Monday, August 10, 2020

This' N That.. and dumpcake......

Hi all... well guess I'll try this new Blogger interface. I've heard rumblings about it but just kind of ignored it. And now it's (automatically) here! So here goes......

Today is Sunday, August 9th. I can't believe it (I know... everyone says that!)..... but really, was July even here?  (My son and his fiance DID come for a visit in July, and we took a road trip up to the mountains and walked the trail along the Metolius River - that was the highlight of July!)

My son and I at the Richardson Rock Ranch, 12 miles north of Madras. They are just that - a "rock" ranch! They have some of the world's largest "thunder eggs" right on the property, besides many other exotic rocks in the raw, and gems and stones. My son and his fiance love visiting there, every time they come to Madras.

My hubby and I went to a town last week (Redmond), about 25 miles from us..... and we decided to stop at the produce stand, or even see if it was still there this year... and it was...... so we bought fresh peaches, blackberries, strawberries and (non-GMO) corn on the cob. I won't buy just regular corn at all, it HAS to be non-gmo.

Everything was delicious! We have a few peaches left. We've eaten them fresh, made a peach cobbler and I've had them for breakfast twice now. So sad they're almost gone. We don't have a produce stand in our town unfortunately. 

We had two boxes of blackberries left, so I decided to make a "dump cake" today. I also had a few strawberries left, so mixed those in too. It turned out just perfect and so delicious! We've already sampled it and it's not even dinner time yet. Oh well... it's a good afternoon "snack".

So easy! Recipe below..........

Hot out of the oven..........

This was so Heavenly! I tried a peach dump cake, but used gluten free Bisquick instead of a cake mix, and it was pretty "doughy" so we didn't love it so much, but we did manage to eat it all!

Can you tell which one is my hubby's????

It was good even without whipping cream or ice cream........... well.. maybe there will be one of those for our dinner dessert tonight.....

Here's the recipe I got from a video on YouTube (of course I tweaked it a little bit):


3 cups blackberries or a mix of berries (I used 2 c. blackberries and about 1/2 c. strawberries)

1/2 cup water or juice - I used 1/2 c. of a blackberry ginger ale soda

1 box of lemon or yellow cake mix - I used a gluten free yellow cake mix

2/3 cup sugar - I used 1/2 cup of coconut sugar

2 sticks of butter - I used 1-1/2 sticks (or 3/4 cup) melted

1 cup chopped nuts (I didn't use any nuts)


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray or grease 9x13 inch baking dish. Pour in the berries and juice, smash them up a little bit, then sprinkle the sugar over them. Pour the cake mix over the berries and spread evenly. Melt the butter and pour it over the cake mix evenly.  Sprinkle chopped nuts over the top if you use nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes.  Mine took 55 minutes.

I LOVE that you don't even have to use a bowl to mix things up. 


So far, this new interface is just fine. It's very similar to before, but the icons are just in different places (and some of the photos don't want to mind me and be centered! Now though, I don't know if when you look at my blog, if you will see the pictures and information that I had on my sidebar (to the right). Could someone let me know if they still see that? Don't know why Blogger had to change a good thing!!!

I've been doing a little crafting in between yard work.

Sweet little mini album using scraps of paper - from a video by Septeria18 on YouTube. She is so talented!
This is my "prototype" so you can see all my little notes! I'm definitely going to make more for my Etsy shop!

I made a pretty card using a "Friday Freebie" from Gi Kerr on YouTube. Every Friday, she puts up a free printable on her Facebook Group, and then she shows us how to make something. I love this pretty vintage card:

If  you would like the link to her Facebook Group or her YouTube video for this card, please let me know.
I tried my hand at some of Gi Kerr's origami dresses. She has had several videos on making origami clothes for ladies - such as the dresses, a sweet little handbag, a fan (seen on the vintage card above), a corset and a dress form. She also has an origami man's shirt! Cute!
Isn't this vintage paper just gorgeous??? I purchased it off of Etsy. If you want the name of the shop, please let me know. I made a cute folder from two #10 envelopes, that opens up and has a large pocket on each side.. to hold receipts, or cash or notes, money.... something to carry in my purse. Again, this idea came from a lady on YouTube named Posh Paper Lady. She used a smaller envelope and only had a pocket on one side. I wanted pockets on both sides.

Here's a darling little "tag notebook" I made using a digital printable from My Porch Prints on Etsy. She has so many darling printable projects to choose from, and usually a video tutorial to go along with it. Her digital set includes some ephemera and some little words also. If anyone would like the link to her shop, please let me know.

Well friends, I guess that's all for now. I really was just popping in to say "hi" and show my yummy dump cake!  See? I watch so much YouTube by ladies from England and Europe, that I'm starting to use phrases like "popping in" and "bits and bobs". 

Have a great week everyone!


Saturday, July 25, 2020

All dressed up..... Part 2... THE REVEAL!

Hi friends and followers......

Here's the "reveal" finally, of our backyard gravel far as we've gotten anyway. We're not done yet!  

Photo heavy, so grab your tea or coffee.......


Fresh, new, 4" deep gravel.. and best of all... no dirt and no weeds!
 Remember, it was like this before:

And though you can't see it that well in the photo, it is MOSTLY DIRT! Very little gravel.
Now, it's clean and new....

We did run out of gravel for our "patio" area, as I said in my prior post.... so hubby spent a day digging what was left from the driveway area that the guy in the loader couldn't get with his bucket. He/we also dug and brought a few wheelbarrow loads from our "back 40" as it was pretty deep there and we didn't need it so deep. We dumped as much as we could scrounge, onto our "patio" as that is what we use the most.

We still haven't finished our "alley" by the garage where the catio is. Hopefully we can do that in the Fall when it cools off again. I'm really not in the mood to have another big pile of gravel in our driveway!

Iris in foreground that I transplanted from our front yard in April!

I wanted to transplant the flowers OUT of all the plastic tubs (blue and green) but I could not find ANY that were even similar (and affordable) to match our nice wood cedar planters. We may have to build our own.

See the Iris in the blue tub? Those are the ones I dug up earlier in the year, in April, and transplanted hundreds (well maybe 50) of them.

Ran out of gravel for under hutch. Will get more in the Fall. This reloading bench, now garden "hutch" will get stained and sealed to protect it in the winter months. And of course, we  had to leave room for the kitties to sleep on the bottom. I'll put new and fresh beds for them there. They love sleeping there!

Decorated with some pretties. I've used the hutch for planting flowers for the summer, so now it's mostly just for looks - but comes in really handy to set our small tools on, watering can, things we use in the flower beds.

I planted two strawberry plants earlier this year, and finally just now getting a few strawberries! They are the hugest strawberry plants I've ever seen!

Love the fountain. It still works! I stored it in the garage all winter so it wouldn't freeze. LOVE the sounds of the trickling water.
NOW... FOR THE "BACK 40" REVEAL..........

Nice new fresh gravel... and no weeds! We're not quite done raking and leveling it yet. We ran out of steam. 
Remember, it looked like this:

Our problem now is.... instead of weeds, we have to deal with LEAVES! There are two huge Chinese Elm trees in the neighbors' yard, and whenever the wind blows (which is always)... the dried up leaves fall in our yard.. and I mean.. there are piles of them already!

Future flower bed will divide the lawn/weeds from the gravel area. Hubby reseeded the lawn, but it's not doing well no mater how much we water and feed it... but of course, the weeds love it.

We bought a leaf blower for the leaves, thinking we could blow them into a corner and then pick them up. That was a big FAIL. All it did was create a tornado of leaves... flying all over the place, into the neighbor's yard and back over on our grass! So we need to find another solution....... any ideas?

When you live in town, and not on acreage, you don't have the luxury of being able to have a big brush pile and a place to put all the leaves, branches and twigs that blow into your yard.

We have a burn barrel (sort of) but there is a burn ban on now. Oh no! weeds coming up already in the "flower bed"!!

We need a place for our tools.... need another shed..... in time I hope. The Golden Chain tree there has died. It didn't like being transplanted.

Spotty lawn. Sod would be best but not in the budget.
One final look..........  we are happy with what we've done so far. We're taking a break for awhile. All flowers are planted that I want to plant for the summer.  The back lawn "weed battle" will continue. I go out almost every day and try to dig up at least 20 weeds. Weed killer does not work as it kills the little bit of grass that we  have!

The front yard is looking good and the shrubs are growing by leaps and bounds. Our Quaking Aspen is awesome, and the crab apple tree has grown at least 4 feet. I need to remulch the little potted flower area as it's been 2 years (or 3?) since I did it last.  I did get the garden bench painted white again.  Still a few more things to do in the front.

I've managed to continue with my paper crafting in between all the yard work.... that is my solace and my Haven and peaceful place....... love my craft room! I can just go there and "bury my head in the sand" and not think about what is happening in the world today.

And of course, now I have a nice little oasis to sit at outside.. by the fountain...... which we have been doing more lately.

Until next time.. hope everyone is safe and well.

~With hugs and blessings to everyone.....~

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