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See Pictures of Tornado Shelter Installation

I’d Rather be Cake-Walking

After last week this week seems like a cake-walk. It all started after David watched an online financial webinar. After the webinar, he went to a website to read more about one of the topics, and that is when it all started. He received an AVG alert about a Trojan virus being detected. Normally, he would have just clicked on the link to isolate the virus and send it to the ‘vault’. Not this time. The virus was resistant to the ‘fix’.

In borderline panic, we called AVG and were given additional instructions about alternate ways to rid the computer of the virus, however, we couldn’t get past the first step. On attempting to follow directions, the computer went wild, browser screens were opening faster than David could close them. This warranted another call to AVG (still in semi-panic mode) – where a tech took remote control of our computer.  If we had only known . . . he was the first of three techs, that would work on the computer over the next 24 hours to get it back up and running. Not to mention that at one point the computer black-screened (full blown panic). We thought for sure it was a goner. The last AVG tech worked 8 hours to recover David’s computer from the black screen, and ended up using more adware, spyware and malware programs than you can imagine to clean it. Many we’d never heard of. Over the course of this last eight (8) hours, the tech gave us some very good tips about keeping our computers safe. If you would like to read more about the free anti-virus, malware programs, and see the list of recommended tips for protecting your computer, visit this link.

I have really been enjoying the weather of late. Have the garden finished and the star deck is completed with the protective base coat on. Have to wait for that to dry really well before we can paint the bricks on. Had hoped to do that this weekend – but, weather report is forecasting rain… so will have to wait and see.

Overall, we’ve really been enjoying the breeze while sitting on the covered deck, listening to the waterfall in the pond and watching the birds… especially the hummingbirds. They arrived last week and I have my feeders out. Even bought a new one that is so much easier to use. Fills from the top and has a vacuum feature that allows you to turn the nectar off and on. Keeps me from spilling liquid when moving it from the kitchen to the outside. Nice!


The pretty red flowers (top photo) are Amaryllis.  They are next to the step leading to the deck right in front of the Star Jasmine vine which is in full bloom and smells so sweet. That is just about the prettiest spot in the yard right now. The petunias in the bird bath are one of my super special hanging basket purchases I found at Lowe’s. The bird bath is right outside my kitchen window, so I get to enjoy the flowers when I’m in the kitchen – which is quite a bit of the time. If you’re wondering about the birds missing the bird bath….not to worry, there is another one in the front yard they can use.


Also, have plans to finish my back porch table this year. You may recall I had plans to tile it (and paint it) …. hmmmm, maybe a couple of years ago. Well I finally found some tile I liked, bought the mortar and have plans to get started on it next couple of weeks. But want to finish the star deck first. I don’t like having multiple projects going at one time…makes me feel too scattered. Also before I start, will need to have David get out the tile saw to cut tiles for the round edges. (Hope he can find it.) Cutting tile is a very messy job with water going everywhere, so we try to do that on a very warm day as he ends up getting soaked.


Cooking tip – David loves crispy anything… chicken, shrimp, fish, etc. So I’m always looking for a way to make those foods crispier. While I don’t like a heavy coating, I was looking for a way to make the coating different and still maintain good texture and flavor.

My last attempt at ‘crispy-different’ was a winner.  I found that if I put cracker crumbs (three crackers) in the dry breading mixture, regardless of what I’m frying, it comes out with a wonderful light crunch. Have no idea why three crackers would make such difference, but they do. And, of course, we only use David’s favorite crackers – Club. In case you’re wondering, my favorite mixture for frying  fish and shrimp is Zatarine’s Fish Fry and Panko Crumbs; for chicken or chicken-fried steaks I use Seasoned Flour and Panko Crumbs…. both with crackers added in now.


Looking for some light, fresh recipes for summer? Check out Lemon Chicken  and Lemon-Baked Sole Fillets. Lemon is such a wonderful flavor for just about anything…. and it’s also great around the house. Here are three uses for lemons in the kitchen:

  1. Clean laminated counter-tops – squeeze the juice from a lemon half onto a laminated counter top stain. Let is sit for a few minutes, then rub with the outside of the lemon peel until the stain is gone. Rinse with water.
  2. Garbage disposal – grind pieces of lemon peel in the disposal to clean and freshen.
  3. Polish copper – cut a lemon in half, sprinkle with salt and then use to polish copper pots and pans.

Last but not least, if you are one of those people who likes to frequent garage and estate sales, trade days and flea markets looking for scrap gold and silver you can sell, you don’t want to miss our article about some non-traditional  items you might be overlooking. Read about those non-traditional items here.

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