hours of each other! And quail chicks are so tiny. No bigger than your thumb.

They have to be kept in brooders at 99 degree temps for the first week. Temperature is then decreased a little each week, until they are about 6 weeks old.

We then put them into specially built pens that were 100 ft. long, six wide and six feet high with a covered, raised shed at one end where the feed and water was. (Built by us and our sons - ever dug a posthole? How many do you think there are in 6, 6' x 100' pens?) Sides were covered with tin/metal sheeting, buried into the ground about 6" so the “varmints” wouldn’t dig in and eat them! The top was covered too, so the hawks and owls wouldn’t have a buffet there, lol.

We had 6 of these pens. They held about 500 quail each. We had pvc tubing overhead with sprinklers attached, so we could “rain” on the quail several times a week. This helps condition them for release into the wild, which is why we raised them. Ranchers bought them to re-stock their acreage with quail that would be sturdy enough to survive and reproduce. When you see a bird turn his head around and “preen” his feathers, he is stimulating a gland on the top of his tail that releases an oil which “weather-proofs” his feathers. He then spreads this oil the length of each feather by running them through his beak once it’s oiled.

We let the quail dictate how many would live in a pen. Each time you add birds to a flock, there’s a bit of “discussion” among them, until it’s determined who’s at the top of the pecking order, and who’s everywhere else. (Yes, that’s where the term “pecking order” came from. It’s get’s a bit bloody sometimes, because the DO peck each other to determine the winners.)

Once you add that one bird that is one bird too many - they feel overcrowded - they start pecking each other a lot and do NOT stop until they’ve killed off enough to make what feels to them like enough room.

That’s Mother Nature when she’s not in a Disney movie.

Quail “circle their wagons” when they sleep. Maybe that’s where the settlers learned it, lol. They form a circle on the ground, everyone facing outward so they can see what’s coming, and they nestle down, on the ground, to sleep. In really cold winters, we found little circles of quail frozen in their sleep in the pastures.

Anyway, with 500 quail in a pen, there were many little circles. Actually, most of them were pretty large circles. At first we cut metal barrels in half, longways, and put them on the ground so the quail could get under them in really bad weather. Big mistake!

They would ALL try to squeeze under the barrels until they smothered the ones on the bottom. We had to cut away most of the barrel sides, leaving just enough to hold it up off the ground. That way, the birds couldn’t crowd under it against the sides.

Ok, I’m getting to the real purpose of this blog. JustJo wrote a blog today about the birds singing again. Please read it.


Well, when we were raising all these quail, those were days of backbreaking labor from dawn to dark. That’s the way most farmer/rancher types live most days. It sometimes got discouraging.

But no matter how down or how tired I felt, I would wake each morning, listening to every single bird, thousands of them, singing their hearts out!!

They were entirely at the mercy of humans for their very lives. When released into the wild, they would be in even more danger. Yet those birds never failed to sing. And sing, and sing.

The most beautiful memory I have of them, is waking one hot summer night, hearing all the birds singing at midnight! What? What was happening? I looked out the window and saw the moon was full. So full it simulated dawn.

And at just that little hint of a new day, a new beginning, a new chance at life, every bird was singing it’s little heart out in thankfulness! How can we do less?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CT-FL-SNOWBIRD 4/9/2010 2:04PM

    I really enjoyed this blog and found all the quail info so interesting! THANK YOU for writing it!

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SERENITYSEL 4/8/2010 8:27PM

    You know Karen, besides being a painter, you really should write! I have never raised quail, but coming from a farm in my childhood, I love animals, even the geese that used to chase us. But what I liked the most, was just sitting outside (when I could) and watch the little "critters" and sit by the brook and just listen to the water. Thanks for bringing back some wonderful memories. Sharon

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PJSTIME 4/8/2010 6:26PM

    Kren I love reading your blogs they are so interesting and informativie. I didn't know any of that about quails only the beautiful sound they make. What a sweet melody to have heard at midnight. I had no idea they circled like that or why they preened the way bird do.

Thank you teacher and spark friend.

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JUSTJO66 4/8/2010 11:29AM

    Thanks Kren for giving me a "plug" for my blog. :o) I love the memories you have shared with us about your quail. What a beautiful meomory of the birds all singing at midnight. Reminds me of Acts 16:25 when Paul and Silas were singing in prison and praising God at midnight. My daddy used to raise quail when I was a kid. He also hunted them and I remember how sad I always felt when he brought them home all lifeless. Beautiful birds. Great blog.

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FISHINGLADY66 4/8/2010 11:02AM

    As always you have given me some interesting new information. It is always educational to read your blogs. I really enjoy hearing how others lived their lives. Versatility makes the world go round. Thanks!

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    Great blog.

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GABY1948 4/8/2010 9:43AM

    As always, Karen a beautiful blog! Thank you!

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Container gardening!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

My body has some restrictions which keep me from digging holes, bending a lot, and playing in the dirt! Fortunately, I have a nice deck and a large yard.

I place large pots here and there, around the base of some trees where there is partial shade, on the edge of the deck. In Texas the problem is not getting enough warmth and sun, it's finding some shade!

Yesterday I planted several varieties of tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, various herbs, and even included some catnip plants for Rosie, my cat, lol. Catnip is supposed to have insect repellant properties like Marigolds, which I also plant in the pots with my tomatoes and anything else that seems to attract bugs.

It works. Last year I grew some great tomatoes and peppers and did not have an insect problem, so I had completely organic veggies.

I want to add some zuchinni and cucumbers but don't have time right now. I'm hoping I can grow the cucumbers on a trellis. Will that work? I'll let you know later, lol.

I like to mix hot and sweet peppers, cut up really small, and pickled in a jar. I add garlic and onion sometimes, bring some vinegar to a boil, put the diced peppers in the jar and pour the hot vinegar over it. The lid seals as it cools and I have hot pepper sauce all year.

Anyone have any better recipes for pickled peppers?


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


  Sounds like a great idea, living in an apartment, I have started a few plants this year too, hoping to grow some in large pots on a less bright little alcove on the roof lol, we shall see how that goes,

I was wondering about that topsy turvy thing myself PJ

Have a great weekend Karen!


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CT-FL-SNOWBIRD 4/9/2010 1:55PM

    Try allrecipes.com for rated recipes with nutritional info optional.

I have a raised box garden that is about 20' x 3.5' and WAS 6" tall until my step son helped my DH raise it up to 10" high! I love it! Now I just have to fill it with the best soil I can, cover it with landscape fabric and leave it for 6 months! We're leaving FL at the end of the month and won't be back until November!

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GEEMAWEST 4/7/2010 10:29PM

    We have what we call "Waist High" gardens at the Assisted Living Community where I work. They are actually pieces of old sewer pipe. They are very large and make great containers for gardening. You have to do what you have to do to do the things you enjoy.

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SUPREME5 4/7/2010 7:47PM

    only way some pe0ple can enjoy

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JENNY888 4/7/2010 4:51PM

    I have always been a ground gardener but last summer planted four large pots which I put by my hot tub. They produced more veggies than my main garden and were much easier to weed. I have bought six more this year and plan to expand the concept.

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JUSTJO66 4/7/2010 11:21AM

    My husband does our small garden and our flower beds. I just love to do the eating and enjoying the flowers. LOL. I used to really enjoy digging in the dirt but then my knees and back "blew" out ...so now just too painful.

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    I always grow impatiens in containers and leave my beds for perennials.

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GAILRUU 4/7/2010 9:36AM

    I think if I could not garden in the ground I would certainly do it in big pots! Cucumbers do grow well on a trellis so give it a try.

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FISHINGLADY66 4/7/2010 9:10AM

    I love gardening. We used to garden all the time. We planted strawberries, asparagus, and lot's of vegetables. We are gone so much in the summer now , so we can't take care of a garden.
Enjoy your gardening and your crops.

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PJSTIME 4/7/2010 8:27AM

    We have a garden. DH plants, we both weed and do the freezing and canning. He does the tomatoes and taco sauce and spaghetti sauce and I always do the green beans. I guess we have pretty good team work.
Have you tried any of those hanging topsy turvy planter bags?

Onward and Downward in 2010. PJ

P.S. we have more veggies in the garden than I mentioned above.

Comment edited on: 4/7/2010 8:27:46 AM

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GABY1948 4/7/2010 6:49AM

    I'm not much of a cook...dh does the canning here (with my labor) but I would love to see your yard. Thanks for sharing this!

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SERENITYSEL 4/7/2010 6:06AM

    Karen, that sounds great. I miss being able to have a garden, but apartment living just doesn't allow it. LOL Sharon

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HANSEEN 4/7/2010 6:06AM

    What a great idea. You can't get much healthier than that. Kudos.

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No Wonder the Hummingbirds are happy!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

I put a cover on my back deck because the Texas sun is so blistering.

I added the trellis and planted one coral honeysuckle vine and one crossvine.

They've outdone themselves this year and the hummers love them!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATHY629 4/9/2010 7:56AM

    We dont have humming birds in the uk,but i saw one for the first time last December in Cuba,it was so small i thought at first glance that it was a large butterfly.

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MY4KITTIES 4/7/2010 8:03AM

    I love to see hummingbirds but it's too early for them in PA. There is a tree in the adjacent yard that they absolutely love. I can't wait to see them!

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DUMBELLE 4/5/2010 11:50AM

    Yes, I too was wondering when the hummers would be coming. Your flowers are beautiful. If I was a hummer, I would be happy too!!!!!!

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JUSTJO66 4/5/2010 10:35AM

    Beautiful and they smell soooo good. We have the hummers every year, too. Just love them. :o)


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NCDEB13 4/4/2010 1:20PM

    ahhh, very nice! I love the hummers too, they haven't arrived here in NC yet, should be soon! (reminder to self to get the feeders out!)

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  Still waiting for all chances of frost to pass us here, so glad you posted the pics, absolutely beautiful! emoticon

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NEEBREW 4/4/2010 11:18AM

    That's BEAUTIFUL! I planted a bunch of zinnias year before last and the hummingbirds went CRAZY over them. Aren't they so fun to watch?

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EMMABE1 4/3/2010 6:34PM

    I've never seen a live hummingbird - but they are so pretty in the pictures I have seen - and fascinating to watch I'd think!!

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GOALIEGRANDMA3 4/3/2010 5:19PM

    Hope you all enjoy them.

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FISHINGLADY66 4/3/2010 5:12PM

    Doesn't that just lift your Spirits in the morning. So beautiful just like you. Thanks for sharing your beauty with us. Happy Spring to you.

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JUST_TRI_IT 4/3/2010 3:22PM

    These photos reminded me that it IS, in fact, mid-spring somewhere in the world!

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--KREN 4/3/2010 3:14PM

    The sun is so bright, the photos look a little faded. They really have glorious color!

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WYWIWOMAN 4/3/2010 3:12PM

    Lovely - and so lush. I haven't seen anything like that around here - yet! (Wisconsin)

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