Tag Archives: mama kats writers workshop

My Spring Must-Haves

One of the prompts for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop this week is:

1. Write a list of your top Spring must-haves.

And, as usual, my must-haves for spring all involve plants.  I’ll limit the list here to five:

1.) Mexican petunia, sweet potato vine and “whatever-that-little-vine-is-with-the-tiny-yellow-flowers”.

mexican petunia

2.) My beloved Black-eyed Susan vine:

real black eyed susan

3.) Purslane.

hanging purslane 8-9-2014 12-41-03 PM


…which, by the way, I like so much, I’ll probably have it in more than one place in the yard.

purslane in coffeepot and mini birdbath 8-9-2014 12-47-22 PM

4.) This gorgeous plant with tiny red flowers. (Sorry, I can’t recall the name.)

red flower vine 2 8-9-2014 12-48-18 PM

5.) And, finally, I’m going to, once again, try to grow nasturtiums.  My mom planted them in window boxes, and I remember how pretty they were. My only attempt was in 2013, and shortly after I took this photo, this one died.  But a friend has offered to give me pointers, so I’m trying again, hopefully with more success this time.



So,  if you’ll excuse me, I’m commandeering Motor Man’s pick-up this morning and I’m off to the nursery.

Mama’s Losin’ It

 ~These Days Of Mine~

Easter Recap

One of Mama Kat’s Writing Prompts this week is “Easter Recap”.

We spent Easter afternoon at the home of one of Motor Man’s sisters. There was ample food, including this creative “Peep” cake made by one of our nieces. It wasn’t actually made of Peeps, but rather, was a delicious lemon cake.

peep cake 4-5-2015 11-59-40 AM

The weather was beautiful, which enabled the little ones to play outside.  While waiting for time to hunt eggs, other uses for the Easter “buckets” were found.

livy easter bucket 4-5-2015 1-04-27 PM

Finally, it was time for the hunt! Photographers had to be quick to get a picture before the action began.

little ones and easter basket 4-5-2015 1-06-16 PM

Afterward, there were hugs among cousins:

lily christian hugging 4-5-2015 1-01-38 PM

And a little “Happy” time in the bounce house.

No egg-hunting or bounce house for Motor Man and me; we were just spectators, enjoying family and the sunshine.

db jr steps 4-5-2015 1-46-36 PM

Mama’s Losin’ It

~These Days Of Mine~

Right Click And Paste

Today, I’m participating in Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop. The prompt I chose was a challenge to open a blank blog post, then right click and paste.

I wasn’t sure what would happen, but here’s the text I pasted:

Thanks in advance for your consideration.”

And that actually leads to a blog post that I was planning to write in the near future anyway. That sentence was part of a letter I wrote yesterday to the Dare County (N.C.) Water Department. I had edited the letter and moved that sentence to the end, thus the “right click, cut, copy and paste”.

Here’s what happened:

As some of you know, Motor Man and I own a beach house in the Outer Banks. We had been down there the last week of December, and didn’t go again until the first week of March.

We knew the thermostat was on the lowest heat setting, so we weren’t too concerned about frozen and burst pipes.

But, when we got there, we immediately heard water running down the sewer pipe in the garage, and we thought “uh-oh”.

As we headed upstairs, and checked the bathrooms, there were no problems.

Until we opened the door to our bedroom. And heard water running.

When we walked in our bathroom, we saw that the suction-cup magnifying mirror (a necessity for me to put on make-up, put in my contact lenses, etc.) had fallen off the vanity mirror.  As it fell, it struck the faucet handle, turning on the water.

Thankfully, nothing had blocked the drain, so none of the water (for however long it had been running) had flowed over the basin.

Dare County only sends out water bills every three months, so, although we had no physical damage,  we waited to see how much financial damage that little mirror had caused.

The bill arrived earlier this week.

obx water edit

So, we’ll wait to hear Dare County’s reply to my letter, and I’ll let you know how this ends. Even if they don’t offer us a discount,  we’ll just look at it as a funny $419.87 story that we can share.

I thought this was a great writing prompt, so let’s have a little fun. When you leave your comment (you ARE planning to comment….?), right click and paste to see what appears. Explain if you like, or just leave us wondering.

Mama’s Losin’ It

~These Days Of Mine~



The “Ache” For Home

For Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop this week, I chose this prompt:

3. “The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned” ~ Maya Angelou.     Now write.

Although “home” has changed for me as the circumstances of my life have changed, the word seems to always bring back feelings of my childhood home.

Is it that way for everyone, I wonder?

And, because my dad died when I was an infant, and my sisters were grown and married by the time I was four, my childhood memories of home mostly revolve around my mom.

My earliest memories of her are ones of safety….someone to hide behind when I was scared or shy….someone to run to when I was hurt….someone to cry to when a kitty died or just disappeared.

1957 1-22-2010 8-28-36 PM\

Or when I was teased at school or on the bus. She didn’t have a solution, but she listened and cared… and hurt right along with me.

dianne mom nells wedding 2-11-2015 7-00-047

Through the years, I always knew I could go to her with any questions or problems, and I’d never be criticized or ridiculed for not knowing the answer or thinking the way I did.

We made it through the typically rough teenage years and came out the other side even closer than before.

mom dianne wedding day 2-11-2015 6-53-45 PM.bmp-001

My last day “at home”

And because of Mom’s example, I’ve always tried to be Marshall’s safe place.

goggie db marshall 1-22-2010 3-16-40 PM

As for the Maya Angelou quote,  home was Mom, and that was indeed the safe place I could always go “as I was”.

~These Days Of Mine~

Mama’s Losin’ It

Ten Years

Mama Kat, with one of her Writer’s Workshop prompts this week, has inspired me to share a photo taken ten years ago.

1. Find a photo of yourself taken ten years ago and display it on your blog along with a current photo. How have you changed since the day that photo was taken?

This photo was taken on our third anniversary, 02/02/05.


And this one was taken a couple of weeks ago on Motor Man’s birthday.

jrdb calendar1 1-1-2015 3-20-40 PM

So aside from the inevitable physical changes (the most obvious one being more wrinkles),  how else have I changed in the past ten years?

This is a bit tricky, in that I tend to think of  changes in my life as opposed to how I’ve changed.  So, I may stray from the subject just a bit.

Many things are the same:  I’m just as happy now as I was then, and Motor Man and I still enjoy every day.

I think each year that’s passed has given me a little more self-confidence. Motor Man’s mission ever since we’ve been together has been to help me be a less intimidated, more out-going person, and I can say that he’s been successful. Life is much more fun than when I was so timid and scared of everything. (I guess you CAN teach an old dog new tricks.)

In other words, I speak up now more than I did ten years ago.

Since that first photo, I’ve become a  blogger, and I have that to thank for many new friendships.

I’ve also renewed some old friendships, many because of Facebook. I know it has its critics, but I’m a fan.

In the past ten years, I’ve learned to never pass up the chance to take a photo. (Or ten.) When I was much younger, I shied away from having my picture taken; now I take advantage of those opportunities, too, especially photos of me with the ones I love.

I’ve said good-bye to several family members and friends in these last ten years, and although we know it’s part of life, that knowledge doesn’t make it one bit easier.

So, how about you?  How have you changed in the past ten years?

Mama’s Losin’ It

 ~These Days Of Mine~








I’m Sharing A Recipe…


(For those of you who don’t personally know me, let me share with you that I rarely cook, so the idea of me sharing a recipe is rather humorous.)

Today’s post is a combination: I’m participating in Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop:

2. Share a favorite holiday inspired recipe!

…and this is also my entry for the “Bake-a-thon” over at Sheryl’s blog “A Hundred Years Ago Today”.  For the past few years, Sheryl has shared her grandmother’s diary (written in 1911-1914) each day, but that diary comes to an end on December 31. Sheryl’s readers are sharing favorite family recipes as a way of honoring her grandmother and bidding farewell to the diary.

We didn’t often have desserts when I was a child, too tempting for my mom to have sweets in the house, I imagine. She would make peanut butter cookies occasionally, and sometimes, she would bake this Applesauce Cake.  The recipe was included in a cookbook published by the young womens’ group at our church in 1984.

cookbook 12-16-2014 8-19-41 PM

Applesauce Cake

Sift together in a large bowl:
1 3/4 cup sifted cake flour or all purpose flour
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 c shortening
1 c sweetened applesauce
Mix enough to dampen flour. Beat 2 minutes. If by hand, count beating time only. With electric mixer, use low speed, scrape bowl often, scrape beaters after 2 minutes.

1 egg
1/2 c chopped raisins*
1/2 c chopped nuts
Beat 1 minute, bake in greased 8 inch square pan, lined with plain paper, in moderate oven (375 F) about 50 minutes**. Cool.

When my mom was in the convalescent center in the late 1980’s, I began baking this recipe during the Christmas season. Rather than using a square cake pan, however, I would use four mini loaf pans. Then I’d wrap the loaves in plastic wrap, tie with red or green ribbons and give them to the nurses and nursing assistants at the home.

*I omit the raisins, just because I don’t care for them.
**If using mini loaf pans, reduce baking time to 30-40 minutes.

applesauce cakes 12-17-2014 6-45-26 PM

Most everyone has a special treat they prepare during the Christmas holiday…what’s yours?


Mama’s Losin’ It

~These Days Of Mine~

Thanksgiving, Throwback Thursday And Mama Kat’s

I agree: that’s quite a title; today’s  is a busy post here on These Days. This is the prompt I chose for today’s Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop:

1. Write a post, poem, or story about something you’re thankful for this Thanksgiving.

This is the Throwback Thursday portion of the post:

Marshall’s first Thanksgiving 1980

And this is the giving thanks part:

We are fortunate to have the basic essentials necessary for life: food, shelter and clothing. I would also includ “love” on that list. I am thankful to have never NOT known the love of family and friends.

And we have the extras: pets, transportation, technology (which enables us to blog), hobbies, entertainment…that add so much to our lives.

But there’s one thing that I’m especially thankful for today, and that is good health.

Some of my friends have had health scares during the past few months, one even being in ICU on life support for a few days. But, thankfully, all the scares were just that: scares. My friends are all, thankfully, doing well now.

And, just in the past week, a close family member received good test results on an MRI.

Many years ago, I read this quote, and it’s stayed with me. I wasn’t able to determine its origin; Google let me down on that one.

Good health:  rich man’s blessing, poor man’s wealth.

I hope good health is one of your blessings this Thanksgiving day.

Mama’s Losin’ It

~These Days Of Mine~