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Cars, Moles, & More Quick Tips

We went to Dallas last week – what an ordeal ! We had gone to see about buying a ‘new’ car – which we did. A friend (David) had told us about a place that basically sells wholesale but does sell to the public as well. They have an Internet site and sell about 150 cars a month (so I’m told). Since Friend David had bought a car there a while back and was pleased with both the car and the transaction…. we figured we’d give it a try.

We were not disappointed. No high pressure sales (in fact no “salesmen”), no car lots to trek across (the cars are kept in a large warehouse), and no negotiating – what you see is what you pay… but the prices are significantly lower than what you’d find at a dealership.

We ended up purchasing a 2008 GMAC Denali that’s pretty much loaded. (I’m still trying to figure out all the buttons.) We’re very pleased – and oh so glad to be back home in the country. I’d forgotten how crazy the big cities can be. If you’d like to see their website you can find it at and tell Victor we said ‘Hi’. 

Yard Duty

After that experience, working out the yard over the weekend was very relaxing.

We’ve started on the garden and have it partially ready for planting –I did plant my black-eyed peas – moved the rose bush to inside the yard (the deer kept it stripped of leaves so it never did grow), moved the four blueberry plants to what I hope is a better location (they definitely  did not like where they were), and started work on one of the flower beds in the back yard . . . it needed weeding and I’m having to replace the wooden border.  (The red-dotted line was the old  border that had all but disappeared into the dirt!)

So that we wouldn’t have to buy anything – David took scraps of leftover cedar fencing and made a border for me. Looks really nice. I’ll finish the remainder of the bed when he has another batch of ‘scraps’ he can cut up.

And, finally plan to start on the herb garden this coming weekend – weather permitting. All of the plants at the nursery and Lowe’s all look so tempting – but, I’m trying not to buy anything until I can set them out.

Moles Really Don’t Like Daffodils!

Everything is starting to bloom around here – red buds, wildflowers, plum, peach, pear trees, blueberries, strawberries – and the dewberries shouldn’t be far behind. Guess I’ll be freezing a lot if they end up producing like last year. And the way prices are going, I’ll be glad to have extras in the freezer.

Have to say I was very pleased to see that the daffodils I planted survived and are blooming.  You may remember that I did a little experiment and tried planting them without the protective wire baskets just to see if they would make it.   It seems that the moles really don’t like to eat the bulbs – so, you can bet next year, I’ll be setting out lots of daffodils . . .  may even try mixing in other bulbs to see if  having the daffodils  mixed in will keep the moles from eating the other bulbs.


With everyone so health conscious – you know they even have those little stations next to the grocery baskets so you can sanitize the handles – I was appalled the other day when we were in the pharmacy section of  a Walmart and I notice that the ‘pharmacist’  had dumped a large pile of prescription  pills into his bare hand  and was counting out the pills into a bottle for a customer…  he wasn’t even wearing  a glove on the other hand to count them!!!!

I mean don’t they have those trays for counting  and then pouring the pills into the small bottle for the customer?!   Anyway – I’ll not be having any prescriptions filled at that Walmart.

Quick Tips

These are some of my favorite quick fixes to make things more tasty.

1.  Use butter-flavored popcorn salt in your veggies – it gives them a little extra flavor and color – especially mashed potatoes (see photo).

2.  For extra tasty ‘garlic’ mashed potatoes – cook a couple of peeled cloves of garlic while boiling the potatoes. After you drain the water, mash the garlic right along with the potatoes.

3.  Cook about 1/4 pound of ground hamburger beef  and add into your favorite canned chili – really perks it up and gives it more body

4.  Add a few extra blueberries  to your packaged blueberry muffin mix – the larger berries add extra flavor and texture

5.  Add 1 tablespoon butter when preparing pre-packaged gravy mixes – improves the taste

6.  Next time try topping your meat loaf  with a mixture of about 1/2 cup ketchup and 1/4 cup taco sauce (of choice) the last 10 minutes of baking – gives it a nice spicy flavor

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