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Father’s Days – Past & Present



David’s Father’s Day – from Bear, of course !



Lemon Cookies from Cake Mix – Sugar Free

Guess we can say summer is here – it’s been in the 90’s and humid, feels just like we’re back in Houston. Bear doesn’t even like staying outside anymore.


In spite of the high temperatures, did a little BBQ-ing the other day and have to say that there are still some things this ‘city’ girl can learn.  Specifically, that would be that snakes can hide in wood piles!





Went to my stack of wood to get some cut limbs for the fire and lo-and-behold there was a snake – albeit a small one – curled up in between the wood pieces. Fortunately I saw him before I reached for the wood.   Have no idea if it was poisonous or not.


Went to get something to whack him with – but when I got back he had gone.  You can be sure, I am NOT picking up any wood with my bare hands anymore.  I’ll use a hoe or garden trowel to knock the wood to the ground first . . .then pick it up.  I’ve been watching the wood stack daily to see if he comes back – but so far – nothing.

Another thing I learned this week – not been a good one for critters – is that scorpions like to hide under BBQ covers.  Went to move the cover and there it was – tail curled ready to strike.  Got him with the Raid – but again need to be more cautious me thinks.





Sugar Free Cookies from Cake Mix


Made the cookies from cake mix this week. They were good.  Notice I’m not saying terrific – but good.  I have found that most cookies, cakes, etc.  made sugar free don’t have the texture – or flavor –  of their sugary counterparts.  But if you are on a sugar restricted diet,  they are a good substitute.  And, yes – I will make them again.  As an added note – these cookies are not real sweet.  Not sure if I’ll try adding in a bit of Splenda® next time.  Will probably try a couple of variations – and will let you know if I find something that tastes TERRIFIC.



Bought a Pillsbury SF yellow cake mix – they also make a chocolate – for my first try since I wanted to make a lemon cookie.  There are only three ingredients in the original recipe – but you know me – had to add in more.

I’m listing the original recipe for the cookies without any additions and then my add-ins are below.


  • 1 box Pillsbury Sugar Free Cake Mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil (or butter)

Added the following for the lemon cookies:

  • 1 tsp lemon flavor
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2-3 drops yellow food color


  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well blended
  2. Using a cookie scoop or two teaspoons place rounded scoops of dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet
  3. Bake in a 350 degree pre-heated oven for approximately 9 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.  DO NOT OVERBAKE.
  4. Remove from oven and allow to cool
  5. Ice if desired

Note: I frosted my with a lemon cream cheese frosting made with Splenda® powdered sugar.  To the  basic cream cheese frosting recipe     I added 1 tsp lemon flavor and 2 tsp lemon zest.

Store leftover cookies in air tight containe


Options for cookie toppings if you don’t want to frost:

  • Sprinkle each cookie before baking with about 1/8 tsp of granulated sugar
  • Sprinkle each cookie before baking with some Splenda® powdered sugar
  • After baking and cooling, thinly glaze cookies with glaze made from Splenda® powdered sugar – water, powdered sugar and favorite flavor (if desired).

Next time I’m trying an almond flavor cookie.

Final thought – this recipe will work well with any cake mix if you’re not limited to sugar free . . . just use the three ingredient recipe.  Try any of the cake mixes out there for a huge variety of cookie possibilities.  I’d top mine with sprinkles if I could – just for fun.



Netflix ‘Foreign’ Shows & Updates

Can’t think of anytime since we’ve been living here that we’ve had so much rain! Our porcelain pot – makeshift rain gauge –  has just about been filled to the  top twice – that equals about 6 inches each time.  That’s a total of 12 inches !!  No wonder the backyard feels like walking on a wet sponge.


Good news . . . the wild flowers are gorgeous and plentiful. Bad news  . . . can’t get outside to do any work so the grass is out of control !


To that end, we’ve been watching a lot of Roku    And, can’t blame it all on the weather – there are very few shows on the television that we like.  We’ve been  searching through Netflix and have found some very interesting shows (and movies) that are foreign.  In most cases, we enjoy them more because we get to see lots of places we’d never see otherwise  . . . like Iceland, Russia, Israel, Turkey, UK, Ireland, Shetland Islands – to name a few.  Yes, they have subtitles but we’ve learned to speed read  🙂







This may be repeating myself in some cases but wanted to pass along some updates on past tips and toss out one –maybe two – new ones.

Google Mail breach – so far I’ve not had any trouble with my Google mail being open in another location  – (knock on wood) – since I started using the second verification   Having to input the code has not been a problem as it needs to be done only once per log-in, per-computer.  Unless, of course, you change the password.   Then you’ll need a new code.  For more information on this, please visit this link.


Cilantro – this poor veggie goes limp in no time and putting it in a glass of water in the fridge helps.  But found that also putting plastic wrap or a small plastic bag over the leaves helps keep it fresh even longer.


Crescent Breakfast Danish – we are still in love with these tasty eats – and now we’ve got a lot of variety in the fruit flavors. Purchased some of the ‘fruit only’ by Polander and Smuckers that gives us a lot of choices . . . red raspberry, cherry, blackberry (seedless), and peach.  Sometimes it’s just easier to open a jar in the morning than cook up some apples or blueberries.



Computer Tip – did you know that if you are having trouble reading small print on a website you can enlarge it by hitting the ‘CTRL’ and the ‘ + ‘ key at the same time.  It will enlarge in increments of 25%.  To return to normal, hit the ‘CTRL’ and the ‘ – ‘ key at the same time.


Note:  The + / –  keys are located on the numeric keypad – to use them be sure ‘NUM LOCK’ is turned on.  IF your keyboard does not have a numeric pad to the right,  try holding down the CTRL, Shift, and  ‘ =  ‘ keys at the same time to enlarge;  to reduce hold down the CTRL and ‘  –  ‘ keys at the same time.

Electronics – know we live in an electronic world but sometimes I wonder if they are worth it – especially living where we do with the power going off as often as it seems to.

For example, the other day I was doing some laundry and noticed that the washer was making this strange sound. Not loud, just a repetitive wheeze – like something was stuck.  Went through a lot of button pushing before finally unplugging the machine thinking this would reset it . . . maybe.  Let it sit for a few minutes  then plugged it back in.  Pushed the buttons to return to the spin cycle -where this started – and it picked right back up.  It started right back up.

Since we have so much trouble with power outages, surges, etc. I’ve taken to just unplugging the washer to play it safe.  We use a lot of surge protectors but you never know what might cause damage to those circuits.



Have an idea for a new sugar free cookie for David that I plan on making.  IF it turns out as well  as I’m hoping it will, you’ll find the recipe here next time.  Keeping my fingers crossed.


All I could say was WOW !!!!

Click on the image below to see this amazing young lady perform . . . .