Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Second Look--July 30, 2014

Here is what I saw this week during a Second Look.

The majority of the day lilies are done blooming, but some are still providing nice color.

The ever-faithful balloon flower (platycodon).

The hummingbirds sometime perch on the suet cage now instead of hovering all of the time around the feeder. Look how long the beak is on this one.


This dove was right outside the cats' favorite window causing them to be quite excited.

Since last week, the last two wren eggs hatched and the chicks are starting to grow feathers.

The butterflies are starting to increase in numbers. Notice the long proboscis on the skipper butterflies on this coneflower.

From L-R: Top Row--Blackeyed Susan, Celosia, Gay Feather,  Bottom Row: Cone Flowers, Little White flowers that I don't know the name of, Coreopsis

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Second Look Update

Immature green stink bug

In last week's Second Look post, I showed a picture of a shiny, green insect that I could not identify. Courtesy of What's that Bug, I now know that it was an immature green stink bug. 

If you're not familiar with the What's that Bug website, it's a great place for all of your bug information. One of the highlights is that you can send in a picture or description of a bug and they will try to identify it for you. All the work is done by volunteers, so they don't guarantee that they can handle the volume of questions they get. However, since a friend told me about this website last year, I've sent in three questions and had them answered.

Thankful Sunday--July 27, 2014

I am thankful for these coneflowers.

We have this little patch of dirt between the sidewalk and driveway right outside our garage door. For years, it was grass which slowly turned into weeds, and this year it became a bed for these extra coneflowers. The bed is small and simple, but these pink flowers make me smile every time I go by--which is several times a day. For this small pleasure, I am thankful.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Food Waste Friday & True Food Confessions-Jul. 25, 2014

It's time for Food Waste Friday, when the Frugalgirl encourages us to post pictures from the previous week of wasted food from our household. This accountability hopefully will help us to be more careful with our food and maybe save some money. Also, I am using this public forum to encourage us to eat out less which includes better meal planning. You can follow how we are doing in this endeavor by reading True Food Confessions. Occasionally, if our eating is going okay, I'll talk about some other food topic.

This Week's Food Waste


I had my eye on the prize this week, so I had no food waste. I plan to keep this vigilance up for next week. Wish me luck.

This Week's True Food Confessions

The meals this week were focused on preventing food waste as mentioned above. First, we had some left-over chicken and some yellow zucchini to use. This turned into a zucchini casserole with chicken and a salad. The salad had cherry tomatoes in it that were just starting to shrivel. The zuchinni-chicken meal lasted us for two nights. 

Next, I had some hamburger buns and pizza crust languishing in the fridge. The pizza crust came from an almost disaster a few days before. As I was taking a pizza out of the oven, it started to slide off the pan. I managed to catch it before it hit the floor, but about a quarter of it lost it's toppings during the save. So I retopped it with jar sauce and some fresh tomatoes and mushrooms that needed to be used. I also added cheddar and feta cheese for a really tasty result. I did the same thing with the hamburger buns after toasting them. 

Now I had a jar of open tomato sauce, so we had this over spaghetti the next night. I added some fresh tomatoes and basil to fix it up a bit and to use them up before they started to go bad. I also made a fruit salad to add to this meal from some ripe peaches and blueberries. And speaking of fruit, we also had some very good yellow water melon from Uncle Billy's garden. 

It was good week. I realize that some of you cook like this three meals a day, but not me. My interests and time usually lie elsewhere, so I'm gonna have to say that I am very pleased with this effort on both the Food Waste and Food Confessions fronts. :)

Until next time... 


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Second Look--July 23, 2014

Here are some things I saw this week 
during a Second Look.

The tiger lilies are starting to bloom and are a favorite of the hummingbirds. The hummingbirds are still visiting our feeder, but they are also enjoying the lilies.

The black eyed susan are also blooming now.

There always new mushrooms to be found.

Notice the black dot in the middle of the Queen Anne's Lace. A couple of years I did a study of these in my yard after a friend said they only come with a black dot and I said I'd never seen one with a black dot until then.  You can read about it here  if you're curious.

I don't know the name of this green beetle, but it was quite striking shining in the sun.

Three of the baby wrens hatched today. The mother is still sitting on the nest waiting for the other two.