Life in the A-Frame

Life in the A-Frame

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Texas morning, at 50 degrees!

  Mist over the water...

Sunrise lighting the top of the trees....

I'm totally unprepared for a little cool weather. I step out at 7:15, notice how pretty things are, and go back inside for my camera. I am chilled so I grab a beach towel and wrap it around my shoulders. It isn't easy to hold the towel and take pictures at the same time. I guess I will have to get out some robes and long sleeve shirts. I am surprised every year, when it actually does cool off after our 100 degree summer days.
Surprised, but very excited!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Simple Beauty

Apparently, something as simple as a squash blossom can be complex and beautiful....if you really look at it.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Another unusual visitor

I'm not sure what kind of frog this is, but he is really beautiful. I have an outdoor shower, and when I was about to use my shampoo, there were 2 of them clinging to the bottle. They just clung-very still, very quiet.
Still gave me a little fright.  I then took time to really study them. Just look at those toes!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My Mama would be proud

I picked some unusual vegetables from the garden yesterday. My mom taught me a lot about harvesting what grows around us, and not just in the "garden".  Here I have sweet potato leaves off the vine, pumpkin and zucchini blossoms and some wild purslane. Oh, and one little cayenne pepper. I cooked a little whole wheat pasta, then sauteed the vegetables with a little oil and soy sauce. It was delicious!

My internet research shows:

Health benefits of Purslane

■This wonderful green leafy vegetable is very low in calories (just 16 kcal/100g) and fats; but is rich in dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals.

■Fresh leaves contain surprisingly more Omega-3 fatty acids (α-linolenic acid) than any other leafy vegetable plant. 100 grams of fresh purslane leaves provides about 350 mg of α-linolenic acid. Research studies shows that consumption of foods rich in ω-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and also help prevent development of ADHD, autism, and other developmental differences in children.

■It is an excellent source of Vitamin A, (1320 IU/100 g, provides 44% of RDA) one of the highest among green leafy vegetables. Vitamin A is a known powerful natural antioxidant and is essential for vision. This vitamin is also required to maintain healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural vegetables and fruits rich in vitamin A known to help to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.

■Purslane is also a rich source of vitamin C, and some B-complex vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine and carotenoids, as well as dietary minerals, such as iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium and manganese.

■Also present in purslane are two types of betalain alkaloid pigments, the reddish beta-cyanins and the yellow beta-xanthins. Both of these pigment types are potent anti-oxidants and have been found to have anti-mutagenic properties in laboratory studies. [Proc. West. Pharmacol. Soc. 45: 101-103 (2002)]

Sweet Potato Leaves
Cholesterol - This is one of the healthy foods if you're watching your Cholesterol intake. There are 0 mg of Cholesterol
Carbohydrates - Total Carb count for one serving: 2.23 grams. Sugar: Unknown, Fiber: 0.7 grams, and Net Carbs: 1.5 grams (helpful to know if you're counting carbs).
Protein - For Protein, one serving of this food has a total of 1.4 grams.
Minerals - In one serving there are 12.95 mg of Calcium and 0.35 mg of Iron. In addition, there are 3.15 mg of Sodium and 181.3 mg of Potassium in this food.
Vitamins - You'll benefit from both Vitamins C and A with this food. There are 3.85 mg of Vitamin C and 359.8 International Units of Vitamin A in each serving.

Calories in Squash Blossoms
Nutritional AnalysisGood points
Low in sodium
High in calcium
High in iron
Very high in vitamin A
Very high in vitamin C


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Harvey Wallbanger cake

I baked this cake for a Fire Department fundraiser auction this weekend. I baked 2. One for the auction and one for us to try at home (I needed to know if it was actually any good!). I thought it was very good. I thought maybe someone would enjoy the recipe.

Harvey Wallbanger Cake
1 yellow cake mix
1 small box of instant vanilla pudding
4 eggs
1 cup oil
1/4 cup of vodka
1/4 cup orange liqueur
3/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup of chopped pecans

1 cup of powdered sugar
1 tablespoon each of vodka, orange juice and orange liqueur

Prepare a bundt or tube pan with shortening and flour. Preheat oven to 350. Mix all the cake ingredients together for 4 minutes. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes. Mix the glaze ingredients and pour over the cake while it is still warm.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Identification and Admiration

The moth I found is definitely an Imperial Moth.Thank you Mom24! Here are a few stats:
Adult food: Adults do not feed.
Range: Maine west to eastern Nebraska, south to the Florida Keys and central Texas. Subspecies pini occurs across the northern Great Lakes basin and the northern third of Michigan's Lower Peninsula.
The Imperial Moth is perhaps the only example of such a creature as a character in a novel. Naturalist Gene Stratton Porter's "Girl Of The Limberlost" features imperialis prominently in the plot development, and her account of its life history in "Moths Of The Limberlost" (a chronicle of her discovery of lepidoptera in early 20th Century rural Indiana) captures not just the science but the charm of the giant silk moths and childhood discovery of nature

This pleases me so much because the book "Girl of the Limberlost" is one that my grandmother gave me to read as a child.  I love that book!

Wingspan: 3 1/2 -6 1/2 inches.
This one was definitely had a 6 inch wingspan.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Big, beautiful visitor

This huge, pretty moth stayed on this basket handle for over 24 hours. It just spread its wings and kept very still. I was impressed by the size and the markings. Does anyone know what type it is?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Dog vs Wild

Amos and Develin from Kerrie Griffin on Vimeo.

I'm taking care of the animals for my sister's family while they are visiting my mother. They have a horse named Handsome and a little wild pig named Develin. He was found about a month ago and they bottle fed him. He was so tiny. Now he is almost Amos' size, maybe a little bigger. I thought everyone would like to see this video of Amos and Develin playing.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

home improvement, the front entrance

I finally got around to improving the front entrance to our house. I guess it got embarrassing enough for me to have people see it. The doors were very worn and the paint was chipped. As a matter of fact, my 2 kids painted it for me years ago, even picked out the paint themselves ( a version of white!).


New white paint on the trim and a blue-ish gray for the doors.

What really surprised me was that it took a whole day and a half to finish it. I thought it would take only a few hours. Of course, everything had to have 2 coats of paint. I think it looks so much better. I bought some new rugs that had blue and rust and dark brown to finish the look.